Students Respond to ‘Vagina Monologues’ Opinion Piece

Thank you, to the entire staff at El Vaquero, for your generous support and coverage of the Women?s History Month events. I have grown to highly respect the reporters who spent sleepless hours finishing stories so others could share the hard work of Dr. Lisa Lubow (our 2002 coordinator), many fine professors and student volunteers, the GCC Theatre Guild and the United Womyn’ Council (UWC).

It is important that I mention those El Vaq staff members who have been particularly helpful, including Ani Asatryan, Roderick Daniels, Eileen Rasnake, Michael Konigsberg, and writers like Nairi Chopurian who have further inspired good works on campus to end violence, intolerance and discrimination. There are more staff members, whose names I don’t know, but who were vital to the stories getting to print. None of the great success we had this March would be complete without support from our own El Vaquero.

Before I finished this letter, another article concerning our most successful and charitable Women’s History event appeared in the El Vaquero [April 5]. After its publication, my e-mail and phone messages were flooded with negative reactions to this ?article,? in which a student condemned ?The Vagina Monologues.? Was this opinion piece meant as a letter to the editor?
Whatever it was intended to be, it has offended the many courageous people who worked hard to put the Vagina Monologues fund-raiser together and to raise more than $3,000 for the Domestic Violence Project of the Glendale YWCA and RAWA (the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan).
I will stand in solidarity with those who were offended by the publishing of this article, and by the manner in which it was written, by asking you for an equal chance to have a response published.

Before I respond to the article in detail, I want to meet and talk with those responsible for it. I have been known to be a self-righteous hothead, so to avoid my own carping criticism … putting down the words and works of those I do not agree with. … I must attempt to get facts from ?the other side.? I don’t want my anger published, because that would do the very same harm that I feel the ?article? did to the UWC, the Theatre Guild and the entire global V-day college campaign to stop violence.

I have found that the practice of critical thinking and competent information gathering helps me to lift up my biased opinions to a level of information that actually can do others good and not harm. These skills are exactly what I am here at GCC to sharpen. For this reason, I have asked Professor Michael Moreau, faculty adviser to the El Vaquero, to moderate/facilitate a discussion between me and the author and publisher of this article. He has agreed! I would like this to be an opportunity for the campus to witness conflict resolution, critical thinking, fact finding, and unity among those of differing opinions in action.

So I make this challenge to you, El Vaquero. Please contact the student who felt shut out by ?The Vagina Monologues? and share this invitation from me. I am the student who got on the stage of the auditorium and played the true story of a sexually abused woman who found love, so that I could help raise money for battered women and children here in Glendale and in Afghanistan. Let us meet, face to face. Let there be witness to our exchange of information and ideas.

Yours in Solidarity,

Niki Davis

Co-Chair United Womyn?s Council

[email protected]

(818) 662-5088

I am so proud and pleased to have been a part of the ?Vagina Monologues,? Glendale College.
I have been a student here for two years, and until the formation of the United Womyn?s Council last spring, had never participated in school politics or events.

Now, through the UWC, we have coordinated numerous speakers, performers and events to raise money and gain awareness of domestic abuse, rape, and women from several different cultures that haves struggled for a public voice.

As a ticket seller, promotional worker and performer in the Vagina Monologues, I am brimming over with pride, respect and awe of the hard work that went into the production.
Not only did we raise more money for our charity then we even thought possible, we raised awareness on campus and in the community.

If nothing else, the negative response in El vaquero to our wonderful performance gives us even more opportunities to spotlight the positive work our organization has done on behalf of Glendale College.

Thank you,

Jovita Carpenter