Skip to comments.Clark University students in denial
Posted on 02/26/2012 10:57:32 AM PST by cleghornboy
The Most Rev. John D'Arcy, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, in a statement which may be found here, asks, "What is wrong with the text of this play [The Vagina Monologues]? It distorts the beautiful gift of human sexuality, clouding its richness so it becomes merely the seeking of pleasure. Sexuality in the Catholic tradition is always related to the gift of self to another. 'Sexuality is an enrichment of the whole person body, emotions and soul and it manifests its inmost meaning in leading the person to the gift of self in love.' (Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II).
In contrast, the play in question reduces sexuality to a particular organ of a womans body separate from the person of the woman, from her soul and her spirit. It alienates woman from man whom God has entrusted to her as friend and companion. It separates sexuality and the human body from love. How opposite from our tradition which says, 'A womans dignity is closely connected with the love which she receives by the very reason of her femininity. It is likewise connected with the love she gives in return.' (On the Dignity of Women, Pope John Paul II).
While some will find it hard to believe, it is true that this play depicts in an approving way a sexual relationship between an adult woman and an adolescent girl, a minor. Such an action, which is a crime in both civil and church law, is also considered a serious sin in Christian moral teaching. The play also contains explicit depictions of masturbation and lesbian sex, portrayed in a positive light.
In this first encyclical letter, Pope Benedict XVI, theologian and pastor, speaks to this cultural phenomenon with striking clarity. 'Nowadays Christianity of the past is often criticized as having been opposed to the body; and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed. Yet the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure 'sex,' has become a commodity, a mere thing to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity. This is hardly mans great 'yes to the body and his sexuality as the purely material part of himself to be used and exploited at will. Nor does he see it as an arena for the exercise of his freedom, but as mere object that he attempts, as he pleases, to make both enjoyable and harmless. Here we are actually dealing with a debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere. The apparent exaltation of the body can quickly turn into a hatred of bodiliness. Christian faith, on the other hand, has always considered man a unity in duality, a reality in which spirit and matter compenetrate, and in which each is brought to a new nobility.' (Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI, Dec. 25, 2005).
Bishop D'Arcy then cites Pope John Paul II in his classic work "Love and Responsibility": 'Art has a right and a duty, for the sake of realism, to reproduce the human body, and the love of man and woman, as they are in reality, to speak the whole truth about them. The human body is an authentic part of the truth about man, just as its sensual and sexual aspects are an authentic part of the truth about human love. But it would be wrong to let this part obscure the whole and this is what often happens in art Pornography is a marked tendency to accentuate the sexual element when reproducing the human body or human love in a work of art, with the object of inducing the reader or viewer to believe that sexual values are the only real values of the person, and that love is nothing more than the experience, individual or shared, of those values alone.' And then His Excellency adds, "Such an analysis brings clarity. The play [The Vagina Monologues],...does not portray the whole truth about human sexuality; and by this separation, it violates the truth about the body, the truth about the gift of sexuality, the truth about love, and the truth about man and woman."
As I mentioned in my last Blog post, Women for Faith and Family, a highly respected association of Catholic women led by serious scholars, has said that: "Vagina Monologues is destructive, pornographic, deforming agit-prop deliberately and cynically aimed at young women - in particular at young Catholic women - a form of victimization that it is perilous to ignore. It contradicts at the deepest level the truth of creation; it is profoundly anti-Catholic, anti-God; and a contemptible assault on the very nature of the human person." The play, as WFF correctly notes, "..actually contributes to violence against women, while claiming to be fighting it."
But many of the students at Clark University don't see it that way. I received an email from an individual calling himself Carson Stevens. In this email, Carson asserted that, "The implication that Clark University creates an atmosphere that is partially responsible for the sexual assault is incorrect." On what does he base his argument? Well it's simple according to Carson: "Clark's production of Vagina Monologues does not include that scene which you described." But there is far more than just one offensive scene. As Bishop D'Arcy noted, "The play also contains explicit depictions of masturbation and lesbian sex, portrayed in a positive light." The whole play, as Bishop D'Arcy said, "reduces sexuality to a particular organ of a woman's body."
So much for the "they deleted the one lesbian rape scene" argument.
Then Carson writes, "As for the guilt of Clark, no Clark community member has been linked to the crime (with the exception of the survivor, herself)." Translation: You cannot put Clark Students or faculty at the scene of the crime as actual participants, therefore we bear no responsibility for this crime even though we have been fostering an atmosphere where women are demeaned and others are encouraged to view women as objects to be used and exploited at will.
If productions do not influence human behavior, what is the point of the television commercial?
Another Clark Student (I traced his IP address to Clark University), calling himself "Sigma," berated me for my post on The Vagina Monologues and wrote, "Dude, your views aren't even accepted by 99.9 percent of Christians." In other words, because I believe women are created in the Imago Dei (in the Image and Likeness of God) and should not be reduced to being mere sexual objects to be exploited and used, I am out of touch with reality. Sigma added, "You need to get off your delusional Christian agenda and leave Clark alone."
According to the City of Worcester, in 2011, detectives investigated approximately 280 sexual assault cases in which 41 fell within the definition of forcible rape as defined in the UCR. "The remainder of the cases did not meet the strict definition....It is anticipated that the reported number of forcible rapes as defined by the UCR will increase when the FBI changes the UCR definition of rape."
280 sexual assault cases. In one year. In one city. That number is an obscenity. But it would appear that some Clark Students do not have a problem with sexual assault and violence against women in general. Hence the cavalier attitude toward a pornographic play which contributes to violence against women.
You can be sure that if these same individuals had a wife, a daughter or a sister who was raped or in some way sexually assaulted, that they wouldnt be so quick to dismiss the legitimate concerns expressed here. They would be too busy trying to comfort their loved one. They would be in tears.
This is part of the problem. Until this sort of violence hits close to home, it is easy for some to just wave the hand and dismiss the concerns of those who see the connection between destructive pornography and sexual assault Such people forget that every woman who is sexually assaulted is a person with hopes and dreams. A person who wants to feel safe.
For some Clark University students, I am "delusional" for seeing the connection between destructive pornography and violence against women.
Yes, clearly I am the delusional one.
Well, we’re supposed to be liberal and non-judgemental. So we’re supposed to accept “The Vagina Monologues” as some great insightful work of literature. We’re supposed to appreciate the vagina.
We’re supposed to celebrate the vagina. We’re supposed to celebrate lesbians and the vagina from the lesbian point of view. To do otherwise is to be making value judgements, and liberalism calls on us to be non-judgemental.
We’re supposed to celebrate the underage girl who has a lesbian experience, because, after all, we live in a homophobic bigoted society. She is learning so much about her body and vagina, so we should celebrate that.
There are a lot of underlying unspoken assumptions and points of view involved in accepting something such as “Vagina Monologues” as some great theatrical experience.
Yep, homosexuality is just partner-assisted masturbation with all the products of masturbation.
It’s about homosexual child rape. The left loves this stuff.
It might be a good idea if the good Bishop and/or the local equivalent (e.g. Cardinal O’Malley in Boston, Fr. Leahy at BC, etc.) send a similar statement and analysis to Fr. Jenkins at Notre Dame as well as to the presidents of Georgetown, Holy Cross, Boston College, Fordham, DePaul, Dominican University of California, Providence College, Seattle University, the Loyola Universities, etc. all of whom have hosted or are hosting VM in 2012.
It’s a disgrace the way so many of the self-identified pastoral leaders of the Catholic church turn a blind eye to the rot in these so-called Catholic Universities and the behavior of ‘CINO’ politicians.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.