Advisory: This week's column contains adult language. And nothing is made-up.
Picture this image: 18,000 women line up at Madison Square Garden in New York City. They pay as much as $1,000 apiece to witness the spectacle. For the audience warm-up, the women are bombarded with the word "Vagina!" Soon, the Vulva Choir is singing the praises of their inner-vagina.
The play features a series of vignettes, including one about a 13-year-old girl who is plied with alcohol and raped -- by a woman. At the end, the girl revels in her new-found liberation from heterosexuality: "I'll never need to rely on a man. If it was a rape, it was a good rape."
This actually happened on February 10, 2001. Nothing here is made-up. The play, known as the Vagina Monologues, wins the prestigious OBIE Award. The New York Times hails playwright Eve Ensler as "the Messiah heralding the second wave of feminism."
Since then, the Vagina Monologues has been staged in front of hundreds of thousands of coeds at college campuses around the country. Listening to women talk about their genitalia is their way of celebrating Valentine's Day. Some of them wear self-reassuring T-shirts that say, "I love my vagina."
On September 13 last, feminist Eve Ensler invited former Playboy bunnie Gloria Steinem and others to star in an event in New York called "Vaginas Vote, Chicks Rock." The event was designed to encourage voter registration among Democratic-leaning women. Here are a few gems from Ensler's address:
* "Are there any registered vaginas in the house?" * "Step into your vaginas and get the vagina vote out!"
Her speech concluded with this heart-warming appeal: "Vulva! Vulva! Vulva! Vote!"
Ensler's event was successful. Seven weeks later, women turned out in record numbers. Many of them voted for George W. Bush.
Most mental health professionals would regard Miss Ensler's obsession with her crotch as a treatable condition. But now, a whole generation of women has come to believe that all manner of lewd and indecent behavior is acceptable -- just so long as it can be justified with feminist buzz words such as "liberation," "empowerment," and "choice."
Here are some recent examples:
In California, attorney Liana Johnsson reached this insight (note the liberation theme here): "At some point, men's breasts became liberated and women's didn't." So now Johnsson is pushing the California Legislature to pass a law allowing women and girls to "drop their tops" at California beaches and parks.
Growing numbers of women enjoy viewing pornography, and now represent 30% of all online porn visitors. Holly Moss, founder of Women In Adult, explains this trend: "As women have more choices in life and purchasing power, they are choosing what they want to see and how they want their porn."
Did you spot the skillful use of both the "choice" and "power" motifs in Miss Moss' remarks? But there's more. Last year a teenager marched into her school cafeteria in South Hadley, Mass. wearing only a bra and sweat pants. According to principal Melodie Goodwin, "We had girls fall out of their shirts in the sixth grade." Now the Michael E. Smith Middle School has tightened up its dress code.
Now, liberation even extends to the Soccer Mom set. USA Today recently reported on mothers who parade around the house with cleavage on full display and cook breakfast for junior wearing three-inch heels. According to reporter Olivia Barker, mom "doesn't want to check her sexuality at the picket-fence gate anymore."
Finally, let's not forget to mention those TV soft-porn hits like Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives. No surprise, these shows are watched mostly by women.
During the former Reign of Patriarchy, men sometimes regarded women in terms of their female anatomy. Most persons agreed that wasn't a very good thing. But it happened.
Then feminism came along and disposed of the Patriarchy. Men were told to stop objectifying women.
So what happened? Women began to objectify women.
Here's the amazing part - many intelligent women became convinced that it was good to be treated as sex objects. In fact, they were willing to part with good money to see a play that celebrated the rape of a 13-year-old girl.
In the past, the sexual degradation of women was confined to the bedroom and the brothel. But now, gender objectification permeates our culture. It is flaunted at college campuses, on the Internet, on prime-time TV, and during Super Bowl half-time shows. And it is done at the behest of women.
This has really happened.
Maybe the Patriarchy wasn't so bad.