Vagina Mention Lands Three US Students In Hot Water

Three US students are in hot water for disobeying teachers and uttering the word “vagina” during a reading from the well-known feminist play “The Vagina Monologues” at a high school forum.

The three 16-year-old girls received a one-day suspension from John Jay High School, in New York, after refusing to agree to drop the word from their presentation last Friday.

The school, however, announced this week that it was postponing the suspension following outrage by some of the girl’s peers as well as parents.

Eve Ensler, the author of “The Vagina Monologues” has meanwhile called the girls to express support and has offered to come to the school to speak on the issue, a spokeswoman told AFP.

School principal Rich Leprine said in a statement that the punishment meted out to the students was not for using the word vagina but rather for insubordination.

“When a student is told by faculty members not to present specified material because of the composition of the audience and they agree to do so, it is expected that the commitment will be honored and the directive will be followed,” Leprine said. “When a student chooses not to follow the directive, consequences follow.”

Elan Stahl, one of the three students, said the girls were not looking to challenge the school during their performance but felt frustrated that officials would ask them to censor the play.

“Our aim was not to get in trouble,” Stahl told AFP. “We want to put the word (vagina) out there and make people comfortable with using it.

“If they can just admit that the word vagina shouldn’t have been censored because it’s not lewd or obscene … than that apology would be gladly accepted,” she said.

“The Vagina Monologues” is based on several hundred interviews with women around the world and celebrates female sexuality and focuses on the abuses women suffer.

The passage that landed Stahl and her schoolmates in trouble reads: “My short skirt is a liberation flag in the women’s army. I declare these streets, any streets, my vagina’s country.”


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