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Macbeth Vs. Vaginas

Poor David Brooks. As the token non-libertarian conservative on The New York Times editorial page, Mr. Brooks must tolerate the mindless swipes readers ineluctably take at each and every one of his columns. Whilst Maureen Dowd prattles on about "Bushy" and "Rummy" to constant Gray Lady fanfare, Mr. Brooks' generally reasonable op-eds receive nothing but scorn.

Such was the case with Mr. Brooks' October 5 column in the Paper of Record, which seemed curiously similar to a point we made on our "weblog" a few days before. Like us, Mr. Brooks wondered why liberals who applaud Eve Ensler's feculent play The Vagina Monologues were horrified by ex-Congressman Foley's sexual advances on youngish pages.

After all, The Vagina Monologues, amongst its other delights, champions a mature lesbian's statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. On what grounds would our feminist pals, who treat The Vagina Monologues as an agitprop goldmine, find fault with Mr. Foley's actions?

A reasonable query, that. Yet Mr. Brooks, unlike the crack young staff, was taken to the mat for asking it.

In the October 6 number of The New York Times, a few dimwitted liberals presented their angry responses. Here's a snippet of one, from the pen of Diane L. Young of Rochester, Michigan:

When David Brooks contrasts people's reactions to the Foley case and the play "The Vagina Monologues," in which an older woman helps a teenage girl have a sexual awakening, he misses a key point, and that is power.

Mark Foley, a congressman, had a certain amount of power, and many of the pages were responding to that power. Most were afraid to offend him or to break off communication because Mr. Foley might become an important ally in a future career.

We know what you're thinking, dear reader: Wow, does an argument get any more fatuous than that? Let's leave aside the notion that the pages "were afraid to offend" Mr. Foley; now that this whole business appears to have been a prank, that's highly unlikely to be the case.

Further, we can merely laugh off Ms. Young's attempt to sweep the sordidness of The Vagina Monologues under the rug: She claims that an event the mature female character in the play likens to "good rape" is merely "help" with a "sexual awakening." This, of course, is perverse, but we applaud Ms. Young's brazenness.

Instead, let us home in on the heart of her argument: Adults attempting to take sexual advantage of children should be applauded unless they have "power" over their prey. This thesis is so repugnant that to state it is to refute it.

Not to be outdone, someone named David D. Turner from Cleveland, Ohio offered his own response to Mr. Brooks:

Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" is no more symptomatic of sexual depravity in modern American culture than "Macbeth" was of murder in Elizabethan England.

Does David Brooks mean to suggest that it is not the job of the theater to provoke us, to be equivocal, to reflect our best and worst selves, then leave it to us to choose good behavior when we exit the lobby?

If so, then Mr. Brooks is asking for the ostensible rectitude of propaganda.

On the face of it, Mr. Turner's retort appears less rebarbative. In truth, however, it's equally obtuse.

Not even the most irrational feminist, we hope, would liken Shakespeare's Macbeth to Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues. And we say this not only due to their obvious differences in quality.

Rather, whereas Macbeth is a tragedy that does in fact "reflect the best and worst" of human nature, Eve Ensler's trash is nothing but stale feminist propaganda. That's why college campuses nationwide feature this play every Valentine's Day: It's a didactic exercise in feminist brainwashing, not a genuine attempt "to be equivocal" in any sense at all.

The Vagina Monologues celebrates and instructs; it presents a cartoon version of sexuality meant to be inspiring to the women's movement. Rather than offering a stinging retort to Mr. Brooks, then, Mr. Turner has merely demonstrated that he doesn't know the difference between good theater and radical-feminist talking-points.

(Note: The crack young staff usually "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are currently contemplating aiding Diane L. Young's teenage daughter "have a sexual awakening." Don't worry: She won't be mad--we haven't got any "power" over her daughter.)

Comments (19)

Putting aside the contrast ... (Below threshold)

Putting aside the contrast between consensual sex of the monologues and the sexual harassment of Mark Foley, we observe that the Vagina Monologues are fiction, unlike the actions of Mr. Foley. This fact is, of course, lost upon conservatives, who live not in a world that is "reality-based."

I'm told that the girl who ... (Below threshold)

I'm told that the girl who was originally 13 in the play has aged some and now is portrayed as a teen old enough to be "legal."

The Vagina Monologues are f... (Below threshold)

The Vagina Monologues are fiction, but it really is stretching a point to ignore the astute observation made above that the Vagina Monologues PURPOSE is to be instructive.

"The Vagina Monologues celebrates and instructs; it presents a cartoon version of sexuality meant to be inspiring to the women's movement."

Yes, there's a difference between something that happened in real life and a fictional depiction presented as a good and liberating event to be lauded and emulated.

One thing is telling people that sex with teenagers is good. The other is (actually it wasn't, but I'm not excusing IM sex) sex with teenagers. So... is it good or is it not good?

Am I the only one who is be... (Below threshold)

Am I the only one who is beginning to speculate that the Foley diversion was an October surprise launched by the GOP, not the Dems -- considering the damage it will cause the Dems (not the GOP); or is this merely another Wiley Cyote/Roadrunner moment?

I would like Mr Turner to k... (Below threshold)

I would like Mr Turner to know that when I go to the movies I go to be entertained not to be provoked. I go to laugh and get away from the reality of the socialist government the liberals are trying to foist on us. I go to see good triumph over evil because I see so little of this in real life. As a result I go to the movies infrequently.

"Am I the only one who is b... (Below threshold)

"Am I the only one who is beginning to speculate that the Foley diversion was an October surprise launched by the GOP, not the Dems"

Yes. If your statements are an indicator of the overall level of denial within the republiucan ranks then the right really is in trouble.

Frankie, are you saying or ... (Below threshold)

Frankie, are you saying or implying that the Foley diversion will HELP the Dems?

(I don't think that will be the case -- remember when Kerry & Edwards gratuitiously exposed Cheney's daughter as a lesbian attempting to suppress the Christian right voters???. I didn't work out that way.)

Ms. Young sounds exactly li... (Below threshold)

Ms. Young sounds exactly like a spokesMAN from NAMBLA. Sexual awakening is their mantra.

Ted,Judging by the... (Below threshold)


Judging by the poll numbers (understanding that there is the "bounce factor"), yes. I have also read republican strategists convey alarm about the christian fundamental base feeling betrayed by their so-called party of moral values and, while not switching sides, might choose to just stay home on election day, like they did in the 90's. This, then, would help the Dems.

I think Frankie is correct ... (Below threshold)

I think Frankie is correct in last post. It is a matter of who will be voting at all, not a matter of switching sides. There are "fundamental" bases in both parties (for lack of a better term for the far left in the Democratic Party). I think the far left of the Democratic Party can be strung along for a much longer period of time with thrown bones from the leadership than the far right would settle for from the Republican leadership. Hence, those who would rather vote Republican but are unhappy with the current status of the GOP will just stay away.

I'm beginning to think the ... (Below threshold)

I'm beginning to think the hatemongers are actually liberals out to parody an embarrass the conservative movement.

Or are we witnessing a total meltdown and splintering of the conservative movement instead? I've read the hatemonger posts before, and had my beliefs challenged by some of what they've said, but the premise they take here is so idiotic it doesn't warrant the effort.

Frankie and David, I think ... (Below threshold)

Frankie and David, I think you have it exactly backwards. Christian Fundamentalists will NOT stay home because of Foley Diversion. They are angry at Dems for apparently making an issue of this and they are angry at the MSM. They will show their anger at the polls.

Well, Ted, you might be rig... (Below threshold)

Well, Ted, you might be right but among my conservative friends, I do not detect an anger at the MSM over the Foley matter. I guess we will have to see.
Lee, I am not sure it is a splintering of the conservative movement. I think there are the Bill Buckley-type conservatives who are no longer content to be closely associated with supporting without reservation the policies of the Bush administration. So, if that is splintering then I guess that's what we can call it. I am fully prepared for the Democrats to gain a majority in one or both Houses of Congress after November. However, I am also prepared to see the Democrats in that position take a totally obstructionist stance, content merely to de-rail all or most of Bush's policy initiatives. I also predict we will see no creative legislation come from a Democratrically controlled Congress (and you can say that about the current Republican controlled Congress)because they will be preoccupied by their perceived obstructionist mandate. I think that is safe to say if one sees what that leadership will be. Maybe the Congress will side with Bush on immigration reform but that is an issue where I disagree in a major way with the President. The country will then decide in those ensuing two years, depending upon how it plays out, how they want the White House to look after 2008. My guess a Republican President is still possible.

Lee, The "Vagina Mo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The "Vagina Monologues" is simply another example in a long list of hypocrisy and corruption of the liberal dems. That 's why the dems can embrace the corrupt ALCU who attacked the Boy Scout and defended NAMBLA at the same time.
Decent American cannot allow the Dem sewage to flood our country any further.

I don't suppose that an int... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

I don't suppose that an intellectually deprived Diane L. Young might have considered that any adult is considered to have "power" over an adolescent. That is, after all, the nature of the realtionship, almost by definition.

I also find it odd that those enlightened progressives who find the actions of former Congressman Foley so abhorent are yet opposed to actions by the Boy Scouts to preclude this very situation from happening to boys under their care.

If predatory sexual advances by an adult male toward a 16 or 17 year old are morally reprehensible and to be avoided by those who are charged with supervising the boys, why are actions to prevent similar advances against 10 or 12 year olds regarded as politically incorrect by those on the left?

"why are actions to prev... (Below threshold)

"why are actions to prevent similar advances against 10 or 12 year olds regarded as politically incorrect by those on the left?"

Because the mere fact that a person is gay doesn't mean he is a sexual predator, Bat One.

Beckel never said that, I never said that -- but that appears that it might be your position, B.O. -- is it?

It seems to be the possitio... (Below threshold)

It seems to be the possition of a whole lot of people, actually. Even my local congressional race involves the Dem candidate trying to claim that the Republican incumbant should have known about this but did nothing. Since about the only thing known was that Foley was gay (or suspected to be gay) and a friendly guy, it IS pretty much saying that a gay man who likes kids MUST be suspect.

That counts in gay men who want to be Scout leaders. How can it not?

I love you Chip....... (Below threshold)

I love you Chip....

So...to get back to the top... (Below threshold)

So...to get back to the topic at hand, if it's a liberal arguement that Foley's actions were objectionable only because he was using his "power" over these young people...why did these same people not object to Clinton's use of power over Monica Lewinski? Because she was in her 20's?

Give me a break - abuse of power is abuse of power, no matter the age of the victim. Why do grown women file lawsuits charging others with sexual harassment if not to address the power dynamic?

Again, logical inconsistencies on the part of the left.






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