November 4, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 36  

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King's bans, censors WIN's Vagina Monologues posters

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Who ever thought advertising for The Vagina Monologues would be so complicated?

Two posters advertising Women's Issues Network events have been altered or banned by King's College administration.

"Some women at the college felt the language used was objectifying," said Mary Carol Watters, dean of students at King's College, adding she was approached with complaints.

The first poster used the phrase "calling all vaginas" to attract women to audition for the production of The Vagina Monologues. The second used the phrase "got talent? got ovaries?" It advertised the open mic night which is called "that takes ovaries."

The first poster was altered, Watters explained. The word "vagina" was removed and replaced with the word "women". The second poster was banned.

"[The objection was] that a woman is so [much] more than her vagina and her ovaries," Watters said, adding complaints came from women who have lost their ovaries through surgery or have ovarian cancer. "Transgendered people may be offended as well.

"I know where [WIN are] coming from but we have a very sensitive community," Watters explained. "Objectification through language is objectification through language."

"In the context of The Vagina Monologues and V-day the wording was appropriate," said Kelly Wilson, producer of The Vagina Monologues. "It's not called 'the women monologues' for a reason - [part of] its success is because it is shocking and explicit.

"The Vagina Monologues is about sexual issues regardless of your [type of] sexuality - it includes sexuality that is not typically feminine and celebrates diversity with sexual organs as a uniting factor," Wilson explained.

"It is very important to us that people in King's are aware of what we're promoting," Wilson said.

Last year similar posters were banned from Brescia University College, said Karla Baker, WIN's co-ordinator. WIN sent members to Brescia to talk directly about the V-day events and what they are all about. The same will probably be done in this case, she said.

"Censorship is an over-reaction. The spirit that WIN was trying to foster was obviously lost on King's administration - how can we market ourselves as a forward-thinking institution when we gasp over a medical term?" asked Sarah Prevette, a third-year political science student at King's.

"It results in shock value whether or not that was their intention," said David Thuss, a third-year political science and English student at King's.



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