Saturday, January 26, 2008

"The Vagina Workshop"

Probably one of the most problematic scenes in the play is “The Vagina Workshop.” The monologue is a tribute to Betty Dodson, author of the book Sex for One: the Joy of Self-Loving. Betty Dodson runs workshops in which she teaches women to masturbate themselves. This monologue is about precisely that.

In a previous post, I linked to Christopher West and theology of the body to give a primer on masturbation. For my own thoughts, please see my essay titled “The Church Makes True Love Possible.”

The scene continues the false perception that women are their vaginas or that it is the most important part of their bodies. (If a vagina is the most important part of a woman’s body, is a man’s his penis? If he loses his, is he no longer a real man? We see how shallow this is.) The woman who runs the workshop says that the clitoris “is the woman, the essence of” the woman. The scene ends with the woman masturbating.

As a college aged man, I see how many of my peers are addicted to masturbating. Many have no idea that it’s wrong, and many think that overcoming the sin is impossible. Guys tell me they are ashamed but think that they have no hope of overcoming this sin or that they’d be abnormal if they did what they know to be right. Does this scene help in any academic way? No. It is simply an exaltation of sin. This should not be performed on a Catholic campus. In a classroom, a professor could point out the errors involved. In this context, no good can come from it.

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