Venus, Priests, and Superwomen
Rhode Island College
8:00 p. m Mon. Feb. 26th at the ballroom of the Student Union sponsored by RIC
Women’s Studies OrganizationBrown University
Mar. 16th at 6:00 p. m. at 102 Wilson (on the Green)
sponsored by Sarah Doyle’s Women’s Center
Venus, Priests, and Superwomen captures the tumultuous climate that exploded on Providence College’s campus when President, Father Brian J. Shanley, proclaimed that the Vagina Monologues, did not reflect the college’s Catholic mission. Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, performed by college students as a way to raise awareness about sexual violence, has become a potent feminist icon for many women around the world, but for others, the play has fueled controversy. In December 2006, Father Shanley’s decision to ban the production sparked a large protest at Providence College.
The film follows over a two year period Providence College’s undergraduate’s who chose to produce the play off-campus and their struggle to be heard by their school’s administration. The women sponsored by V-Day and deemed Vagina Warriors, discuss their personal experiences as a result of their involvement with the play and their subsequent bonding and new-found power as a result of their confrontation with their college’s president. The film traces their fight to keep The Vagina Monologues on their campus.
The film examines the varied and conflictive perspectives concerning the play’s censorship at Providence College and also examines wide-ranging views on what some consider offensive and demeaning about the performance. President Shanley cites his reasoning behind his decision to ban the play and the film also examines the views of Providence College’s students and faculty and Eve Ensler’s viewpoint.
By exploring different perspectives, the film addresses what is at the heart of this debate and discovers why some people feel threatened by the material portrayed in the play as well as enables its audience to understand the transformation that many women experience when viewing The Vagina Monologues and the play’s complex meanings to women of many different cultural backgrounds and ages.