"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Saturday, February 11, 2006

V-Day meets P-Day

The blowback was, thank God, inevitable. As Valentine's Day approaches we face the now-expected spectacle of various institutions of higher education—including some Catholic ones, I'm disgusted to add—staging and promoting productions of Eve Ensler's ephebophile, male-hating play The Vagina Monologues. Some women on such campuses have taken things a step further by publicly celebrating "Vagina Day" in lieu of Valentine's Day. Well, what's sauce for the gander.... As that courageous critic of feminism, Professor Christina Hoff Sommers (left) describes, we are now seeing a past-due assertion of gender equality on campus: Penis Day.

It is of course a tongue-in-cheek attempt by conservative men on campus to get the V-Day business stopped. And it is replete with as much vulgarity as you'd expect. I don't have to tell you what the reaction of administrators has been: do everything possible, including bringing charges, against the perpetrators of P-Day. That's fine: I'd probably do the same. Yet it almost goes without saying that they do nothing to suppress the antics of those celebrating V-Day. In fact, they at least tacitly encourage it. Why the double standard?

Unfortunately, the answer is almost as obvious as the standard itself: in liberal cosmology, women are victims and men are perps. Accordingly, the former should be allowed to celebrate their sexuality in whatever manner they see fit, no matter how vulgar, offensive, or discriminatory. It's a way of compensating them for their victimhood, after all. Men enjoy no such right, but never mind: perps have no rights. And we wouldn't want to encourage date rape either.

Of course the phenomenon of females raping males is not unknown, even on campus. Examples:

  • I had a friend in college who let himself get so drunk at a sorority party that two of the girls had their way with him without his being able to do anything about it. I know so because they themselves, confirmed by several witnesses, bragged about it even though he himself remembered nothing the next morning. He was very angry about what was done to him, but the witnesses indicated that his efforts to resist were futile. I am told by every college student I've asked that this sort of thing, and worse, occurs today as well.
  • South Africa is now seeing women raping men in order to transmit AIDS. This is pure revenge on the male sex.
  • The phenomenon of female teachers having sex with their underage male students, while perhaps as old as schools themselves, seems more common than in the past. Perhaps it seems so only because it has been increasingly reported throughout the media. I don't know. And I wouldn't really find that form of rape worth mentioning in this context, except that The Vagina Monologues actually celebrates the same thing when done by a female teacher to a female student.

And so the ironies continue. Indeed it is reasonable to assume that the rape of males by females is underreported, just as the admittedly more common rape of females by males is underreported. Therefore, the simplistically dualistic designation of women as victims of sexual violence and men as perps doesn't hold up. What possible justification for the double standard could therefore remain?

Sommers doesn't say, and I'd love to know what she thinks her feminist colleagues would say. But in the meantime, as she does say:

P-Day may be the only effective means of countering V-Day with all its c***-fests, graphic lollipops, intrusive questionnaires, outsized effigies of vaginas and its thematic anti-male play. The prospect of public readings from P-Monologues on campuses around the country just might be the reductio ad absurdum that could drive the vagina warriors to the bargaining table. The student activists opposed to V-Day will gladly cancel P-Day the moment the V-warriors abandon their vagina–fests.

I sure hope so. But in the short term, I don't see anything changing for the better. And that speaks volumes about the effects of radical feminism on the American mind—or at least on American education.

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