May 4, 2005
Anti-penis action at Roger Williams University
Valentine's Day on campus has become, in recent years, an aggressive celebration of the vagina. "V-Day," as it has come to be known, features a staging of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues as well as a series of alternately silly and confrontational satellite events designed to raise awareness--or hackles, depending on your point of view. Writing for The National Review, Christina Hoff Sommers reports that at Roger Williams this year, V-Day took on an interesting twist. As student feminist groups papered the campus with flyers declaring such sentiments as "My Vagina is Flirty" and "My Vagina is Huggable," sold vagina-shaped lollipops, and organized an "orgasm workshop," the College Republicans staged a competing celebration of the penis. Penis Day, or "P-Day," featured a performance of The Penis Monologues; flyers declaring that "My penis is majestic," "My penis is hilarious," and "My penis is studious"; and a costumed phallic-shaped mascot named Testaclese. P-Day did not go over well at Roger Williams--two students involved in staging The Penis Monologues have been places on probation, and the Testaclese costume was confiscated after Testaclese approached a provost in the student union and congratulated him for being a "Penis Warrior." A Free Testaclese Fund is now in the works.
All this is, of course, good news. The Roger Williams administration has willingly acted out its assigned role in the script created for it by the College Republicans, who are far less interested in promoting penile awareness than they are in forcing the administration to reveal the politicized double standards that govern who has free expression on campus and who does not. In protecting the graphic speech of campus vagina enthusiasts while suppressing and punishing that of the parodic penis enthusiasts, the Roger Williams administration has--to use a phrase that acquires a distinctly sordid connotation in this context--played right into the College Republicans' hands.
Thanks to Fred Ray for the link.
The Vagina Monologues just keeps popping up (forgive the pun). Apparently some high school girls wanted to wear pins celebrating their vaginas--how's a public school supposed to deal with that? Over on my blog I suggest that it might be sexual harassment.
The urge to censor seems to be breaking out all over in education this spring. I've blogged on censored Vagina buttons, Testaclese, suppressed pro-lifers, and a number of other folks out to protect students from having to think critically about serious issues.
Why is it that those who administrate seem to know the least about life in a free society?
Oh, and as an aside, don't you love the fact that the provost didn't know the difference between a penis and a mushroom?
Good point, Erin. And the lawsuit is virtually won already. The wonderful thing about leftists, be they administrative or bottomdwellers (ahem) is that they aren't exactly unpredictable.
Still, I'm glad I didn't have to be there for reproductive organ week - I'm just not 12 anymore.
As leaders at a institute of higher learning, the administration is awful stupid.
One of the issues here that seems to be getting lost in the fray (although I heartily agree with the first amendment and fairness aspects) is that it appears quite obvious that the REAL issue as to why the college administration came down hard has nothing to do with their intent to employ a double standard, but rather a simple response to having their provost embarassing them and wanting to control such humiliations. If the provost had just politely ignored it all and handled the situation with better judgement and savvy, do you REALLY think the issue would be where it is now? I sure don't.