The popular vblogger Laci Green, in her most recent video, said:
Colleges are banning hugely impactful feminist works like The Vagina Monologues because it implies that some women have vaginas.
This is a common claim – but as far as I can make out, it’s false. Some student groups have chosen not to perform TVM – but choosing not to perform a play isn’t remotely the same as “banning” a play.
To support this claim, Laci displayed the headline to this National Review article, about a student-run group at American University deciding not to perform The Vagina Monologues this year. Instead, they performed a new play, “Breaking Ground Monologues,” which was written by students.
Nothing in the article suggests that the college (as opposed to the student group) was the decision-maker, or supports the claim that American University has “banned” performing The Vagina Monologues.
On Twitter, Liana K pointed to this Inside Higher Ed article to support Laci Green’s claim that colleges have been banning The Vagina Monologues. But the article is about a student group at Mount Holyoke choosing to perform something else this year. How is that an example of a college “banning” The Vagina Monologues?
In fact, the same year that one Mount Holyoke student group decided not to do TVM, a different Mount Holyoke student group decided to do a performance of TVM – and the college released a statement officially approving of both productions.
It may be that somewhere in the country, some college has banned The Vagina Monologues from being performed, but I can’t find evidence of it. And both Laci Green’s and Liana K’s references show how primed people are to interpret virtually anything that happens on campus as censorship. Laci’s implication that “colleges,” plural, are “banning” feminist works like The Vagina Monologues in order to be inclusive of trans students seems entirely false.
Three further notes:
1) Mandolin just pointed out this Julia Serano essay on The Vagina Monologues to me. “It is true that some trans people do not like The Vagina Monologues, or consider it to be trans-exclusive. However, many trans people do appreciate the play, and some of us have performed in it.”
3) This is also part of a pattern of anti-SJWs interpreting freely made choices as censorship. Student groups being free to choose which plays to perform is an exercise of free speech, not an affront to it.