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Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 30, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2010

Kathryn D. Blanchard
Pages 99-122

Who's Afraid of "The Vagina Monologues?"
Christian Responses and Responsibility to Women on Campus and in the Global Community

EVE ENSLER'S CONTROVERSIAL PLAY, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, HAS INcited both passionate support and harsh protest. Among its most vehement critics are those lobbying to ban performances at all Catholic colleges and universities. Most critics argue that the text challenges traditional Christian norms of heterosexual marriage. While not incorrect, I argue that visceral reactions against the word "vagina," together with fears about the liturgical and evangelical qualities of Ensler's play and the V-Day organization, may factor even more heavily in people's condemnations. I encourage readers to see the movement not as an attack on Christianity but as an attempt to meet needs that orthodox traditions have heretofore left unmet, and a call to acknowledge the disastrous effects for women and girls that arise from inappropriate silence and undue delicacy surrounding matters of female sexuality.

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