This is the sort of small-minded bigotry that can ruin a good quarter of my day. There I was, exercising in my gym this morning, minding my own business, when I see a CNN segment on the latest idiocy started by someone who was “offended” by something she saw and had to start a revolution as a consequence.
The report says that a woman driving by the Atlantic Theater, somewhere in Florida, saw the marquis announcing the play “The Vagina Monologues” and got so upset that she called the manager of the establishment and ask him to take the offensive word off public view. When asked why she was so upset about it, the pious idiot said that she was driving with her niece, and was embarrassed when the girl asked her “what's a vagina?” The management of the theater, of course, immediately obliged and changed the title of the play (presumably without asking the author or the company performing it) to the witless “The Hoohaa Monologues.”
Now, first of all, I'm offended by the word “Hoohaa,” and moreover my religion (which you cannot question, because it's a matter of faith) requires the word “VAGINA” to be written in public as often and in as big characters as possible (together, of course, with the word PENIS, because my religion is gender neutral). Naturally, I expect the management of the frickin' Atlantic Theater to oblige me immediately.
Second, you lady whose niece doesn't know what a vagina is: what on earth are you thinking? You, madam, should be ashamed at suggesting that a child isn't supposed to know the correct names of her body parts, such nonsense is truly offensive to the rest of society.
Third, little niece of the silly aunt, here is what a vagina is: according to the Webster Dictionary, the word comes from Latin, meaning “sheath.” It is “a canal in a female mammal that leads from the uterus to the external orifice of the genital canal.” The good news is that since you are a mammal, you got one too!
OK, I feel a little better now, I can go back to my workout.
About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The VAGINA Monologues, Florida-style
Posted by Unknown at 12:04 PM
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"What is a vagina?"ReplyDelete
There went by an excellent opportunity to have a discussion and educate.
woosh - The sound of opportunity going right over her head.
See the theater's comment at:ReplyDelete
< quote from web site >
"It is not the intention of the Atlantic Theatres to offend anybody by hosting this event and we formally apologize to anyone that was upset when we advertised this on our marquee during the first week of February. We have since made changes to reflect the sensitive nature of this show's title.
If the new title on the marquee is still appalling, please call with suggestions."
< end quote >
More deck chair rearranging as the ship sinks... sigh
Far better for the aunt to explain what a vagina is than for a stranger to ask the little girl if he can see her vagina.ReplyDelete
I think the theatre manager dropped his spine somewhere. How many people didn't complain about the sign? Sounds like the tyranny of the minority. One dumb-ass complains and the world is turned upside down.
Is this "auntie" vieing to become Bush's next Attorney General.ReplyDelete
The woman was probably lying about her niece, anyway. What kind of girl doesn't know the word "vagina", but understands the word "monologue"?ReplyDelete
Great. One person is "offended" and they change the name of a play. I hope she drove past with her neice and got asked "What's a hoohaa?"ReplyDelete
Maybe someone will drive by the Whitehouse have to explain what a Bush is.ReplyDelete
Ridger: A hoohaa is what you use to make whoopee.ReplyDelete
the last time a post made me just say "wow..." was when the Grand Canyon Park Service was agnostic on the age of the canyon.
If this lady was so offended with proper anotomical names, then maybe she would prefer a more colloquial term "The Pussy Monologues" or "The......"?ReplyDelete
But now on second thought, maybe seriously people are more comfortable with those. I don't have a daughter, but with my son we use the term "pee-pee", and we must, or we would have a mess in the bathroom. Penis is so clinical!
This would be funny... if it wasn't tragic. Well, in a country where many people publicly glorify ignorance and refuse education, that's not too surprising. I guess the bright ones must be REALLY good to make up for all these, that's what I always say.ReplyDelete
Last night on the Colbert Report, another "funny" moment. This black lady who wrote "The end of blackness" saying that Barak Obama (spell?) is actually not really black... (seems like it's a trend now) Because he is not descended from slaves, he shouldn't be called black or African-American, he didn't live the "black experience" (whatever the %&*%$@! that is). She seemed to call him african-african-american sometimes. Whatever.
AND there's been people offended by a chocolate commercial that aired during the Super Bowl (the only "football" game I watch during the year), showing two guys accidentally touching lips and then "doing something manly"... (said something wasn't the best choice for the task, probably).
Sometimes I fear for humanity's viability. Sigh...
Didn't anybody call CNN to complain about those lustful words the speaker said?ReplyDelete
Ummm, yeah. The "something manly" in one version is beating each other up. Really funny, for those who've been attacked for actually being gay. Difference in degree if not actually in kind, don't you think?ReplyDelete
And if she tells her niece that a hoohaa is what you make whoopee with, does the kid say, "What's whoopee?" or "Can we make some?"
People do not stop to amaze me, especially the majority that lives in under the American Way Of Life, myself included. That the complain carried through only shows that we have not moved forward, but indeed we are going backwards in evolution of the mind, and education in general has failed to the feet of the glam and glorious gratuitiousness of the pretty and upright. I can't believe that incident got so much publicity, but anyways, the air waves gotta be filled with something so reporters could justify their salaries, no?ReplyDelete
"Second, you lady whose niece doesn't know what a vagina is: what on earth are you thinking? You, madam, should be ashamed at suggesting that a child isn't supposed to know the correct names of her body parts, such nonsense is truly offensive to the rest of society."ReplyDelete
She should NOT be ashamed. How close-minded can you conceivably be!? Every man on earth who ever "thought" or saw Anna Nicole in a less than dignified position, should now be "ashamed". That is what the word "ashamed" is for, Massimo, just in case you didn't know.
If that is what we do to our little girls in this culture, aunts, mothers and fathers have EVERY RIGHT to protect their little girls from any possible influence in society that may cause them to let their guard down.
A possible publicity stunt? If not, it certainly made more news than plastering the city with theatre bills.ReplyDelete
Well, they've already fixed the marquee and they anticipate that the whole thing will probably increase the box office take. So, another molehill with delusions of grandeur bites the dust.ReplyDelete
Until the next self-important half-wit decides that the world doesn't spin in the right direction.
Sure, Cal, men are all dirty predators who never behave decently towards women without constant reminders of the threat of perdition, right...?ReplyDelete
Has Massimo ever said "black" without cal's coming back with "white"?ReplyDelete
nope, no to my knowledge. But wait, black IS white if the Bible says so, right?
...and up is down, yes?ReplyDelete
And love is war, and truth is lies, and we have always been at war with Eurasia...
Cal, How old were you when you finally found out that your hoohaa was really your vagina? And did you suffer years of mental anguish due to that horrific revelation?ReplyDelete
i know this is off topic but have you seen this: http://webcast.ucsd.edu:8080/ramgen/UCSD_TV/6434FroKnoSciHum.rm ???
now i understand what you said about "Consilience".
At some point we must all try to remember that there are REAL PROBLEMS of the trafficking of children and women in the world, and I doubt your mocking is going to solve those truly serious issues.
You may already know that the Scandies have somewhat of an open culture. And we could suppose that would be a great idea if everyone were relatively trustworthy. But is everyone trustworthy? By no means. I mean, if I had a dime for every stupid thing that a man said to me...So I don't really care what anyone says. Little girls are just not particularly safe in this world's society. And often, neither are little boys.
It's obviously rather pathetic that children have HAD TO began to be street smart enough to learn to get away from their captors as soon as possible, as one little girl who was abducted in OK. a few weeks ago and had freed herself by kicking her way out of the truck of a car in Clovis NM.
And please do remember that these are the generation of children who decide not only if us 20, 30, 40 somethings get to have health care or Medicaid, but if, instead, maybe we just will get to "pass" on all that and go straight to "home".
I wouldn't blame em, you know. If we don't protect our kids with a virulence now, we cannot expect soft heartedness in the future when we may depend on them.
Now you said something about my being maladjusted...? That's a misconception on you behalf. It is the rest of the world, not I.
Cal, what on earth has human trafficking got to do with the names of body parts?! If usign the word "vagina" can summon kidnappers, does usign the word "anus" summon Republicans...?!ReplyDelete
Cal wrote, "It is the rest of the world, not I."ReplyDelete
That's right, Cal. You're the only one marching in step.
"what on earth has human trafficking got to do with the names of body parts?!"ReplyDelete
A Basic and sincere respect for the human body. Do you know why that is important? The "concern" over being able to use such and such word in public, might be worth mentioning if there was a ligit love for children here. I know, instead, that some people just want to do what they want to do. And that's all there is to it.
Come think of it, there is another trend that I don't think is particularly wise. Shows like CSI, etc, exhibit a very bad concept of what should or should not be shown of the human body after death.
An acquaintance, a somewhat well known forensic anthropologist in Canada happens to agree with me. I am not alone on this one.
Some people are trained, educated and equipped to deal with the macabre. The idea of splashing all the possibilities of what happens after people die all over the tube is like the most ill thought thing I think I have ever seen.
Obviously I don't watch em.
So that is another way our culture attempts to disrespect the human body.
"You're the only one marching in step.ReplyDelete
And that's just fine.
Being alone on particular matters certainly subjugates one to certain hardships, but it is better than the alternative.
My mother was kind of an anti-cultural thinking person (and sometimes a bit anti-men too). I guess I totally respected the way she really loved people so much but always told them the truth.
It is a rather difficult paradox to grasp, but some people really are able to convey that attitude.
Maybe I don't.
Cal, I'm at a loss to understand your reasoning. What you seem to be saying is that girls are safer from molestation if the real nomenclature for their body parts is kept a big dark secret from them. The connection is very murky.ReplyDelete
Reason tells me that the more we know and understand about a problem the better equipped we are to overcome it. Hiding your head under a basket (paraphrasing your bible) does not equate with knowledge for facing life's problems. Seems to me that it would only make one more vulnerable.
I hope you enjoy being the only one of some 6 billion folks on earth to know the score. It must be lonely at the top.
I totally agree that kids are marks for predators. I also know that some of the worst predators are "men of God". And it also seems to be that almost most predators are heterosexuals. You never here of a gay guy hitting on little kids.
As for myself I like big grownup girls, otherwise known as women. In fact any lady under forty looks like a child anymore. Life's tough!
Particular contexts and venues for certain ideas are always more than appropriate. We have no problem whatsoever understanding why categories matter especially in science, why is this not so in the case of human sexuality? That is, respect for the human body cannot possibly be established by blabbing everything one possibly could say or know to anyone one of any age.
That's just stupid.
Similarly, we don't reveal all the secrets of like, lets say, nuclear power to kids at 4, 6, or 8 years old, tho they might have seen evidence of some of the things that allude to the fact that nuclear power does exist. Only when these younger ones have the power and sense to began to place these ideas in some sort of well reasoned context do we share difficult and potentially harmful or disturbing information. In the meantime, we simply protect them.
and speaking of which,
As for your comment about people who happen to be gay never hitting on kids, guess you did not hear about the man who was captured with two boys he had abducted (one recently)?
" In fact any lady under forty looks like a child anymore. Life's tough!"ReplyDelete
I suppose. I have no idea how men think, but only enough of an indication to not want much further information. :) You're all a like puzzle to me.
A guy I ran into walking out the door at "Sams" tried to walk with me through the parking lot earlier this last fall. happened to be wearing shorts, which I don't do all that often. (probably never will again) He began to talk on about my legs. And I, in turn, began to be rather concerned about his sanity when he choose to further share about a woman who had thought her legs were too long and so had surgery to have some of the bone in her (thigh?) removed. Etc, etc. And he was kind of graphic about it too. And I am like thinking to myself: what is it exactly you are trying to tell me? My legs are too long? You think they should be shortened!!!? WHAT? WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS? Don't you know that I also have a Brain!!!!"
Of course, at that moment it failed me how on earth I should use it...
Probably TMI for you, Dennis. But that's what it is like to be female sometimes. Not necessarily fun.
So what this comes down to is Cal projecting her own paranoia onto everyone else in the world. Being the only one marchingg in step is fine? That's either the zenith or the nadir of arrogance, because it lies on an unfounded assumption that the rest of us, who value education over embarrassment, are just plain wrong.ReplyDelete
I said, "women under forty..." and you replied, seemingly trying to read something sinister or perverted into that! Cal, I am nearly 69 years old and I meant exactly what I said, women under 40 look like children anymore. Nothing more - nothing less! Maybe I should have said people under forty, in general, look young, taking the chance that you might suggest that I was not only a pervert but an AC/DC pervert at that. I'm getting long of tooth! The only woman I ever dated that was younger than me is my one and only wife of 40 years. Up until then I somehow always managed to end up with women who were my age, or more often older than me. Your intimation (I have no idea how men think, but only enough of an indication to not want much further information)that I go around looking for young girls to fantacize (or worse) about is a bit more than offensive.ReplyDelete
Life must be a continuous hell for you, thinking that every man who glances at you is on the make or wanting to attack or molest you.
I guess you should probably retire to your home, lock the doors, read your bible and pray to the god of your choice to keep you from the clutches of all the males who lust after you.
If using the word "vagina" can summon kidnappers, does usign the word "anus" summon Republicans...?!
My lesbian neighbours overheard me laughing at this comment from my second floor study room.
The discussion ensuing concluded that our general experience is that 'anus,' or more specifically 'asshole,' not only summons Republicans but conservatives in general... every single time.
"I said, "women under forty..." and you replied, seemingly trying to read something sinister or perverted into that!"ReplyDelete
No, no, no. I was talking about other people. I thought you would be able to understand that. I don't really know anything about you. I do end to think some men think women do not have a brain. But I have not gotten that impression from you.
It was just an honest reply about one reason I wonder sometimes if kids could possibly be safe in this world. Actually I am not extremely concerned for my own safety. Unless another person had a weapon, I feel like I could likely defend myself. As a matter of fact, I have had to a few times. But when you see certain troubling things, one should draw rational conclusions about what you see. Ya know.
Ignoring the fact that some people want to hurt other people would just be unrealistic.
Btw, I don't think that particular person "liked me". I think he had issues, and any girl or woman with legs exposed would have done just as well. make sense?
I know men don't like to be called pervs. But really, some are. And WE would appreciate being protected, not treated like idiots.
I don't know how the reporter on CNN kept a straight face. I didn't when I read this.ReplyDelete
I have never quite understood why a given word is taboo but its synonym or a euphemism is ok. If they all mean the same thing, why is there a difference?ReplyDelete
Little kids know arms, legs, hands, feet, nose, mouth, tongue, elbow, heart, stomach, intestines... why shouldn't they know anus, scrotum, penis or vagina? Why are those words secret and/or damaging?
Eat well, stay fit, Die Anyway.
DA: "I have never quite understood why a given word is taboo but its synonym or a euphemism is ok. If they all mean the same thing, why is there a difference?"ReplyDelete
A lot of people use euphemisms for God (the one and only, the monotheistic type) but not so for other sorts of polytheistic religions. Interesting why we can't or will not approach some subjects directly.
Assumption here is that most "mature" people understand that one either respect or deny respect (or power) to certain characteristics of the body or a deity, thus the euphemisms.
Cal wrote, "A lot of people use euphemisms for God (the one and only, the monotheistic type) but not so for other sorts of polytheistic religions."ReplyDelete
Mars: God of War, He who Precedes the Army in Battle, the Avenger, King of the World, King of Combat, Supreme One...
hwirfxotLeave it to Cal to eventually turn this, and any other dicussion to her religion and her god and insisting that hers is the one and only. There are, unfortunately millions of other people in the world that feel the same way about their supernaturalism. Thus the mess this country finds itself in, both here @ home and abroad.ReplyDelete
Cal, I don't believe in your god or anyone elses, but if that's your bag fine - just don't try to force feed me and the rest of the world with you private beliefs and I will certainly keep mine to myself.
Mars: God of War, He who Precedes the Army in Battle, the Avenger, King of the World, King of Combat, Supreme One..."
Disrespectful ones. "The man upstairs" etc. I am sure that there are others, but right offhand I cannot think of them.
it is likely that they use to be in my vocabulary but for some reason they have disappeared off the radar screen.
I don't know what that means.
PEACE to you likewise, Dennis. I hope that you do really and truly find it.
Cal, do you not watch "Rome"? The actors on there regularly call the gods by appalling names, such as "Juno's cunt".ReplyDelete
It's hard to disrespect a figment of someone's imagination, though.
"Cal, do you not watch "Rome"? The actors on there regularly call the gods by appalling names, such as "Juno's cunt".ReplyDelete
It's hard to disrespect a figment of someone's imagination, though."
No. Never. Do you think that REAL Romans would say such nonsense? I understand that it may have been an irreverent culture but...
The original question, however had something to do with why some choose to rename body parts.
I don't care for TV. Most series are just flat out boring if not totally mindless. Sometimes the History Channel, "Hot rocks" and the (ahem) Naked archaeologist are real interesting. I don't necessarily agree with every conclusion that he comes up with...but i like to hear how he arrived at it anyway. :)
The "something manly" in one version is beating each other up.ReplyDelete
I didn't see that one. Sounds more likely that might have been the version people got upset about...
I have never quite understood why a given word is taboo but its synonym or a euphemism is ok.
I suspect it is because we are all shallow and hypocritical by nature. Therefore, the concept is not important, but only how things appear. And some of you guys don't seem to know the exact meaning of the euphemism figure of speech, but let's not go there. Just google it. :-)
Hey, Dennis! AC/DC is a great old school rock'n'roll band, so no shame in being an AC/DC pervert! My bad... :O)
I don't know what that means."
AH HA!!! 40 years later I figured out that it must have been the security word verification thingy!!
What does that do to secure the entries come through a blog anyway? Never really figured that out. Does it only let the blog owner know if the same name is attributed to the same pc all the time? Or what?
It's meant to ensure that a real live human is at the other end, and not a robotic spam machine.