V Day at Amherst High

Amherst High, which once canceled “West Side Story” for “insensitivity” to Puerto Ricans, is staging “The Vagina Monologues” for Valentine’s Day. This is believed to be the first high school performance of Eve Ensler’s play, Time reports.

“The girls who will be up there faking orgasms onstage wouldn’t even be old enough to see When Harry Met Sally in the movie theater,” fumes Amherst (Mass.) resident Larry Kelley, who read the play after he heard of the high school’s plans. “But it isn’t the orgasms or even the use of the C word that gets me. Rather, it’s the favorable description of sex between a 24-year-old woman and a 16-year-old woman. This is inappropriateness squared for high school students.”

Surely, there should be just a soupcon of sensitivity toward the feelings of people like Kelley. And note that he says “16-year-old woman.” He must have been trained never to use the word “girl.”

About Joanne


  1. I don’t know what to say.
    And you know that someone is going to referrence the 1st ammendment for why they should be allowed to do this.

  2. Bill Leonard says:

    Hear, hear Geoff.

    …and the coarsening of the culture and the country continues.

  3. When I was in young, and later when my children were in high school, the class play was an event attended by parents, grand-parents, assorted aunts and uncles, siblings, and family friends. It was a happy occassion and a source of pride and accomplishment for the participant – be it in an acting role or helping out behind the scenes.

    I just can’t imagine a high school selecting a play that would make many older family members feel uncomfortable and was just plain inappropriate for younger ones.

    It just shows how hypocritical they are when they claim to be so sensitive to the feelings of their neighborhood.

  4. I’m from the area originally, and you have to understand that there are three colleges (including the flagship campus of UMass) in Amherst, and two colleges in neighboring towns. I am sure that at least ONE of them performs the Vagina Monolgues every V-Day. If these students really desperately wanted to see it, they could take the PVTA bus to a performance.

  5. Bill Leonard says:

    …and Hear! Hear! Bob B.

    When my sons were in high school, both were involved in drama. Both had roles of various sorts in such things as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Mame, Once Upon a Mattress, Gypsy and a couple others. Note that these are musicals. The point is, the productions (some of which have what some would deem “racy” elements) gave a great many families an opportunity to bring in the aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, cousins, visiting out-of-town relatives — for kids who were involved in all aspects, including band and musical performance.

    Why any high school drama section would pick something like the Vagina Monologues — limited cast; limited backstage production kids; no live music needed — for an audience of the usual sort simply defies logic. Yes, in a rational world, I think at least a few faculty members hould lose jobw over this.

  6. Dang nammit those dern kids always puttin on shows and offendin their elders. Don’t they care bout the coursening of society and all that other portant stuff?!

    What’s the world comin to Joanne?

  7. The vulgarity isn’t even the worst part of it.

    The Vagina Monologues is a relentless attack on men. It presents a completely false picture of domestic violence. Impartial research about domestic violence consistently shows that men and women are equally likely to commit domestic violence. This play is the usual feminist shill piece depicting domestic violence as something only women do. (This theory began to fall apart when researchers discovered that domestic violence occured with greater frequency in lesbian households.)

    Hate to return to the innate theory, but here goes. The Vagina Monologues is essentially an argument that women should become lesbian in order to escape men’s violence. In 1995 in New York City, you could attend a lesbian feminist rally where every speaker would condemn father incest and men’s violence as the reasons they chose to become lesbian. You could go across town to a gay men’s activist meeting where you would hear every speaker claim that homosexuality had no cause and was innate. If you disagreed with either camp, you were obviously a bigot.

    The Vagina Monologues is the classic cant of Marxism. Divide and conquer by spreading hatred.

    In short, the Vagina Monologues is a piece of recruitment propaganda for lesbianism. But, hey! Gays don’t do that. Anybody who thinks gays recruit among kids is a bigot. Right?

  8. “This play is the usual feminist shill piece depicting domestic violence as something only women do.”

    Whoops. Should have said “… as something only men do.”

    Revisionist history at its worst.

  9. The young “woman,” was originally 13. In 2001, this “good rape” scene was officially removed from the then-approved version of the play. Apparently, statutory rape with a 16 year old is less offensive.

  10. I dunno. Looking back to my loser high school days, I’m picturing this long line of marching band and chess club geeks thinking they’re finally going to learn what a vagina actually is.

    Poor dopes.

  11. On a purely practical matter, since this is a school play, is it the only school play this year? If it is, they are depriving young men of a great opportunity: acting. I know for a fact that many colleges consider such extra-curricular activities important. And even if they aren’t going to college, it’s still an opportunity for growth and challenge. If this is the only play this semester, then its probably a violation of some equal opportunity law. Or should be.

  12. Mark Odell says:

    Rather, it’s the favorable description of sex between a 24-year-old woman and a 16-year-old woman.

    “I think ‘lesbian pedophilia’ is a reasonable and terse descriptive term for the seduction of a 13 year old girl by a 24 year old woman, brought about by giving her alcohol, but perhaps you can do better.”

    I might suggest “statutory rape”, or “child molestation”.

  13. Mark Odell says:

    Speaking of the classic cant of Marxism….

    mark wrote: In 2001, this “good rape” scene was officially removed from the then-approved version of the play.

    Unfortunately for its proponents, the fact that this scene did exist and was changed is not going to just slip quietly down the memory hole.

  14. The Vagina Monologues is a relentless attack on men. It presents a completely false picture of domestic violence.

    Ignoring the high-school-putting-this-on aspect of things, I have no particular problem with the Vagina Monologues themselves. Now, of course, I don’t agree with all of the messages (some of them actually are okay, I think) – but then, I don’t agree with all of the messages of pretty much anything.

    My issue came from last year’s production at Indiana University (where I attend). They advertised for men to come and write a segment/skit to accompany the V-Day production that has long been a staple here on campus. I think: cool! Maybe they can put something together that’s worth seeing.

    Boy, was I wrong.

    The skit they came up with was three guys sitting up there, simpering about how ashamed they are of how they treated past girlfriends/wives/whatevers – one used to talk down to her, one hit her once, you get the idea. Couldn’t they have come up with something positive (or at least neutral!)? These guys were up there emasculating themselves to the wild applause of the predominantly female crowd… *sighs* It’s too depressing to go on about, heh.

  15. There are posters in my university proclaiming, “Women secretly love to talk about their vaginas.”

    …and that’s what I find most offensive about the play: its myriad suggestions that all women are obsessed with their genitals and think that there’s something profound and liberating about poorly-written, metaphor-laden monologues. (There’s a line in that play – “If your vagina could speak, what would it say?” Mine would say, “Don’t anthropomorphize me.”)

  16. D. Cooper says:

    Let us not forget this is ‘Liberal Land’ …. Teddy’s home state. I’m sure there’s a bunch of them ‘for Teddy’ types celebrating the event, with a ‘tree-huggin’, tofu party right now. Next thing you know they’re be handing out condums in … oh too late huh?

  17. nobody important says:

    D. Cooper,

    Isn’t it ironic that the Hero of Chappaquidick, after a night of drunken debauchery (which could have included behavior that now is consider non-consensual sex) that resulted in the death of a young woman would be admired by such ‘femminists’.

  18. it is clear that the administartion and the staff are the results of their own education system.

    Rather than pick from the great American theater classics, they climbed up to the sewer to pick and totally inappropriate work for High School students.

    I blame the parents for allowing it to happen. Were they not the typical Amherst educated beyond their intelligence Liberal Gay trash, they would never allow it. They would march on the school and shut it down.

    Keep in mind this is the same town that chose to fly the United Nations flag instead of the US flag in the town square.

    Bet they are all Deaniacs, too!!

  19. anonymous says:

    What hasn’t come out yet are two things.

    First, they (ARHS) suspended a MALE student for his underground newspaper – which was a WHOLE LOT tamer than this play.

    Second, the play is being sponsored by what the UMass Stonewall Center (a taxpayer-funded gay “cultural” center) calls a “local queer photographer.”

    Oh yes, the valley lesbians and the activists of UMass and Hampshire College are very much involved in all of this.

  20. You guys have no idea what you are talking about. I go to that school and know better. iF you don’t want to see it DON”T GO! It’s this simple. Don’t go!

  21. area resident says:

    I am a male area resident who attended the play last night. I attended with my teenaged son and daughters. The play had some funny and also some serious content. The main message I came away with is that girls should not be afraid to discuss women’s issues openly. For men and teenage boys in the audience, the play raises awareness of these issues and perhaps helps them become a bit sensitive to issues that may not have occurred to them otherwise. The girls that performed the play made an appropriate and professional effort. They raised $7000 for charities.To clarify a few of the incorrect statements given in earlier postings: (a) This was not the annual high school play/musical chosen by the teachers. Rather, this was a play that some students wanted to put on associated with V-day, (b) Amherst flies both the flag of the USA and the flag of the UN, (c) Only students that had explicit permission of their parents could attend the play.

  22. I thank the ‘male resident’ in the latest response for pointing out how far frustrated right wing conservatism will go to make it’s point. Lies and exaggeration are the weapons of intimidation from this faction. The fact of the matter is, I have real problems with THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES (written by my colleague at NYU, Eve Ensler); dramaturgically and politically but I am not about to rail against something just becasue it doesn’t hit my particular aesthetic G spot. I do consider it a bit pedantic and one sided but it is expressionism. This is ot reality.This is an interpretation of a society that can be presented as an investigation. This does not have to be taken as agitprop. As a Drama Educator I doubt that I would ever choose to do this piece in a high school unless it directly spoke to an issue that was being investigated. I probably wouldn’t do it as a mainstage production due to the discretionary element of not wanting to immediately alienate my community. However, it sounds to me like this was an informed choice by a group of students who were more interested in investigating an important piece of modern theatre than in pushing some “Marxist” agenda. (Marx by the way was one of the greatest political, socialogical and economic minds of this century or last. Read him instead of just reading about him.) I suppose that’s me pushing soem Marxist agenda


  1. When school adults refuse to set standards

    Carl Seppala, of the Amherst Town Select Board, was on Bill O’Reilly show last night, defending Amherst Regional High School’s decision to mount a student production of The Vagina Monologues. We try to be open-minded, but come on, there are no other pl…