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Opening Arguments


This should be the most interesting juxtaposition you encounter this month. First up, a production of "The Vagina Monologue" is generating controversy and even a little fear in Kyrgyzstan:

Central Asia is not known as a region where women have tried to assert their rights.

[. . .]

 As cast member Aizhan Mamatbekova pointed out, the performance confronts taboos normally unspoken in the mainly Muslim societies of Central Asia. "It's important to talk about issues of violence, issues of abuse, especially in the context of Kyrgyzstan, and in the context of Central Asia," Mamatbekova told EurasiaNet.

"Not known as a region" for women's rights. What an elegant understatement.

Meanwhile, it's ho-hum time in Larence, Kan.:

Four School Committee members overruled Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy's decision not to allow performances of "The Vagina Monologues" at South Lawrence East School.

Laboy canceled the performance after a parent called complaining about the word "vagina" in the play's title.

When committee members learned about Laboy's move, they rallied in support of the production, said Samuel Reyes, who represents District D.

"There is no question the word 'vagina' is controversial, but we have to look at the overall picture," Reyes said. "It's raising money for a good cause, so I don't see any reason why we shouldn't have it."

I was dragged by a friend to see it when the play hit Fort Wayne, and it seemed to me (forgive me, ladies) mostly silly. The idea seems to be that shouting taboo words ("vagina" not being one of them) with "are you shocked yet?" giggliness somehow proves women are equal to men. But what comes off as self-indulgent and superficial here does seem brave in Central Asia.


tim zank
Wed, 04/15/2009 - 7:05am

The title isn't so much "offensive" as it is "tacky". It's all the rage to use "taboo" or "shocking" descriptions and titles when the message or story is about a perceived minority or group of aggrieved citizens.

I've always been perplexed by people/groups that believe it actually furthers their cause to shock and insult the majority of their fellow citizens when in fact it drives people away from their cause.

Suddenly I'm feeling aggrieved, maybe it's time to produce "The Penis Chronicles".

Michael B-P
Wed, 04/15/2009 - 12:59pm

Why stop there? Team up with a gay producer and we can pay to suffer through a double-featured presentation of Oracles from the Other Orifice.

tim zank
Wed, 04/15/2009 - 2:11pm

Michael BP...Now that's good!