The Therapy Sessions
Monday, May 09, 2005
The Penis Monologues
College administrators have been enthusiastic supporters Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues and schools across the nation celebrate “V-Day” (short for Vagina Day) every year. But when the College Republicans at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island rained on the celebrations of V-Day by inaugurating Penis Day and staging a satire called The Penis Monologues, the official reaction was horror. Two participating students, Monique Stuart and Andy Mainiero, have just received sharp letters of reprimand and have been placed on probation by the Office of Judicial Affairs. The costume of the P-Day “mascot” — a friendly looking “penis” named Testaclese, has been confiscated and is under lock and key in the office of the assistant dean of student affairs, John King.
The P-Day satirists are the first to admit that their initiative is tasteless and crude. But they rightly point out that V-Day is far more extreme. They are shocked that the administration has come down hard on their good-natured spoof, when all along it has been completely accommodating to the in-your-face vulgarity of the vagina activists.
V-Day has now replaced Valentine’s Day on more than 500 college campuses (including Catholic ones). The high point of the day is a performance of Ensler’s raunchy play, which consists of various women talking in graphic, and I mean graphic, terms about their intimate anatomy. The play is poisonously anti-male. Its only romantic scene, if you can call it that, takes place when a 24-year-old woman seduces a young girl (in the original version she was 13 years old, but in a more recent version is played as a 16-year-old.) The woman invites the girl into her car, takes her to her house, plies her with vodka, and seduces her. What might seem like a scene from a public-service kidnapping-prevention video shown to schoolchildren becomes, in Ensler’s play “a kind of heaven.”
The week before V-Day, the Roger Williams campus was plastered with flyers emblazoned with slogans such as “My Vagina is Flirty” and “My Vagina is Huggable.” There was a widely publicized “orgasm workshop.” On the day of the play, the V-warriors sold lollipops in the in the shape of–-guess what? Last year, the student union was flooded with questionnaires asking unsuspecting students questions like “What does your Vagina smell like?” None of this offended the administration or elicited any reprimands, probations, or confiscations.
The campus conservatives artfully (in the college sense of "artful") mimicked the V-Day campaign. They papered the school with flyers that said, “My penis is majestic” and “My penis is hilarious.” The caption on one handout read, “My Penis is studious.” It showed Testaclese reclining on a couch reading Michael Barone’s Hard America, Soft America. (nice touch. -JR)
“Testaclese” tipped the scales when he approached the university Provost, Edward J. Kavanagh, outside the student union. Apparently taking him/it for a giant mushroom, Provost Kavanagh cheerfully greeted him. But when Testaclese presented him with an honorary award as a campus “Penis Warrior,” the stunned official realized that it was no mushroom. After this incident, which was recorded on videotape, the promoters of P-Day were ordered to cease circulating their flyers and to keep Testaclese off campus grounds. Mindful of how school officers had never once protested any of the antics of Vagina warriors, the P-warriors did not comply. The Testaclese costume was then confiscated and formal charges followed.
Those crazy kids. Reminds me of my college days.
Once upon a time, I went to a very liberal college. Once, you see, I was a liberal (it's true!). Some friends and I started a underground paper parodying the campus administration and other institutions of the campus.
At this time, the weirdly-named "Womyn's Center" went on one of its strange crusades, a celebration of menstruation.
The weirdest aspect of this strange thing was a column in the school newspaper, written by one of the feminist radicals. She perceptively pointed out that menstruation was a uniquely feminine thing (well yeah...), that blood was a symbol of female independence or something and that the whole process should be glorified and public.
OK. Got it.
Yes, Men have nothing unique that they can do.
Oh but wait! Yes we do! We can pee standing up! We should be glorifying it! Not doing it behind restroom doors!
Aren't rules against outdoor pissing really techniques to supress obvious male dominance in this area?
If we weren't restrained by the chains of matriarchy, we'd be winning every distance pissing competition on campus!
And even "hands free!"
But Nurse Wratched doesn't think puddles of pee are all that sanitary! So we are forced to keep this skill private.
I penned a column that asked that question in our little newspaper. The feminists were furious with me. It was my first taste of the humorlessness of zealotry, but it would not be the last.
Go Testaclese! You are making an important point.