Wednesday Journal readers may have missed an important social occasion in the village in March. I’m not talking about the Ridgeland Common Ice Show or the La Leche League meeting at the Buzz Café. No, the high point of the past month’s social calendar was Vagina Day.
V-Day was hosted by an Oak Park and River Forest High School club, the Students for Peace and Justice. Despite my best efforts, it has been a bit difficult to uncover any official information on the event, but it appears that it was held at Pilgrim Congregational Church on March 14 and was intended to raise awareness of violence against women and children and to support Sarah’s Inn, a very worthy organization that provides various services to the victims of domestic violence. The event featured a band concert, a condom giveaway and included the distribution of chocolates shaped like a … well, like a vagina. Students tell me posters promoting this event were all over the high school.
The V-Day official website indicates this local event is part of a national movement that advocates joining Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues in the crusade to end worldwide domestic violence. How, you may ask, does passing out condoms and giving out crude candy ease the plight of the victims of domestic violence? How indeed? How does a play where women verbalize feelings about their genital proclivities and activities foster respect for women? It doesn’t. Frankly, it is part of the problem.
A major goal of modern American feminism involves making young women sexually available to irresponsible men. The feminist establishment insists that we educate our daughters to feel comfortable about their sexuality, years before prudence dictates they should be sexually active. We outfit them with pills and condoms, and warnings to practice safer sex. Predictably, the results have been disastrous. Since the early 1970s, millions of abortions have been performed on teenagers, and 1 in 4 teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease. Although declining in recent years, the United States teen birth rate is still the highest in the industrialized world. One need only turn on the television to realize that the sexual objectification of women contributes to this misery.
The V-Day website presents Ensler’s play as somehow liberating because “it gives voice to experiences and feelings not previously exposed in public, and reflects how shame and self-deprecating thoughts of women’s bodies has kept women separate from power and pleasure.”
Wow, that’s enlightening! For years I have been under the impression that women need to further their educations, seek better opportunities for workplace advancement, and redefine their roles in the home. Apparently a shortcut to this liberation is having a conversation about our crotches, and carving them in chocolate, which will also somehow contribute to ending violence against women. Huh?
Domestic violence frequently includes sexual violence against women and children. Common sense tells us that defining women by their genitals and encouraging young women to remain trapped in the pelvic zone will foster, not end, domestic violence. Women will become safer only when they insist upon respect for their accomplishments, and recognition of their human dignity.
Ending violence directed against women and children is a cause worthy of the efforts of OPRF’s Students for Peace and Justice, and I encourage them to consider more dignified ways to continue this initiative. Club moderators at OPRF must accept their responsibility to moderate the enthusiastic intentions that sometimes overwhelm the good judgment of our young people as they try to make the world a better place. Sarah’s Inn does remarkable work on behalf of victims and deserves widespread community support. Allow me to suggest that next time they pass out chocolate, they shape it like a book, or perhaps a brain, to remind supporters about the important contributions women have made, and will continue to make, if they remain safe from fear and violence.
The website claims that, “The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.” Actually, it stands for Vulgar.