GODDESSES 'R Us-OLD PRODUCT; NEW PACKAGE
PART 4 of 4
By Debra Rae
July 29, 2007
Vendetta against Violence [Image]
Promoters of the Monologues (VM) purpose to end violence against women-ultimately, against all people everywhere. To this noble end, playwright Eve Ensler has called for every country with a military budget to donate one percent of it. Every year on or around Valentine's Day Ensler provides a platform for this worthy cause by sponsoring what she calls V-Days. Even the Mayor willingly participated in a well-attended press conference at Ensler's Summit in Rome (September 2001).
A lesbian couple, Rossana Abueva and her partner Monique Wilson, organized V-Days in the Philippines and all over Asia. They likewise targeted Japan for shamefully enslaving 200,000 "comfort women" purportedly raped by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Compliments of V-Day activists, Agnes Pareyio of SW Kenya was gifted with a blue jeep (with V-Day printed on its top) and, later, a tidy sum to provide a "safe house" for girls escaping the widespread, egregious ritual of female genital mutilation. Great cause; good outcome. But, wait!
Today's feminist agenda, as promulgated through the Monologues, provides a handy framework for expanding a radical, not-at-all-family-friendly cause; and their presence at mainstream stores makes them all the more available. V-Day activists correctly bemoan a "culture of silence" and violent practices directed at women; but, then, a New Hampshire theater has earmarked proceeds from the Monologues for the Portsmouth Feminist Health Center, a first-trimester abortion provider (as if abortion isn't violent). Moreover, one monologue in Ensler's play actually portrays sadomasochism as a female form of glorious sexual expression.
Dr. Murray Straus explains: "… social scientists tend deliberately to close their eyes to excesses and incorrect statements by feminists because they do not want to undermine feminist efforts to bring about a more equitable society. Thus, avowedly feminist scholars have suppressed data on violence by women." The truth be told, self-defense accounts for only 10-20% of female partner aggression. While both sexes initiate domestic violence equally, and more women suffer injury because of it, men are more likely to die in its wake.
Culture of Obscenity [Image]
One previously hesitant enlistee, now promoting Eve Ensler's Monologues, is from Nairobi. In an "a-ha moment," this mother surmised that, by being silent about her "down-there" part, she somehow had deprived her seven-year-old daughter of her own sexuality. Thus posing the two-pronged question: How does a first grader "own her sexuality," and what's the need for her to do so?
True, zoologist Alfred Kinsey ostensibly "proved" that humans are sexual from birth; but to do so, Kinsey and associates violated infants. Mary Eberstadt believes that sexually awakening a child, no matter her age, contributes to erosion of the social consensus against sexual exploitation of children. I agree. Already, the average age of exposure to pornography is eleven. Given that ours is a culture of self-fulfillment, students might as well be directed to 1-800-dial-a-porn.
That a woman can pleasure herself with no need of a man defines the feminist ideal of non-exploitive sexuality. Pair that with the hundreds of millions of dollars that our federal government funnels each year into "safe sex" programs, and even very young girls awaken to sexual activity-with or without boys. A disturbing finding of the National Marriage Project report was the majority of young people who said that having a child outside of marriage is "a worthwhile lifestyle." Moreover, Dr. James Dobson has documented an astonishing number of adolescents who have had bi-sexual relations or believe them to be okay.
In their sex education classes, elementary-aged students in Washington State public schools discuss sexual fluids and styles (vaginally, orally, and anally); and "liberated" grade-school teachers freely display condoms. Presumed to be sexually active middle-schoolers study teen parenthood, and high schoolers learn homosexual "refusal skills."
Because "feminism" "stresses the indistinguishability of marriage, prostitution, and rape"-this, according to attorney Catherine MacKinnon-wholesome traditional relationships are belittled, even vilified. A societal upshot is that the US continues to have the highest percentage of children born out of wedlock of any nation in the world (Dr. James Dobson).
For its "benign neglect," Western culture pays a dear price. Samuel Adams once cautioned: "A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy."
Celebrity Sells [Image]
Never mind that ours is "a material world" made up of "material girls." At every Ivy League school (except one) "women's studies" courses outnumber economic courses (often two-to-one). This is much the same at every major college and university, as noted by the late Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth Hage.
Resources available for study of respectable women role models are ripe for the picking, but the halls of academia all but bury noteworthy legacies of the likes of Clara Barton (Clara WHO?), Florence Nightengale, Clare Boothe Luce, and Margaret Thatcher. Today's heroines hale from Hollywood.
Be sure, Eve Ensler's Monologues have captivated esteemed actresses-Isabella Rossellini and Glenn Close, to name two. At a Madison Square Garden V-Day event that featured the wit and wisdom of pioneer feminist Gloria Steinem, the latter read the "reclaiming" section and led its accompanying "c"-word chant. In 2000, Steinheim championed raising our children to believe in "human potential, not God." This mandate when coupled with "the journey of truth telling" that has been ongoing for three decades begs the fitting question, "How is that working for you?"
Apparently it's good for Hollywood. The attention-getting lure of sexually explicit, oftentimes crude, raw commentary of the Monologues whets the appetite of feminist actresses, and understandably so. Whereas a happy lesbian dominatrix prostitute is certain to attract the curious, a happy stay-at-home wife and soccer mom most assuredly will not.
Not surprisingly, Jane Fonda once again has taken center stage. She boldly gives voice to "her most core part" and pledges undying loyalty to V-Day with her presence, not to mention her hefty seven-figure donation to the cause. You go, girl!
Daytime TV's own Oprah Winfrey is about as mainstream as it gets when it comes to endorsing Ensler's work. The CEO of Lifetime, Carole Black, likewise hopped the VM bandwagon when, at an international V-Day gathering, she passed around sterling heart bracelets from Tiffany. Snuggled up on red cushions, feminist "sisters" followed suit by exchanging red or heart-shaped gifts.
One journalist described this comfy-cozy gathering as "Camp David meets Bridal Shower," but then feminists of Oprah fame make no secret of their distrust of marriage. Minus the bride, "Camp David meets Brothel" probably makes more sense.
Capitulating Catholics [Image]
The late feminist pioneer Betty Friedan wrote that "no woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children." Hardcore feminists, as Friedan, liken stay-at-home moms to "parasites" and "prostitutes." No doubt influenced by feminist mentors, as Eve Ensler reputed for her Monologues, about half of our young, unmarried women by the end of the millennium had lived together with a partner. Never mind that cohabitation increases the risk of domestic violence toward women and children (Dr. James Dobson). Feminist cohabiters nonetheless praise the Monologues and V-Day for their spurious put down of violence.
In fostering a victim mentality, as modeled in the Monologues, feminists convince young women to accept that men purpose only to use them, harm them, or hinder them from success. Is it any wonder that the United States leads the world in fatherless families?
All the same, just last year Catholic educators grappled with the question of performing the Monologues on their colleges and universities as part of V-Day. President of the University of Notre Dame, Father John Jenkins, S.S.C., decided not to ban the play from campus. Fruitful dialogue following each performance, he reasoned, serves as "a good model for the future." Notre Dame Theology Professor M. Cathleen Kaveny agrees that the church needs to listen to human experience.
Unfortunately, the "open and free debate we've always cherished in university life is rationed at some of our finest universities." Case in point: "Paradise Lost" is characterized as no more than "a monument of patriarchy" and a "manifesto for resistance" (Susanne Fields, The Washington Times, 18 November 1999). Politically incorrect views to the contrary are unwelcome.
You won't find Ensler showcasing promise of a happy, monogamous heterosexual marriage. Why not? Because in Ensler's limited lesbian viewpoint, a woman's private part rules her world and is best enjoyed in isolation or in same-sex scenarios. Prominent feminist activist and "intellectual" Andrea Dworkin goes so far as to relegate all heterosexuality as "rape." A good model for the future?-I think not.
© 2007 Debra Rae - All Rights Reserved
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Daughter of an Army Colonel, Debra graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa. She then completed a Master of Education degree from the University of Washington. These were followed by Bachelor of Theology and Master of Ministries degrees-both from Pacific School of Theology.
While a teacher in Kuwait, Debra undertook a three-month journey from the Persian Gulf to London by means of VW "bug"! One summer, she tutored the daughter of Kuwait's Head of Parliament while serving as superintendent of Kuwait's first Vacation Bible School.
Having authored the ABCs of Globalism and ABCs of Cultural -Isms, Debra speaks to Christian and secular groups alike. Her radio spots air globally. Presently, Debra co-hosts WOMANTalk radio with Sharon Hughes and Friends, and she contributes monthly commentaries to Changing Worldviews and NewsWithViews.com. Debra calls the Pacific Northwest home.
Web Site: www.debraraebooks.com
One previously hesitant enlistee, now promoting Eve Ensler's Monologues, is from Nairobi. In an "a-ha moment," this mother surmised that, by being silent about her "down-there" part, she somehow had deprived her seven-year-old daughter of her own sexuality.