By Rebekah Maxwell – BarbWire guest contributor
This Week’s Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us
Today, I write to you not as my normal, highly-evolved and enlightened self, but as a woman.
Yes, until we cleanse our society of gender entirely, I identify as a woman–largely because I am one. And I once believed in the power and potential of women, in celebrating what it means to be a woman.
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But that was before I knew that such a celebration is bigotry.
In an era when men are proud to be feminists, women have decided that being pro-woman isn’t such a great idea anymore…because it offends women who aren’t women. No, it’s not a contradiction.
These new levels of enlightenment come from Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s school (naturally). Every year, they perform Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues on Valentine’s Day. It’s part of the national V-Day campaign and it’s used to raise money for women’s rights groups or sexual assault prevention organizations.
But this year, the college has announced they are permanently canceling the play, because Vagina Monologues excludes women without vaginas.
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,” the email, obtained by Campus Reform, said.
Yes, celebrating womanhood by drawing on the most basic and unifying indicator of womanhood is truly narrow-minded. It’s a good thing this “all-women’s college” has redefined what it means to be a woman–literally.
Last month, when they announced that they would now open their admission to men who identify as women, they released a Youtube video called “MHC Redefines Womanhood,” in which they spent eight minutes making the case that men can be women too. Because, feminism?
According to the school’s online message board, students have mixed feelings about the decision to cancel their annual play:“I love how people who have never been able to discuss or embrace their vaj-wahs aren’t going to find an avenue here, either, since female-validating talk about vaginas is now forbidden. That’s so misogynistic under the guise of ‘progress,’” one student wrote.
“But we can’t present a show that is blatantly transphobic and treats race and homosexuality questionably, when one of the conditions of getting the rights to the show is that you can’t critique it or alter it,” another student said.
Replacing the play will be Mount Holyoke’s own version that will be trans-inclusive and fix the “problems” supposedly perpetuated by Ensler.
Because that’s what an exclusively-women’s college is about: inclusivity. We want to include everyone except men. Well, sometimes men, but only if they call themselves women. Although they lack the essential components of women, and still biologically have that whole “male-privilege” thing going on? Or do they? We’re not sure.
And why stop there? What about women who identify as men? Are their biological qualifications enough to earn them a spot at Mount Holyoke? Or are they disqualified, because their femaleness doesn’t fit the new definition of “womanhood”? That doesn’t seem very inclusive.
Feminists who have been vociferously decrying that accursed “male privilege” must not have realized that they can’t enjoy any form of “female privilege” either. That, if the theory of opposites is correct, the definition of “male” and “female” hinge on one another in a fundamental and inextricable way. That, despite attempts at “independent redefinition,” no definition of gender can ever be “all-inclusive” (for once you state what a thing is, you have excludes what it is not).
There is a big difference between prizing womanhood (refusing to reduce women to just their biology), and pretending womanhood (removing the definition of womanhood from biology entirely). If we so broaden the concept of “woman” that it somehow includes everything, we’ve emptied ourselves of the ability to truly mean anything.
Women cannot empower ourselves by crafting an ever-expanding counterfeit reality…doing so only cedes our Imago Dei birthright to be proud of our womanhood, for a socially “progressive” bowl of pottage.
In summary: being a woman doesn’t require actually being a woman…now, men are women, too. Feminists need to “check their privilege,” because there’s a new protected class in town.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
Rebekah Maxwell, producer of the Steve Deace Show, began reporting and producing at WHO Radio in 2007, with on-air work recognized by the official alphabet soup: the AP, IBNA, NBNA, RTDNA, NAB (all the while staying far from the TSA and UFOs). She delights in debating religion, politics, and all other subjects impolite at the dinner table. Her favorite time of year is Caucus season, and she’s an accomplished slam poet, ready to spit the truth…in mad rhymes, if necessary.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.