We Want An All Minority Vagina (Monologues)

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by GotZoom, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    And of course, if they wanted all all white Vagina (Monologues) - others would be screaming racism. Is this like KFC... All Dark Meat please?

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    Calling all women of color.

    “The Vagina Monologues” wants you.

    That’s the message students have heard in the past weeks, as the annual show has opted to bring women of color center stage, while planning to leave many white women behind the curtains.

    Late last month, producers and directors of the show announced their intention to push for an all-minority cast. Some students have deemed the new casting policy reverse discrimination, but supporters of the show say they view the change as a way to rectify biases of the show and reignite interest among the student body.

    “The Vagina Monologues” is a play written by playwright Eve Ensler that attempts to address topics relating to violence against women. The play is part of the V-Day College Campaign — a political movement to stop violence against women.

    University alum Carol Gray, who directed the famous play last year, said that the majority of women who audition for past monologues have been white.

    “By seeing white people in the show, (women of color) come to think they’re not welcome or not part of the community,” Gray said. “People have probably refrained from purchasing tickets or participating because of this feeling.”

    This lack of diversity, she said, is the result of a lack of distribution of audition notices and informational e-mails targeting minorities.

    But many other students who participated in previous shows said women of color have stayed away from the play because they believe the script portrays minorities negatively.

    A major problem with the script for some is that many of the roles for women of color deal with sexual violence.

    And because few women of color audition for the show, minorities generally assume these more traumatic roles, while monologues dealing with more positive subjects such as liberation and beauty are filled by white cast members. Women of color are thus portrayed as only constant victims of sexual violence and never in a positive light, the producers and directors said.

    Because the national V-Day organization prohibits groups from modifying the script, producers of this year’s show said the only way to remedy the bias of the show was to push for an all-minority cast.

    “We can’t change the words of the script, but we can change the way the words are presented,” said Lauren Whitehead, director of the show this school year. “The script is flawed in its attempt to give all women a voice because it seems to give certain women certain voices. I often wonder why angry vaginas can’t be white and happy vaginas can’t be Asian,” she said.

    Elizabeth Campbell, a University alum and former producer of the monologues, added that while the script is not inherently racist, prejudices against minorities are woven into the monologues.

    “When Eve started writing, I don’t think she realized how big (the monologues) would get and that (they) could and would be used to affect such a large range of people,” Campbell said. “But this is more than an ordinary play — it is a political movement.”

    Campbell added that it is the responsibility of any person who undertakes this show to confront the flaws of the script and change or address them in some way.

    However, this view is not shared by the national V-Day organization. Producers of the campus show said V-Day College Campaign director Shael Norris, who couldn’t be reached for comment, has asked the directors and producers to reconsider their decision to develop an all-minority cast. The national organization states that participation in the show is open to all, regardless of race.

    Norris and the organization have yet to consider the justifications of the decision, said Kelly Sheard and Jillian Steinhauer, the two on-campus producers.

    This weekend, the directors and producers will hold an open casting call for the 2006 performance. Although there is intent to prefer women of color, they said roles will be cast based on talent.

    “I just hope people come to auditions period,” Whitehead said. “We have no expectations.”

    LSA junior and former cast member Valerie Warner said she was impressed with the diversity of last year’s cast and doesn’t feel that the monologues are typecast.

    “The (monologue) I did was traumatic and emotional, and I am white,” she said.

    Warner said that while there is merit in creating a show from the perspective of women of color because it is a perspective not often offered, it is only a part of what the Vagina Monologues are all about.

    Campbell, a former producer, said that the alienation of a segment of the population is a difficult reality to face, but it is an issue the show deals with every year.

    If the Vagina Monologues are to continue to be progressive and enlightening, Campbell said, changing the perspective of the show is an important and necessary step.

    “For the white women who want to be involved, if I was in their position I would feel somewhat cheated,” Campbell said. “But I hope that they can understand that the movement is bigger than any individual person and see what is good for the collective movement.”

    Molly Raynor, co-director of the show, said, “We never expected the campus community to welcome this decision with open arms.”

    “Having debate over these issue is good, and we welcome challenges from people. But we also challenge them to think what was wrong in the past.”

    http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/11/14/4378360f4f95e
     
  2. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    What are the chances that the Vagina Monologues would be mentioned in two separate threads with different aspects input so closely together on the same day?

    Anybody a Stats guy?
     
  3. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    when are they going to call for white guy quotas in the NBA?
     
  4. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Give me a thread count since the last Vagina Monologue thread and I'll have the odds up 15 seconds after I read it.
     

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