Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Hair" and the Questions

"Hair" is about a husband who is insensitive to the needs of his wife and a marriage counselor who is not supportive of the wife and who thinks that the man should have what he wants because "marriage is a compromise" even if it physically hurts. This scene is one of the less controversial one for Catholics. However, there is one problematic thing: this quote, "You cannot love a vagina unless you love hair." Men are not supposed to fall in love with a vagina but the woman to whom the vagina belongs. Men are supposed to learn to love women for who they are, which includes their body. They aren't supposed to fall in love with the body.

The next two scenes are a just the answers to two questions Ensler asked women. What would your vagina say and wear? Some of the answers are sexual in nature and things that should not be said in public because they will arouse men, possibly to lustful thoughts. We are to avoid being the source of sin for people. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea" (Mark 9:42). However, once more we see here that the vagina is personified. The question what would one’s vagina say is just as ridiculous, “What would your knee wear?” The answer is, “My knee would wear exactly what I would wear, as my knee is a part of me.” Ensler is asking what the person desires to wear at her innermost being but chooses a vulgar way to do it.

As for saying, she is asking the woman what she, as a person, wants to say about her sexuality. The vagina says nothing, but the person does. As above, Ensler is simply choosing a vulgar way to say what she wants to say. (And while she might say I only think it’s vulgar because I’m uncomfortable with the word vagina, I would add that it would be vulgar if the same question was asked of a man and his penis.)

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