Mount Holyoke Cancels "The Vagina Monologues" For Transgender Students


Women’s college Mount Holyoke has decided to stop performing Eve Ensler’s classic play “The Vagina Monologues.” The college has been annually performing theater classic for decades, but since Mount Holyoke redefined its definition of “woman” to include transgender students, many felt the play was neither inclusive nor representative of the student body.

According to Campus Reform:

In a school-wide email from the Theatre Board, a representative from the group, Erin Murphy, explained the problems with the play and the reasoning behind its discontinuation.
“At its core, the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman…Gender is a wide and varied experience, one that cannot simply be reduced to biological or anatomical distinctions, and many of us who have participated in the show have grown increasingly uncomfortable presenting material that is inherently reductionist and exclusive.”

Mount Holyoke will instead perform their own version of the play, comprised of student- written monologues and performed in the style of Ensler’s classic. According to Campus Reform, students were divided over the decision and aired their opinions on Holyoke Confessional, an anonymous message board.

“I love how people who have never been able to discuss or embrace their vaj-wahs aren’t going to find an avenue here, either, since female-validating talk about vaginas is now forbidden. That’s so misogynistic under the guise of ‘progress,'” one student wrote.
“But we can’t present a show that is blatantly transphobic and treats race and homosexuality questionably, when one of the conditions of getting the rights to the show is that you can’t critique it or alter it,” another student said.

It’s unsurprising that students were divided — the expansion of the definition of “woman” on women’s college campuses has been at times an ugly battle.

Photo of Eve Ensler via Getty.

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