There’s an elephant in the room, and it’s got a monologue

Photo credit: Women's & LGBTQA Resource Center at Gettysburg College

Photo credit: Women’s & LGBTQA Resource Center at Gettysburg College

By Morgan Hubbard, Copy Editor

Vagina. In the last few weeks, the word has flooded the campus in forms of shirts, posters, and conversations. To my general pleasure, The Vagina Monologues have been met with questions about the purpose, transactions for t-shirts, and excitement about the performances.

However, it is a disappointing realization that sometimes the word vagina is met with squeamish disinterest from students and faculty at the college.

Selling tickets and merchandise at the CUB table last week, I got a lot of the “maybe I’ll think about it” responses from people I consider to be friends. I told them I would be performing and would love their support. They begrudgingly asked the time commitment, followed with a bogus excuse.

Of course, the large majority of passersby I caught were excited. Even if they couldn’t attend, they expressed happiness in the play’s presence on campus. However, the people who avoided my gaze and looked uneasy at the mention of the word vagina left a bad taste in my mouth.

Why is sexuality still a taboo topic on a college campus? I understand that every student’s education and experience with sex has been different, but I fail to understand the absence of scholarly sex talk in our daily lives. I know we talk about sex, we text about sex, we read about sex in the media, we have sex or choose not to have sex. Yet the anatomical word fixed upon the Nike swoosh is so unsettling for some people that they will not give up an hour and a half of an evening to hear the sexual experiences of the oppressed woman.

“I’m down for the cause and all, but it’s just not my thing.”

I would dare to say that you are in fact not down for a cause if you let your discomfort dictate what you will and will not hear. Sex is a tool of love, of hate, of passion, of power, and of violence. Something that simultaneously encompasses so many realms of our cultural, spiritual, and human experience should be at the forefront of public spheres, not cast to the side of our eye as we walk through the CUB.

If you walk by an advertisement for something that leaves you feeling uncomfortable, you ought to buy a ticket if for nothing else than to be curious and courageous. While I appreciate the idea that The Vagina Monologues are meant to be provocative and stirring, I am frustrated by the necessity for such a technique to garner attention.

I should not feel as vulnerable suggesting at the beginning of class that my professor and classmates come see the show as I would if I were to show up naked.

I applaud the majority of this school for embracing the show and rejoicing in its success. Unfortunately though, vaginas do not stop being vaginas after Friday night. Vaginas’ intersection with their identities and the world around them does not go on perfectly after Friday night. The word vagina should be one plastered around this campus year-round, alongside other powerful words from the sexual dictionary. Vagina is not a dirty word we rebelliously recycle every February.

A vagina is something that belongs to a person, who is worthy of your courage to broach heavy topics of sex.

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Author: Web Editor

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