Feb. 9-10: The Vagina Monologues (Benefit Performance for RAWA,etc.)

S Chatterjee schatterjee2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 11 12:26:01 MST 2002

--- Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:
> Thursday, Feb. 14

> > You wouldn't be a little bit prudish... would you?
> I think it is more than prudishness -- it is an arrogant assumption that
> he can dictate to women the terms of their liberation. I have not seen
> the show nor read it, and it probably is "bourgeois feminism." Until an
> actual communist feminism exists in practice, however, marxists who
> sincerely aim at the unity and strength of the working class must pay
> their respects to such feminism.

No intention of dictating to any one. Just expressing my opinion that what
is essentially a kind of slavery is masquerading as freedom. The very
title of the monologues should be a disgrace and an insult to any woman
provided she is a thinking woman and not a pawn or an object. In case you
have forgotton, here is an extract from the post that Yoshie Furuhashi
sent to the list.

"Eve Ensler has given voice to a chorus of lusty, outrageous, poignant,
brave, highly original and thoroughly human stories.  Based on interviews
with a diverse group of women -- from a Long Island antique dealer to a
Bosnian refugee -- the play brazenly explores the humor, power, pain,
wisdom, outrage, mystery and excitement hidden in vaginas."

How can what is essentially advertised as a verbal strip show masquerade
as feminism of any kind at all? That is the main issue. Anyway, below is
the "prudish" Lenin in his talk with Clara Zetkin on the issue of feminism
[you may protest and say that his remarks do not apply to the present
situation, and the discussion will stop right there. After all, even the
most universal law will not apply in its pure form to any particular

"The record of your sins, Clara, is even worse. I have been told that at
the evenings arranged for reading and discussion with working women, sex
and marriage problems come first. They are said to be the main objects of
interest in your political instruction and educational work. I could not
believe my ears when I heard that. The first state of proletarian
dictatorship is battling with the counter-revolutionaries of the whole
world. The situation in Germany itself calls for the greatest unity of all
proletarian revolutionary forces, so that they can repel the
counter-revolution which is pushing on. But active Communist women are
busy discussing sex problems and the forms of marriage 'past, present and
future'. They consider it their most important task to enlighten working
women on these questions.

"It is said that a pamphlet on the sex question written by a Communist
authoress from Vienna enjoys the greatest popularity. What rot that
booklet is! The workers read what is right in it long ago in Bebel. Only
not in the tedious, cut-and-dried form found in the pamphlet but in the
form of gripping agitation that strikes out at bourgeois society. The
mention of Freud's hypotheses is designed to give the pamphlet a
scientific veneer, but it is so much bungling by an amateur. Freud's
theory has now become a fad. I mistrust sex theories expounded in
articles, treatises, pamphlets, etc in short, the theories dealt with in
that specific literature which sprouts so luxuriantly on the dung heap of
bourgeois society. I mistrust those who are always absorbed in the sex
problems, the way an Indian saint is absorbed in the contemplation of his
navel. It seems to me that this superabundance of sex theories, which for
the most part are mere hypotheses, and often quite arbitrary ones, stems
from a personal need. It springs from the desire to justify one's own
abnormal or excessive sex life before bourgeois morality and to plead for
tolerance towards oneself. This veiled respect for bourgeois morality is
as repugnant to me as rooting about in all that bears on sex. No matter
how rebellious and revolutionary it may be made to appear, it is in the
final analysis thoroughly bourgeois. Intellectuals and others like them
are particularly keen on this. There is no room for it in the Party, among
the class-conscious, fighting proletariat. "

----- Lenin in his talk with Clara Zetkin

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