Wednesday, January 30, 2008

“The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could”

This monologue, “The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could”, begins with an introduction by Ensler talking about how she works with the homeless. This a very noble line of work indeed, and anyone who has done it knows how difficult it can be but also how rewarding. Homeless people are some of the classiest and smartest people one could run across.

Ensler puts forward the theory that since almost every homeless woman she has met has been abused sexually, they flee home, associating home with the memories of their rape or abuse. This story is a true one, told to Ensler by one of the woman she met in a shelter. This woman is now in a committed lesbian relationship with another woman she met at the shelter. I have already detailed Church opposition to homogenital relations in my essay “The Church Makes True Love Possible.” I would add that helpful books on this matter are those by Father John Harvey, founder of Courage.

The monologue involves a woman recounting memories of her childhood. She tells us at age five she liked to touch herself, and that her mother yelled at her for it. The girl was never told why not to, and consequently, thought that she had rubbed her vagina off. When she gets beat up at school by a boy who punches her in the vagina, she is yelled at again, and she is treated as if she is the one to blame. Later, she is impales herself on a bedpost, and then is raped by her father’s friend.

At age thirteen, she is in the car with a neighbor who is twenty-four. The woman begins to passionately kiss her. The young girl stays over at this woman’s house. The woman gives her vodka. “The alcohol has done to my head and I’m loose and ready…Then she does everything to me and my coochi snorcher that I always thought was nasty before, and wow.” The woman then teaches her how to pleasure herself. “She makes me play with myself in front of her and she teaches me all the different ways to give myself pleasure so I’ll never need to rely on a man.” She never sees the woman again, and the speaker says that the experience was her “surprising, unexpected, politically incorrect salvation.” She says that this woman took her vagina and “raised it up into a kind of heaven.”

I cannot imagine the pain that this woman went through as a child as I had no similar experiences. However, I know that trauma is many times the cause of interrupted psycho-sexual development and of same-sex attraction. The Church does not condone homogential relationships.

What amazes me is that people do not object to the fact that this girl is thirteen. The girl states that the woman made her masturbate herself. The girl is made drunk before she is taken advantage of. Lastly, the girl is thirteen and the adult is twenty-four. This is statutory rape. If the adult was a man, this would be frowned upon. (Does this remind anyone of the priestly sexual abuse scandals?) However, since the relationship is homosexual, it is considered okay. None of this scene is compatible with what the Church teaches. The woman copes with her problems in the wrong way, and offers these wrong answers as viable options. This is exactly what I meant when I said

There is nothing wrong with using the human experience as a point of discussion. Sometimes, however, we misunderstand our experience and come to wrong conclusions about it. This is exactly what The Vagina Monologues does and it needs to be critically examined. This can only be done in a classroom. It is impossible for it to happen as long as the play performed outside the classroom.

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