Friday, February 8, 2008

Another Round for Those V Things

We're at that time of year again, the vagina monologues come to town. The Cardinal Newman Society has released again its list of Catholic Universities allowing the monlogues to be produced on their campuses. Of course they don't distinguish between whether they are club sponsored or school sponsored, that is not within their interests. The list:

Bellarmine University
College of the Holy Cross
College of Mount Saint Vincent
College of Saint Rose
DePaul University
Dominican University of California
Fordham University
Georgetown University
John Carroll University
Le Moyne College
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University New Orleans
Marygrove College
Regis College
Saint Louis University
Saint Mary’s College of California
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Notre Dame
University of San Francisco

Includes of course many Jesuit schools. What is to be said of this? I attended last year at my school in order to get a perspective on the controversial production. I was not impressed. I thought it was generally a bad piece of art, and presentation never being neutral, I thought it clearly advocated a position in regards to what was presented. However, a man I deeply respect, Fr. Spitzer, SJ, president of Gonzaga, purportedly flew to New York to see them performed when they initially came out and returned to Gonzaga to say that he didn't like them but didn't find anything in them to go against official Catholic Church teaching, and a university being what it is, a forum for intellectual growth and the exchange of ideas, that it would not be banned from Gonzaga. If he means that as far as teaching content goes, seeing as they don't per se have any teaching content, but only stories, then of course I think he is right. My only qualifier I think would be to encourage campuses that allowed the Monologues to frame them within a larger discussion of Catholic sexual ethics. I think there are good ways that Catholic universities could take advantage of this as a tool for dialogue and pedagogy rather than reacting in the way they have. I remember being impressed by about 6 out of the the 12, 13(?) or so stories, and thinking that those could be great springboards for conversation, particularly the one which dealt with the Look of Shame and the Look of Love. Very Wojtylian.

Markel, SJ

4 comments:

Cara said...

Check out the blog for Notre Dame's Catholic student paper. They were the first ones to report on the story before it was picked up by Catholic News Agency.

irishwatchdog.blogspot.com

Howard said...

This piece of "literature" is not worth the paper it is written on. I would hope a Catholic college would have more respect for women than having a prostitute moan for several minutes and a child get molested by a lesbian.

Wild and Crazy Guys said...

i agree Howard... in regards to the ones that you are referencing. I think some of them are very profound though, and are stories that deserve recognition, specifically the one about the Native American woman. I would love to "purify" it as a performance, but the next best thing is not to ban it but to place it within a healthy discussion of Catholic sexual ethics and feminist ethics.

James H said...

Are yall based in Lousiana by chance?