When The Vagina Monologues hit stages in the 1990s, it was lauded as being a super-woke (although thankfully, we didn't know about wokeness yet) masterpiece celebrating women. It was seen as breaking boundaries and empowering women. Students loved to stage productions of it. Those were the halcyon days. Twenty years later, it is super-offensive, and campus millennials won't stand for it.
Stripped is an all-gender monologue series that covers subject matter ranging from social justice to menstruation.
Sounds like a delightful night out, doesn't it? But why did they need an alternative? It just wasn't left-wing enough, gosh darn it:
However, (The Vagina Monologues) is filtered through a white, upper-class, cisgender lens that leads to problematic portrayals of women of color, and women outside of the U.S. Additionally, its emphasis on genitalia problematically equates being a woman with having a vagina, and vice versa. The conflation of gender with anatomy invalidates the lives of transgender people.
In the program, George introduces herself -- or rather, "themselves," with:
Yo! I’m Kat George ‘16 (they/them). I was born and raised in New York City but have been working these past few months as a toddler teacher in Minneapolis. I wrote STRIPPED as an alternative set of monologues to Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues because the Carleton community had voiced multiple concerns with the production. These concerns varied from Ensler’s embodied trans exclusive writings to the production’s exploitation of brown, black, and non-western bodies.
She says of Stripped that "It privileges the voices that are silenced and bodies that are oppressed."
Campus Reform spoke with George about the production:
“It claims to be about celebrating vaginas, but then a lot of trans people are excluded,” said George, who added that it “portrayed a lot of white, cis, upper-class white women and it conflated women with vaginas but not all women have vaginas.”
George also noted that the lack of representation in The Vagina Monologues mirrors the lack of representation and support felt on campus.
“There's a lot of frustration with Carleton being a predominately white institution,” said George. “As a queer person of color, non-binary, trans, I absolutely felt I wasn't being represented in other events put on at Carleton.”
Ultimately, she said:
“This sounds selfish, but as a low-income, first gen, non-binary, queer, neuro-divergent, afro-latinx person from New York City it feels super rewarding to recreate Stripped each year because I am finding out that I am not alone… and that there are people out there who are struggling in similar ways,” they said, noting that Stripped allows for “this truth that finally gets to be spoken without the silencing and filtering of the administration.”
Yes, "low-income, first gen, non-binary, queer, neuro-divergent, afro-latinx person" is a way some people describe themselves in 2018. It costs around $65,000 per year to attend this institution of "learning." It is unclear how any of this is going to help people get a job and become productive members of society.