All-women's college, Mount Holyoke, deems vaginas 'exclusionary'

I’ve never actually seen “The Vagina Monologues” and, frankly, it doesn’t strike me as all that interesting or radical (but what do I know — again, haven’t seen or read it) so I feel odd defending something I’ve never much cared about. That said, this is getting ridiculous.

Campus Reform reported that “Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s college in Massachusetts, is retiring its annual production of the Vagina Monologues this year because the play is not inclusive of transgender students.”

Since when are vaginas supposed to be “inclusive?” These are our bodies. Vaginas are something females have. There isn’t anything we can do about that. Our bodies do not have to be the same as all other bodies, nor should we stop talking about the realities of our bodies because it leaves out people who don’t have vaginas.

Campus Reform reports:

In a school-wide email from the Theatre Board, a representative from the group, Erin Murphy, explained the problems with the play and the reasoning behind its discontinuation.

“At its core, the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman…Gender is a wide and varied experience, one that cannot simply be reduced to biological or anatomical distinctions, and many of us who have participated in the show have grown increasingly uncomfortable presenting material that is inherently reductionist and exclusive.”

Part of the reason that plays like The Vagina Monologues exist is so that women can stop feeling shame about their bodies — so that there is a space for women to talk about their experiences of trauma and abuse at the hands of men, to talk about their sexualities, and yes, to talk about their vaginas.

But the political climate we are currently living in (henceforth known as the Reign of Stupid) has deemed women talking about being women “exclusionary.”

There are a number of critiques I’ve encountered of the play that read as reasonable to me. “Vaginas exclude people without vaginas” is not one of them. Can there not be, say, more than one play? A vagina one and a not-vagina one? What’s next? Ban the word “vagina?” “Woman?” What is so offensive about us? OH right. That Being-A-Woman thing (also known as that Not-A-Real-Human thing).

Silencing women is super progressive, Mount Holyoke.

This just reeks of the backlash.


Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.