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Old 02-13-2007, 09:26 AM   #196
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

Why is it so much easier for society to talk about penis issues than it is vagina issues?
Because we're all supposed to shout from every rooftop how great the penis and everything associated with it it-the vagina, not so much. That double standard still exists, and is what I was trying to get to with this thread-not a constant back and forth over one person's view or "liberal" vs "conservative" . I know you know all this btw and that I am preaching to the choir and obviously that's why you made that statement-first and only male to do so in this thread that I can recall. That's basically why we have no penis monologues-unless you count the puppetry one, which is something different as I understand it. Once I watched a show about it in a hotel room (well that sounds a little "inappropriate"-it was a late night cable documentary on a non porn channel ), it was interesting to say the least... But the point is that men don't need a monologue about that, because there's no shaming involved in their sexuality. It is celebrated. Unless you want to say that making various shapes and things with your penis is freeing in some way from shame about it. I dunno. It all seemed strange to me, but it is still just a body part and all that.

Honestly I can't believe anyone would make the leap in logic from a 4 or whatever year old seeing the marquee to having to explain to them what the play is about. But I do feel when your daughter is a teenager it is appropriate and NECESSARY, because it's all part of healthy self esteem. That seems to be ignored by many people in this thread-and from what I understand is a major theme of the play. Thus the irony. I certainly hope it is realized how important that all is for girls-and like it or not it is tied in to body image and sexuality. I personally feel that any parent is doing a major disservice to a daughter if they don't realize that and act accordingly.

Vaginas aren't just about sex, in so many ways though it is all about accepting and loving and respecting ourselves and our bodies and our sexuality and that there is nothing inherently shameful about vaginas or any issue related to them. So as hard as I try to understand, I just can't understand having a problem with the word on a marquee from that point of view and from the others that I have pointed out. Doesn't mean I endorse the Britney style PDV, I just don't think that is ultimately empowering for women-especially someone in her situation. I don't want to see PDP either however. Not outraged by either, but still my personal preference.
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Old 02-13-2007, 11:17 PM   #197
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Nicely put.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:20 AM   #198
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How about a PICTURE of the vagina?

Today one of our teachers was wearing (NOT in the classroom, after school) a Vagina Monologues t-shirt with a stylized drawing (though not so stylized that it wasn't very obvious what it was) of a vagina on the back with a "The Vagina Monologues" slogan.

Of course I immediately thought of this thread and wondered what your thoughts might be.

If the word is okay, what about a picture?

For me, I draw the line at a picture (same as I would draw the line at having a picture of a penis on a t-shirt). I think genitalia should be covered in public places and while of course I'd make exception to certain tastefully done art exhibits and what not, in general putting a vagina on a t-shirt is perhaps a little much. I mean I didn't think it was the end of the world or anything, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it was perhaps a bit out of place.

After all, if we can put it on a t-shirt, what exactly is wrong with Britney's PDV?
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:17 AM   #199
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Well how appropriate that this is still going for vday

As for a picture, well I wouldn't freak out over it or anything since I still maintain that there is no shame about it-but as I said when I mentioned a picture before that's where my personal standards of modesty come in. There is certainly also beautiful artistry that is not offensive, like you said. Since that t-shirt was involved with the play, I really don't have an issue with it. If it was an actual photo of a vagina, well it's not something I care to look at or ever wear.

The difference between a picture and Britney's PDV for me is that, well-a picture isn't the real thing and not connected to a real person and/or reflective of them. My real problem with PDV and these Hollywood girls is that what is truly empowering and sexy is what is left to the imagination and not publicly revealed for all to see, and what is between your ears and not your legs. Not to say of course that they have no brain because they show all in public. But I want these girls to focus on their careers, their kids, their business ventures,whatever-that is where their real power is. If they think that PDV is ever going to truly empower them as young women, they are misguided in my personal opinion.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:56 AM   #200
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
How about a PICTURE of the vagina?

For me, I draw the line at a picture (same as I would draw the line at having a picture of a penis on a t-shirt).
I can't imagine a stylized drawing being offensive. In fact I'd venture to say that even if it was a picture from a biology book that most men wouldn't know what they are looking at.

What about all the phallic skyscrapers out there, are they any better than a stylized drawing?
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:04 PM   #201
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A Catholic nun writes about the Vagina Monologues. And what she says applies to more than just the views of Catholicism.

So if you have an issue with the word being in public on a marquee, I just don't see how you aren't perpetuating some of the very things she is talking about. Sorry, I just don't.

http://www.bustedhalo.com/features/R...Monologues.htm

"If the vagina’s pop culture debut came in the late 90s, it seems to me that its male sexual counterpart had center stage all to itself for quite a long while. Having grown up with several brothers I practically needed a penis dictionary to translate the endless double entendres that poured out of them at such a rapid rate. At first I remember being grossed out. But then I gradually began to realize that that was their way of processing that part of their reality. They could talk about it and joke about it just like anything else. There’s something very healthy about that.

I, however, was not afforded the same luxury. My girlfriends and I generally didn’t talk about what our vaginas felt like, what it felt like to have our period, etc. Perhaps because our experience is a lot more internal than external, hidden even on a physical level, it remained an issue that we kept to ourselves and didn’t discuss. And when we did try to talk about it we learned that it was just not appropriate for women to discuss the functions of their reproductive system. This tendency is extremely detrimental to girls and women because it leads to keeping anything connected with our vaginas a secret—sexual abuse being the best kept secret among them.

The Vagina Monologues instead celebrates the beauty of the vagina, in direct contrast to the message that women have often had to internalize— that it is dirty and not to be touched. For the first time, women have a public forum in which to process their experience in a mature way. So, I am left with the question: Why has The Vagina Monologues—which isn’t intended to be sexually arousing or gratuitously vulgar—been protested by a vocal minority of Catholics when it has been offered on Catholic campuses? I wonder if the fully-cassocked seminarians who often participate in these protests understand the pain that many women carry because their sexuality is often denigrated, abused, and defiled? Do they have any sense of the experiences of women that brought the Monologues into existence?"



Since that first show, the Monologues has been performed at hundreds of colleges and other venues. All proceeds from these performances go to local groups working to stop violence against women—the raison d’être of V-Day—as Ensler so eloquently explained in her introduction to the 2003 edition:

"Slowly, it dawned on me that nothing was more important than stopping violence toward women—that the desecration of women indicated the failure of human beings to honor and protect life and that this failing would, if we did not correct it, be the end of us all. I do not think I am being extreme. When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet. You force what is meant to be open, trusting, nurturing, creative, and alive to be bent, infertile, and broken. "
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:31 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


I can't imagine a stylized drawing being offensive.

Well, when I say it was stylized, I meant that it was in bright, non-natural colors, but the drawing itself seemed to be very detailed and anatomically correct. In any case, I wasn't saying I found it "offensive." Just perhaps a little too explicit for the back of a t-shirt. But again, I understood the context and what the people who made the t-shirt were trying to say, and the goal removing shame about the vagina and all that, so it wasn't like I was all mortified or anything. It just made me think is all.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:32 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Well how appropriate that this is still going for vday


The difference between a picture and Britney's PDV for me is that, well-a picture isn't the real thing and not connected to a real person and/or reflective of them. My real problem with PDV and these Hollywood girls is that what is truly empowering and sexy is what is left to the imagination and not publicly revealed for all to see, and what is between your ears and not your legs. Not to say of course that they have no brain because they show all in public. But I want these girls to focus on their careers, their kids, their business ventures,whatever-that is where their real power is. If they think that PDV is ever going to truly empower them as young women, they are misguided in my personal opinion.
Good point.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:02 AM   #204
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I realise most of us were hoping this thread had died off, but I saw this story just now and I wondered if this word would draw the same type of furor.

Quote:

SEATTLE - A newly opened store catering to very pampered dogs, especially female dogs, is getting more than questioning looks for its name, High Maintenance Bitch.

The third word in the sign is widely visible at North 45th Street and Wallingford Avenue North, one of the main intersections in the Wallingford neighborhood business west of Interstate 5 and north of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

"I am probably the most progressive liberal person in the world and I am personally offended by the sign," said Janet Stillman, executive director of the Wallingford Neighborhood Office. "It's so blatant and so in your face."

The sign is the issue more than products such as Gel-ous Bitch bath gel and Street Walker paw cleanser, said Kara Ceriello, co-president of the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce.

Ceriello said she supports the store but has heard complaints from about a dozen people.

"It is going to be a hot issue again when we get to our Wallingford Kiddie Parade and Street Fair," she said.

Stillman said the sign could wreck family photographs of the parade, scheduled for July 7.

"Walk by there with your 5-year-old and try to explain why that sign is there. Half of the sign is made up of the word 'bitch.'"

Making no apologies, co-founder Lori Pacchiano, 36, said she planned to meet with the chamber Thursday. Meanwhile, she and her brother, Ryan Pacchiano, 27, hope to made the business name as commonplace in shopping areas as Victoria's Secret.

Over the next three years they hope to open 10 stores at a cost of about $200,000 each.

"Our company is probably the most high-end pet brand in the world," Pacchiano said. "We want to be known for growing from Seattle."

In the process, she said, one of her goals is to reclaim the word in its original meaning, a female dog, as opposed to a derogatory term for a woman.

"Our store is a dog store, but the concept and philosophy is directed specifically toward women," she said.
link here
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:07 AM   #205
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This is a still fabulous and enlightening thread.

Sadly, I don't think that's it is 'okay' to talk about the penis in any real or meaningful way that's as enlightened as what V-day does.

The vernacular associated with the penis is still viciously negative. And I think that to use these words as insults is much more socially acceptable in liberal contexts than to use their feminizeed counterparts.
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:25 PM   #206
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V----a Monologues earns suspension

Cross River,New York—A high school has suspended three students who disobeyed officials by saying the word "vagina" during a reading from the feminist play The Vagina Monologues. The honour students, Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson,included the word during their reading Friday because "it wasn't crude and it wasn't inappropriate and it was very real and pure," Reback said.
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:59 PM   #207
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Suspended for naming a body part?! What would have happened if they'd said "arm"????


I sure hope there's more to the story.
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:26 PM   #208
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Oh my God, how ridiculous

Way to empower young women!

http://www.nbc5.com/education/111871...p=nationalnews

The excerpt from "Monologues" was read Friday night, among various readings at an event sponsored by the literary magazine at John Jay High School in Cross River, a New York City suburb. Among the other readings was a student's original work and the football coach quoting Shakespeare.

The girls took turns reading the excerpt until they came to the word, then said it together.

"My short skirt is a liberation flag in the women's army," they read. "I declare these streets, any streets, my vagina's country."

The suspension has prompted allegations of censorship. But Principal Richard Leprine said Tuesday that the girls were punished not because of what they said but because they disobeyed orders not to say it.

In a statement, Leprine said that because the event was open to the community, including children, the word "vagina" was not appropriate. He said the girls had been told when they auditioned that they could not use the word.

Reback said Tuesday that no one in the audience was younger than high school age. "What did we do that was so wrong?" she asked. "We were insubordinate, but the reason we were insubordinate was that we talked about our body."

The principal said that the school respects students' right to freedom of expression. "That right, however, is not unfettered.

"When a student is told by faculty members not to present specified material because of the composition of the audience and they agree to do so, it is expected that the commitment will be honored and the directive will be followed," Leprine said. "When a student chooses not to follow the directive, consequences follow."

Bob Lichtenfeld, superintendent of the Katonah-Lewisboro school district, which includes John Jay, said, "If the high school students wanted to put on a production of 'The Vagina Monologues,' they probably wouldn't have had any opposition. As long as the intended audience knows what to expect, we don't have a problem with it."

Ensler said the girls were right for "standing up for art and against censorship."


"The school's position is absurd, a throwback to the Dark Ages," she said. "So what, if children were to hear the word? Would that be terrible? We're not talking about plutonium here, or acid rain, a word that destroys lives. It's a body part!"

She said she called the girls to support them because "the school put them in an impossible position."
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:59 PM   #209
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http://www.nbc5.com/education/111871...p=nationalnews
He said the girls had been told when they auditioned that they could not use the word....

"When a student is told by faculty members not to present specified material because of the composition of the audience and they agree to do so, it is expected that the commitment will be honored and the directive will be followed," Leprine said. "When a student chooses not to follow the directive, consequences follow."

Bob Lichtenfeld, superintendent of the Katonah-Lewisboro school district, which includes John Jay, said, "If the high school students wanted to put on a production of 'The Vagina Monologues,' they probably wouldn't have had any opposition. As long as the intended audience knows what to expect, we don't have a problem with it."
I had a hunch there was more to the story. It's too bad the girls did it this way.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:11 PM   #210
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The irony is that any children in the audience have most likely heard words in school that are far more offensive (and I don't find the word vagina offensive at all). But they are really catering to the parents, not the kids. Parents who probably use swear words in front of their kids. Who is that perfect that they don't? My mother wouldn't say vagina, but she swore around me like a drunken sailor.

I admire what those girls did, sometimes you have to defy authority for a higher purpose. I know kids are supposed to be taught to obey authority, and I agree with that. But I still support what they did.
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