Call it artistic pride, call it feminist spirit, but the UMKC student wants to see people all across campus sporting an artsy anatomical drawing, with the slogan "Made in Vagina."
Here at the Department of Burnt Ends, we couldn't agree more that college campuses have too few displays of genitalia.
But apparently, UMCK isn't as pro-vagina as the rest of us. A university official the freakin' head of the Womens Center! has banned the shirts, with their multiple clitori, um, clitorises.
What's now a controversy began back in November, when the Women's Center asked students to design shirts to pimp the school's February production of The Vagina Monologues you know, that play by Eve Ensler in which life-sized vaginas talk out their problems onstage. (Just kidding; we know it's gals talking.) Coon submitted her artistically rendered vaginas, flanked with the catchphrase "Made in Vagina." Jill Dunlap, the assistant director of the Women's Center, liked the design enough that she approved forking out $345 for 50 shirts.
Enter Brenda Bethman, who took over the UMKC Women's Center in January and immediately put a cramp on the plans. When interested students showed up two weeks ago to purchase the shirts, Bethman wouldn't let the merchandise out of the box. (We're figuring she probably won't enjoy a paragraph with three double-entendre vagina jokes.)
Bethman says she eighty-sixed the vagina tees for practical reasons. "First, the design did not incorporate the national V-Day logo as their guidelines require," Bethman wrote in an e-mail to the Department of Burnt Ends. "Second, that design did not convey that the major goal of V-Day and The Vagina Monologues performances is ending violence against women." Third, Bethman has no sense of humor.
Coon, however, says the national V-Day folks were A-OK with the original, and without the mention of the play's particulars. Coon sees Bethman's decision as a betrayal of everyone's private parts.
Bethman, it seems, has misread the world's adoration for everything vagina.