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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, March 09, 2006

No Bajingo talk at Marquette

If we don't talk about women's sexuality, then we can keeep pretending that it doesn't exist, right? I'm not sure if that's exactly the rationale behind Marquette University's decision not to allow a student group to produce The Vagina Monologues, but it certainly gives the impression of head-in-the-sandism. This is especially true once you start looking at the shifting official statements:
Father Andy Thon, the vice president of student affairs [. . .] said he did not prohibit "The Vagina Monologues" because of concerns that it wasn't Catholic. Instead, he told a student group in February that it could not perform the play because the short time frame raised questions about the production's quality. He said there were better ways to address issues of violence that were not "distractive," according to a statement given to the group. [. . .]

President Father Robert Wild's office, however, has offered a more definite answer [. . .]. "Our Division of Student Affairs recently denied approval to a student who wanted to stage a reading of the play, and, as has been the case here, is not prepared to give anyone approval to do so in the future," Frieder said in a letter.
There's not enough time, they said. It's distracting, they said. (Yeah, sexual abuse often is.) Then they said, talk of the v-word will never be welcome. Good luck being a woman at Marquette.

Several times this week I've looked at a calendar--it's 2006!--and had to shake my head. Marquette is telling women that they (or at least mention of their hoohas) are not welcome there, and South Dakota has passed a most draconian anti-woman law. These are both moves along the same continuum, a continuum comprising people determined to deny women their autonomy, their humanity.

For more on this general topic, I recommend, as I often do, Barbara O'Brien.

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