Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Diversity Blog Entry

I watched the Vagina Monologue play for my Diversity event. It was a very interesting play and was the actresses had a great performance. While watching, I jotted down some notes so that I could try to make connections to the authors we had already read, and the authors I would be reading in the future.
At the beginning of the play, a woman came to the front of the stage to talk about Vagina Monologues and gave us a preview for the show. Immediately after that, another woman came to the front of the stage to replace her and she spoke entirely in Spanish. This connects to Collier because Collier would agree that we need to provide for students' first language skills so that they can more easily learn English. So, by the woman speaking in Spanish to the audience, she is accepting the ESL who know Spanish. By doing this, Collier agrees these Spanish speakers in the audience will more easily understand English and may also understand the rest of the play better.

Another example I noticed from the play was a story about a young woman who was very attracted to her neighbor who was a stunning and beautiful professionally dressed older woman. She was very nervous about this because in our culture, this attraction of a woman to another woman is not accepted by most people. One night the older woman had the younger woman come by for dinner. The young woman's mother was fine with this and thought that it would be "harmless." They had a sexual experience that night. The point I am trying to make is that this was something that the young girl had to keep as a secret because it is frowned upon in our society. This is exactly what Carlson argues about gayness being marginalized. Gayness is "pushed to the margins" in our culture because in the center lies White, male, and heterosexual. This young girl is a product of our culture marginalizing gayness. Carlson argues for "normalizing" gay students so they do not feel this "closeted" and invisible feeling.

Throughout the play, I could not keep track of the number of times they said vagina. They had to say it at least two hundred times during the couple of hours I was there. The first time the audience heard it, everyone looked around and giggled. Vagina is a word that people barely ever use. Johnson would argue that we need to explicitly talk about issues like "saying the words" in our culture. There are too many words in our culture that we are afraid to say and Johnson argues that we need to practice saying those words so that we can have a world where people are treated respectfully and equitable. I always have to think about what I am supposed to say before I say it. This is especially true when I am talking about sexuality, gender, and race. There was even a part of the play where a girl did about twenty-one types of orgasms on stage. The play is an example of how much the media really controls us. There are so many ways in which the media teaches us how to think and act. That is why everything was such a shock and made the audience giggle. Everyone turned to their neighbor to see how they released their feeling of shock and discomfort. It did not bother anyone that they said vagina and faked orgasms on stage. The audience was just not used to seeing and hearing things like that in public because the media never allows that to occur. Johnson would agree that we can only talk about issues once we learn to say the words. If you cannot say the words, how can you talk about it?

Relating to Carlson's gayness issue:

"A Global Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls"

Fear of the V Word

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous post. Great connections to our class. And I love the link to the Onion about the "Hoo-ha Doctor" (very funny!)