A Nun And Her Vagina
A religious sister who has to remain anonymous writes about her surprising appreciation of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues." Money quote:
The Vagina Monologues celebrates the beauty of the vagina, in direct contrast to the message that women have often had to internalize that it is dirty and not to be touched. For the first time, women have a public forum in which to process their experience in a mature way. So, I am left with the question: Why has "The Vagina Monologues" which isn’t intended to be sexually arousing or gratuitously vulgar been protested by a vocal minority of Catholics when it has been offered on Catholic campuses? I wonder if the fully-cassocked seminarians who often participate in these protests understand the pain that many women carry because their sexuality is often denigrated, abused, and defiled? Do they have any sense of the experiences of women that brought the Monologues into existence? ...
The polarization of the sexes that is so deeply imbedded in Catholic thought needs to be reassessed. Perhaps the most damaging has been the characterization of women as either 'virgin' or 'whore', epitomized in the Church’s on-going comparison of Eve and Mary. Throughout the centuries, women have been continually reminded that they are intrinsically a cause of sin and ruin for men just as Eve was the cause of Adam’s ruin, and therefore, the human race. The Virgin Mary, on the other hand is presented as the New Eve, whose cooperation with the Blessed Trinity in our redemption completely reversed the effects of Eve's choice.
The nun goes on to discuss how the doctrine of the virgin birth can lead to Catholic women's estrangement from their own bodies and their own sexuality. Somehow, I sense she will be greeted with scorn for raising these issues. But it is long past time the church started a dialogue on them.