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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Letters to the Editor

The Monologues fail in their attempts

“The Vagina Monologues” seems to be an attempt at retaking the core of womanhood, the vagina, from violence, suppression and general misuse.

By bringing women’s sexuality into the public, these monologues attempt to show off the vagina for what it really is – special.

However, these noble intentions fail. Instead of just retaking the vagina as the core, the Monologues makes women out to be their vaginas. And instead of making the vagina special, the play makes it vulgar.

The first problem is the distinction between women and vaginas is lost during monologues like “What Would it Wear?”, “What Would it Say?” and “My Angry Vagina.”

These monologues personify vaginas by asking what they would wear or say if they were people, and then they shift into speaking of the vagina as if its persona was of the actual person; the person’s psyche is transferred to her vagina: whatever the woman would do, so too would her vagina.

Thus, the Monologues equates women with their vaginas.

But clearly women are much more than just their vaginas, and it would probably be good for those who do violence to women, like those using women as a means to sexual gratification, to recognize this.

The other problem of vulgarity is caused by the casual and open attitude about vaginas throughout the monologues. Vagina is used in such a way that it loses its special quality and becomes commonplace instead.

The vulgarity is especially presented by the reclaiming of the word “cunt.”

Here The Vagina Monologues wishes to retake “cunt” and show how special it is, yet to do so, they chant it – over and over – leaving the word just as vulgar as before.

In a similar way, the Monologues attempts to show how special the vagina is. And in the same way, vagina is made vulgar – by being used casually and extensively.

There really isn’t a need for the laborious details of orgasms (aside from exciting base appetites) or the details of masturbation.

And in the end, this over-usage simply leads to vulgarity.

This isn’t to say that sexuality is a topic that is not fit for discussion; it’s just not a topic fit for any discussion.

And while certain monologues, like “I Was There in the Room,” do show the sacred and special qualities of the vagina, the majority of the monologues do not articulate this.

Thus, the Monologues really fails to meet its own goals of vindicating the core of womanhood from an over-sexualized and objectifying culture. Instead it just makes womanhood vulgar.

-Richard McNeillie, Graduate Student, [email protected].

Animals are as deserving of love as humans

I was disturbed to read Lauren Walter’s article yesterday. I was most disturbed to hear that Walter thinks that in reference to people loving their pets “it’s too bad some in our society don’t have that kind of love when it comes to … friends and family members.”

I feel Walter forgot to think about those who have no family, are restricted to their homes, use service animals or suffer from mental disorders such as depression.

These cases are all examples of critical roles pets play in the lives of humans who depend on them for the love and comfort that unfortunately they cannot get from other humans.

It was offensive for Walter to put the word love in quotations when she referred to those who love their pets deeply, thereby suggesting the love between a human and an animal is not indeed a true form of love.

Isn’t it enough that there is some form of love floating around in the world? Does it really matter at whom or what it’s directed at?

I know of people who cannot have children of their own and adoption is not an option. For them, pampering their pets gives them the sort of satisfaction they cannot have because of their incapability to bear children.

It may seem strange for most to see dogs in raincoats, but for the vast majority of us it is not possible to understand what it means to that person to be able to dress up their dog.

And who is it really hurting? People have the right to spend their money any way they wish.

What if we took that money spent (as Walter suggested) and gave it to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)? Would that be less prestigious than giving it to a “human-based” charity? I sure don’t think so.

I would also invite Walter to prove animals don’t have souls. There have been numerous accounts of animals intervening in “moral” situations.

Last spring a baby in Toledo crawled out through an open window onto a roof and the family dog followed him barking hysterically until someone on the ground noticed the child and went to get a ladder, and a few years ago there was an account of a golden retriever attacking a man who started beating his wife.

Animals may not be able to vocalize their emotions, but they know what hurts, what feels good and in some respect, what is right and what is wrong.

A dog can’t make up with your boyfriend, but it can be there to lick your face when you cry over the breakup and can listen without judging.

It is true that animals cannot speak, offer advice, or balance your checkbook, but that doesn’t make the love between an animal and a human any less meaningful than human relationships.

– Julie Thibault, MBA Philosophy Graduate Student, [email protected].

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