Poor David Brooks. As the token non-libertarian conservative on The New York Times editorial page, Mr. Brooks must tolerate the mindless swipes readers ineluctably take at each and every one of his columns. Whilst Maureen Dowd prattles on about “Bushy” and “Rummy” to constant Gray Lady fanfare, Mr. Brooks’ generally reasonable op-eds receive nothing but scorn.
Such was the case with Mr. Brooks’ October 5 column in the Paper of Record, which seemed curiously similar to a point we made on our “weblog” a few days before. Like us, Mr. Brooks wondered why liberals who applaud Eve Ensler’s feculent play The Vagina Monologues were horrified by ex-Congressman Foley’s sexual advances on youngish pages.
After all, The Vagina Monologues, amongst its other delights, champions a mature lesbian’s statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. On what grounds would our feminist pals, who treat The Vagina Monologues as an agitprop goldmine, find fault with Mr. Foley’s actions?
A reasonable query, that. Yet Mr. Brooks, unlike the crack young staff, was taken to the mat for asking it.
In the October 6 number of The New York Times, a few dimwitted liberals presented their angry responses. Here’s a snippet of one, from the pen of Diane L. Young of Rochester, Michigan:
When David Brooks contrasts people’s reactions to the Foley case and the play “The Vagina Monologues,” in which an older woman helps a teenage girl have a sexual awakening, he misses a key point, and that is power.
Mark Foley, a congressman, had a certain amount of power, and many of the pages were responding to that power. Most were afraid to offend him or to break off communication because Mr. Foley might become an important ally in a future career.
We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: Wow, does an argument get any more fatuous than that? Let’s leave aside the notion that the pages “were afraid to offend” Mr. Foley; now that this whole business appears to have been a prank, that’s highly unlikely to be the case.
Further, we can merely laugh off Ms. Young’s attempt to sweep the sordidness of The Vagina Monologues under the rug: She claims that an event the mature female character in the play likens to “good rape” is merely “help” with a “sexual awakening.” This, of course, is perverse, but we applaud Ms. Young’s brazenness.
Instead, let us home in on the heart of her argument: Adults attempting to take sexual advantage of children should be applauded unless they have “power” over their prey. This thesis is so repugnant that to state it is to refute it.
Not to be outdone, someone named David D. Turner from Cleveland, Ohio offered his own response to Mr. Brooks:
Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” is no more symptomatic of sexual depravity in modern American culture than “Macbeth” was of murder in Elizabethan England.
Does David Brooks mean to suggest that it is not the job of the theater to provoke us, to be equivocal, to reflect our best and worst selves, then leave it to us to choose good behavior when we exit the lobby?
If so, then Mr. Brooks is asking for the ostensible rectitude of propaganda.
On the face of it, Mr. Turner’s retort appears less rebarbative. In truth, however, it’s equally obtuse.
Not even the most irrational feminist, we hope, would liken Shakespeare’s Macbeth to Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. And we say this not only due to their obvious differences in quality.
Rather, whereas Macbeth is a tragedy that does in fact “reflect the best and worst” of human nature, Eve Ensler’s trash is nothing but stale feminist propaganda. That’s why college campuses nationwide feature this play every Valentine’s Day: It’s a didactic exercise in feminist brainwashing, not a genuine attempt “to be equivocal” in any sense at all.
The Vagina Monologues celebrates and instructs; it presents a cartoon version of sexuality meant to be inspiring to the women’s movement. Rather than offering a stinging retort to Mr. Brooks, then, Mr. Turner has merely demonstrated that he doesn’t know the difference between good theater and radical-feminist talking-points.
(Note: The crack young staff usually “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently contemplating aiding Diane L. Young’s teenage daughter “have a sexual awakening.” Don’t worry: She won’t be mad–we haven’t got any “power” over her daughter.)