Wednesday, February 20, 2008

C word in the news

Some time last week a "furore" was stirred up by Jane Fonda using a "vulgar synonym" for the title word of the play "Vagina Monologues" on network TV. Shock, horror, declining standards etc. etc. Naturally my interest in all things C-word gravitated me towards this non-story. Here's my question: why is it completely acceptable for the author to use the word umpteen times within the text, but completely unacceptable for Ms. Fonda to use the offending word in a matter-of-fact way to explain why she turned the offer down? Methinks there is much by way of double standards here. One reads all sorts of bad words in the very intellectual New Yorker (and bad pictures too). If it's "artistic" I suppose it's okay. Hmmm.

A couple of seasons ago Dulcie and I attended a production of this particular piece performed by various women of COD as part of women's history month. Were it not for the fortifying beverage cunningly concealed in my "coffee" cup I would have run screaming from the theatre. Not because the performances were bad; they were largely honest, committed and enthusiastic, if neither polished nor particularly skilful; but because the play is so singularly dreadful. What is the point of it I wonder? Some kind of perverse celebration of the female reproductive organs? If so, it is done in such a way to frighten off any men who should by rights be the first worshippers of those organs rather than women. The particular monlogue that Ms. Fonda took exception to just left me squirming with embarrassment. I'm just wondering how a play which just said "cock" the whole time (seems okay on BBC America with Gordon Ramsey) would go down. Is it really the objective of feminists to turn women into men haters? They certainly seem to go quite a long way in turning decent chaps into card-carrying misogynists. I would rather see Wicked ten times than view another production of this ugly piece.

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