by Locker Room contributor
Whenever “The Vagina Monologues” comes to campus, there is always a student columnist who writes about it as if it were some revolutionary work that flies in the face of some Big Evil Male Hegemony that keeps women from saying the word “vagina.” These columns tend to be, as you might guess, extraordinarily silly. For example, try this one from last year ? or this one, written by an N.C. State student in 2001, which still stands in my view as the silliest column I’ve ever read. (When the author gets to Hitler, you know you’ve reached Silliness Nirvana.)
Well, TVM is coming to Duke, among other places, and today’s Chronicle ran the obligatory TVM column. This one hits the requisite high notes: “I?m so much more than my vagina, but it has and will always shape my life. Until we talk more about vaginas, we can?t progress to a world where all of us are safe, happy and respected.”
Then, however, delves into other areas outside the play (which isn’t mentioned until the end) and is utterly, utterly pitiable. “While other children innocently colored pictures of butterflies and flowers,” the author writes, “my mother pointed out the similarities between these and vaginas and she told me that vaginas were just as beautiful.” That’s odd, but nothing compared with, “When I was four years old, a teenage family member tried to molest me.” The author concludes that her family was dysfunctional.
Then she concludes that your family is dysfunctional, too. “I think we live in a nation of dysfunctional families,” she writes. “From my conversations with other women I have discovered that the woman who has not been raped or molested or abused is in the lucky minority” (emphasis added). What can you say to a person who reasons thus? It is a shame that she was nearly molested, yes, but to conclude that her experience is normal? That’s a leap that even goes well beyond the rape-scare stats feminists at Duke et al. are so fond of.
She’s merely getting started, however. Now that she’s established that a majority of women are raped and abused, she starts placing blame ? using the same old marxist scapegoats of men, class warfare, religious piety, racism:
We don?t want to admit that our families are so dysfunctional or that we loved our rapists and abusers. … I speak as a working-class ?heartland? American when I say that this population needs to check its values. Many working class whites uphold an image of ourselves as moral, pious people but this hides an all too common reality of abuse, incest and rape. Instead of addressing the real issues in our communities, we transfer our own filth and pain onto people of color.
She concludes this tedious excursion into Two Minutes Hate with the following: “I want to be a mother someday, but this doesn?t mean I want a house in suburbia with a white picket fence and an SUV to take the kids to soccer practice. I want to be a revolutionary mother.” I suppose she decided that, Wull, since most homes’re dysfunctional anyway, why not set my sights on less than a functional family, too?