By Evan Amereihn,
Domestic News Writer
Have you heard of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler? Have you ever read an article by a white, cisgender man advocating for The Vagina Monologues to be performed on a Catholic campus? I thought you hadn’t. When I took on the role of president in my organization, Gender Equality Now (GEN), the duties associated with it were inherently different than if I were the member of the group of people I must work hardest to advocate for.
As I have said in the past, my job is to provide a platform of expression, a microphone for voices that are unheard by people who look like me. I want to broaden the audience we address in our discussions because the movement I support, the understanding of gender and promotion of gender equality, needs the support of everyone.
I have been blessed by simple luck with a non-controversial label because of my skin tone and sexual orientation, but that doesn’t mean I am blind to the dangers others face simply because they were born as they were, though different, as unique and wondrous individuals.
That is my job as the president of GEN. It is to bring people like myself into this discussion, to share with them the passion I have when I see human beings treated differently for things that should be celebrated and not punished.
My organization planned to host a reading of excerpts from The Vagina Monologues on the 23rd of February. However, we were informed on the 17th it was not in line with the University mission and was thus canceled immediately. On February 17th of last year, we hosted a reading of this play in the basement of Boland. The only difference from last year and this year, is that our organization wanted this event to be in the University Center. Having read this play, I fail to see where the content diverges from the mission of Seton Hall.
It is a piece shedding light on the feminine experience as portrayed by society, experienced by women in the first world, and women in countries not so liberal as our own. It talks about the beauties of childbirth, the horrors of Bosnia and Kosovo, and it brings a discussion forward that was important when it was first written in 1996 and is still very important now.
Eve Ensler does an amazing job empowering young women and showing young men such as myself the truths that women are forced to face in our society and around the world. I truly hope that everyone on this campus agrees with me when I say that I want all people to be treated equally.
I am not, however, so naive as to think that is the case in our world. Twenty years ago, this play brought to light problems of society and twenty years later those problems still exist. This discussion is not over yet and is important to have not only because it empowers women but because it challenges men’s understanding of the feminine.
As the brother of a young woman who will be going to college next year, I implore Seton Hall to allow for The Vagina Monologues to be read on our campus and to give women a voice. Hazard Zet Forward.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 26th print edition.
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