Catholics protest Vagina Monologues

Travis Perry

Washburn thespians were cause for dissent Sunday afternoon as protestors lined 17th Street between White Concert Hall and the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.

The protestors, a group of Catholics assembled from various churches across Topeka, were upset with a scene in the university’s performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” The scene in question is titled “The Little Coochie Snorcher that Could,” which recounts the traumatic sexual experiences of her childhood, and later at age 16 finds sexual healing in another woman.

The group carried various signs, including one saying ‘don’t use our tax dollars for pornography,’ and ‘respect women, don’t dishonor them with pornography.’ Francis Slobodnik, leader of the protest, also led others in chanting the Hail Mary.

“We consider it to be entirely morally offensive,” said Slobodnik. While some find “The Vagina Monologues” to be a play empowering to women, he holds a contrasting opinion. “We find that difficult to believe when women are abused as objects.”

Another objection the group had to the production was that it was being produced through the university, which they saw as their tax dollars being used improperly.

Brenda Blackman, stage manager for the production, confirmed that the scene in question is included in the play, and while she respects the opinions of the protestors, she believes that their mindset is a large cause for many of the problems “The Vagina Monologues” addresses.

“I feel if you don’t talk about it, then you’re just hiding away in a closet like nothing is happening,” said Blackman, who added that the performance is about education, not offensiveness. “We don’t force anyone to come see the show.”