Monday, February 12

:: Keeping Up

For days now I have been defending Amanda Marcotte – a woman I've never met – up and down the internet. I’ve barely even read her stuff – I visited the website Pandagon once or twice, liked it okay, but didn’t find it particularly compelling (meaning, it neither pissed me off or made me laugh). But the non-story that became a big story over her hiring by the Edwards Presidential campaign struck a chord. Eventually I put up a "diary" at Daily Kos. Yes, I admit it. That's what I did. I'm not ashamed. Well, maybe just a little.

The link to it is here.

We've probably all heard the news about the Portuguese referendum on abortion, right? We're not too distracted by the impending nuclear holocaust with Iran and the tragic loss of Anna Nicole Smith to keep up with the important news items, I hope.

The referendum won a majority - close to 60/40 - to legalize abortion. Unfortunately the threshold of +50% participation was not met, so the referendum does not go into effect. However, the Prime Minister has promised to table the referendum language ("table" is Parl-speak for introduce) and the governing party is overwhelmingly in favor. So the law will change, leaving only Ireland, Poland and Malta to be the laggards of Europe.

In other news, surely you've seen the following story. Just in case though...

A theatre in Florida had to change the title of a charity production of The Vagina Monologues on its marquee, after a woman complained that it was offensive.

The new name? They decided on 'The Hoohaa Monologues'.

Then, they had to change it back after the play's producers said that the lack of offense was offensive.

Atlantic Theatres in Atlantic Beach, Florida, received a complaint from a woman who'd seen the advertised title as she drove past with her niece. She said that it had made her niece ask her what a vagina was.

The theatre's Bryce Pfanenstiel commented: 'I'm on the phone and asked “What did you tell her?” She's like, “I'm offended I had to answer the question.”' So the theatre, anxious to avoid controversy, decided that the childish slang word 'hoohaa' was the most appropriate thing to replace 'vagina'.

Some have welcomed the change to 'The Hoohaa Monologues', while others have expressed some confusion. 'It sounds like a country band,' one passer by commented to local TV station WJXT.

The production was being staged by a group of law students, with all proceeds going to charity. The director of the play demanded that the title be changed back, saying that they only had the rights to the play if its contents - including the title - were not censored.

As a result, two days after the hoohaa brouhaha began, the vagina was returned to its rightful place on the billboard.

The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler's award-winning international hit play, is an attempt to celebrate the vagina as an object of empowerment, rather than of shame. There's some way to go with that one, clearly.

I wish I could make stuff like this up.

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