Letters to the Editors

Responses to ‘Men and the Monologues’

Dear Editors:
Re: “Men and the Monologues” (Journal, February 13, 2007).

Ah, the age old gender double standard. Time and time again it sparks debate and controversy—tale as old as time really. I find it quite the predicament now that it is overshadowing the amazing production that I was able to be a part of this year, that being The Vagina Monologues. Yes it’s true one of our directors has a penis—and now the Journal won’t let me forget it. They reminded me once, and that was fine. However, when they informed me again I began to worry. I began to worry that no one (besides the lovely cast of course) would know what a joy it was to be a part of since no one was really talking about the show. So, I feel that I should take it upon myself to shed some light on the actual production rather than dwell on the fact that one of us has a scrotum. My experience was absolutely wonderful; I have never been part of anything like this before. When I first auditioned the producers, Laura Sobel and Julia Chanter and the directors, Ainsley Brittain and John Taggart were present.

Once I met them I knew I had to be in this play because they seemed like great people to work with. When I first saw Taggart there I was a little surprised but that was because I couldn’t believe a man was courageous enough to take such a great role in raising women’s issues. At every full cast rehearsal we learned so much about the issues raised in the play. Thanks to Chanter and Sobel for organizing guest speakers and educational talks, which I know, was not easy. What I learned there made me a more open-minded person and the world could always use more of them, right? At my individual rehearsals both Brittain and Taggart listened to what I had to say about my character’s feelings and how I thought her vagina felt.

Both of them did direct me and tell me how they viewed her, but I never felt uncomfortable working with their feedback and comments. I have worked with a lot of directors before and I’ve never worked with anyone that has been more passionate about their task. I could tell they wanted to bring these stories alive and do them justice. I am so proud of the stage managers and cast; they are all so hard working and talented. They blew me away every night with their dedication and awesome performances. This experience was a short one, but it taught me to be a better person and I met many remarkable people along the way. I will not forget it. I can’t speak for everyone else involved, but this was my journey on the road to vaginal bliss and I want everyone to know it.

Ashley Singh
ArtSci ’09 The Vagina Monoglouges cast member

Dear Editors:

Re: “Men and the Monologues” (, February 13, 2007).

The editors of the Journal have attempted to taint the success The Vagina Monologues project with their editorial cartoon of Feb. 13. Clearly equating the male director in the cartoon with The Vagina Monologues co-director John Taggart, the editors invite students to question whether gender stereotypes inhibited this years' production.

Everyone associated with this project was celebrating self-respect while raising awareness in the cause of stopping violence against women and connecting to the larger goal of worldwide peace. Why denigrate the achievement of the cast and crew of this marvelous production with your flippant little cartoon? Such tastelessness harkens back to an era when women were truly stereotyped and violence against women was an ugly secret. Shame on you for making the male co-director the focus of your article to the detriment of everyone else involved. Who are you to say that the women's movement hasn't “evolved to the point where men should be involved?” It seems the Journal’s editors are the ones who are dragging their evolutionary heels.

Michelle Keilhauer
Mother of a cast member

Love and Sex Supplement photo offensive

Dear Editors:
Re: Love and Sex Supplement (Journal, February 13, 2007).

I am appalled by your decision to include a portrayal of a man and a woman in apparent sexual congress, as the cover of your Love and Sex Supplement. Even more shockingly, the picture included an undistorted rendering of not one, but two separate (cleaved) buttocks.

I think it goes without saying that this sort of content could be deeply offensive to some members of the Queen’s community, especially those with religious convictions. Personally, I feel the images demean women, discredit Queen’s as an institution of higher learning, cause an inconvenient erection and trivialize sexual relationships. Need I remind you, Journal, that children read newspapers? Please try to respect those with different beliefs. The only buttocks that belong in your newspaper are those of Jesus Christ.

Don MacCannell
Golden Words editor
Comm/ArtsSci ’07

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