CTV.ca is reporting that three high school girl have been suspended, not for fighting, not for vulgar use of language, not for being disruptive but for saying the word Vagina! At first you might be thinking “this is ridiculous, it is a harmless word” but the plot thickens when you take in to account that it was during a performance of the Vagina Monologues.
The three high school honor students – Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson, have been suspended not because the word was crude, but because they were told in advance not to use it. The portion of the monologues was being put off by John Jay High School in Cross River, NY as part of an event featuring Shakespeare readings and original work by other students. The event was open to the community but Reback indicates in the article that everyone in the audience was at the high school level and older.
While the students we suspended for using the word against prior direction from the administration, it is the reason they were told not to use it that bothers me. The principal stated the word was not appropriate for this particular event. Well I would like to know when is it ever inappropriate to use the proper terminology for a part of a woman’s body. In this case of student disobedience I feel the students were fully justified in using vagina in their selected portion of the Vagina Monologues. I do not believe any damage could be done to anyone in the audience by hearing the word vagina. According to the outrage from parents and Eve Ensler herself, the girls have some good support for their choice.
For those of you who do not know, the Vagina Monologues were written by Eve Ensler and have been performed by students and stars alike. They are a series of monologues about woman’s sexuality and thought on sexual subjects. Some times dubbed as a feminist work it is both feminist and non-feminist. It is feminist in the essence that it is a collection of stories about women, performed by women. But it is for everyone!
Congratulations to Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson for standing by their convictions!
NB: If you have not seen the Vagina Monologues I do recommend you do. It is both entertaining and informative. If you are a man and you care about the woman in your life take her with you. It is an excellent show.