Well, it’s that time of the year again, as evidenced by young women advertising genitalia-themed theatre and one very pitiful-looking male student wearing a vagina costume on locust walk. Contrary to popular belief, this display does not in fact serve to foretell six more weeks of cramps and hormones. For those of you who weren’t forced to attend The Vagina Monologues in a thinly-veiled instance of fraternity hazing, let this be your guide to the peculiar feminist occasion we all have to pretend is part of normal life once a year.
According to third wave feminism, nothing says women’s empowerment like reducing women down to their sex organs. That’s why the V-Day UPenn campaign feels it necessary to perform such works of borderline-Shakespearean intellect as “My Angry Vagina,” “Reclaiming Cunt,” and “The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could.” As one performer put it, “Society sexualizes and belittles women from an early age. We want to let girls know that they can grow up to be doctors and engineers and CEOs, by putting on a play that sexualizes and belittles women.”
Never shying away from controversy, the play delves into glorifying statutory rape and re-enacting a “triple orgasm,” which audience members described as straddling the line between climax and exorcism. One performer described, “We’re sticking it to the patriarchy by getting on stage and talking about our vaginas while pretending to have orgasms with each other.” The patriarchy could not be reached for comment, as it was too busy purchasing front row seats.
Now, some of you may be wondering, “Isn’t this unquestioning glorification of any and all female sexuality conducive to a society where creepy, powerful men like Harvey Weinstein and Steve Wynn can take advantage of women, while the very people who are supposed to be calling out bad behavior are too busy celebrating ‘empowered’ women, who aren’t really empowered at all but instead miserable and abused but afraid to step forward?” And that may or may not be true, but when else do we get to see a giant pussy on locust walk dressed as female genitals?
In any case, The Vagina Monologues are over now. All we can do is sit back and wait for The Penis Soliloquies, a collection of sorrowful vignettes about men who are in the doghouse because their girlfriends caught them making fun of The Vagina Monologues. You can find these men around this time next year on locust walk, sporting a vagina costume.