It seems that Amazon has increased the capabilities of it’s “Look inside this book” feature, which used to just show you the first few pages. Now it’s been changed to a “Search inside this book,” for select books. (How this doesn’t violate copyright, I have no idea… there are books of sheet music I could hypothetically get away with not buying. I’m not saying I would do such a thing, just that it’s possible.)
Now here comes the fun part… for me. For you, this is the part where you secretly think to yourself, “Boy, she’s narcissistic.” But then again, that’s what blogs are for.
Go to amazon.com and search for Vagina Warriors. (Or just click that link.) Now click on the cover image to “search inside” (and if you’re Johnston, be sure to do this at work, where I’m told you have a 21st century browser). Enter the string “erin rhode” into the search field. Click on the results (page 79) and read my cheesy quote, which I made up on the spot because it sounded good. Now click on the little left arrow to go back to page 78 to view my picture.
And if you’re the nagging type, this is where you can rag on me because it’s obvious that we both pulled those shirts out of the dirty laundry that morning. But doing so got us photographed for this book, which led to meeting Jane Fonda, which I would like to think puts me only two degrees away from my favorite actress, Katharine Hepburn (via On Golden Pond).
Earlier in the year, Notre Dame was threatening to shut down all future performances of The Vagina Monologues. This is part of a bigger movement involving the catholic church’s desire to stop the show at ALL catholic colleges. As I suspected, the Notre Dame president hadn’t previously seen the show. Now that he has, he still doesn’t agree with a lot of what’s said in the play, but has apparently decided not to censor it. I was particularly pleased to read this quote from him:
“If I didn’t learn anything from all this, I’d be very disappointed and surprised. What I learned was we do really need to find ways to advance discussion about issues that have to do with women.”
It gives me hope that maybe we’re not heading towards the theocracy Sheeva predicted a few months ago.
I’ve been thinking for awhile that I might want to attempt to get involved in the University of Michigan production of The Vagina Monologues as a stage hand or web designer or whatever they could use me for. Yesterday, by complete chance, I picked up a copy of the Michigan Daily for the first time. In it was a letter to the editor, which made me very sad. It seems that this year, the organizers of The Vagina Monologues are looking to have an “all women-of-color” cast, at the total exclusion of white women.
My reaction to that is the same as the author of the letter — striving for diversity is a wonderfully noble thing to do, but this is not a show about race. Excluding all white women means excluding other women who might also be a minority of some kind that generally benefit from this show: lesbians, lower income individuals, and, most importantly for this play, women who have been victims of sexual violence.
I’ve tried to contact the Michigan campus coordinator to see if perhaps this is all a misunderstanding and they are merely trying to increase the diversity of the cast. To make my stance clear — I’ve never intended to audition for the show here, as I’ve had my opportunities to be in the show (twice) at MIT. Thus, I don’t feel that I am personally being slighted. But it does anger me to think that women I have known who have greatly benefitted from being in the show wouldn’t even be allowed to audition here.
I’m going to shamelessly self-promote the show I’m directing by sending you to this website. Just click the pretty buttons and buy yourself some tickets.
It has come to my attention that certain readers aren’t actually aware of what a Vagina Warrior is, or why I am proud to be one. Apparently, some of these readers call my father, slightly concerned, as his comment didn’t make things any clearer. And so, direct from the flap of the book:
Every year from February to March, local activists raise awareness and funds through benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues and other events as part of V-Day, a global movement founded by Eve Ensler. Vagina Warriors – people committed to ending violence against women and girls around the world – are at the heart of V-Day.
And now you know…
I got my copy of Vagina Warriors this weekend. I flipped through the pages and sure enough, page 78, there we are. And on page 79, we’ve been quoted. Yes, it’s fairly evident by the large amount of wrinkles that I pulled that shirt out of the dirty laundry pile in order to wear it that day. But, hey, that dirty shirt got me in a book. A book selling all over the country.
A friend of mine from New York e-mailed me to tell me that he saw it while perusing the Virgin Megastore. I think this might be my fifteen minutes of fame.
Mom – Don’t buy it. Your birthday is soon.
There is a very good chance that I am in this book, set to be released on Valentine’s Day.
As the story goes, last year my coproducer and I went to the Regional Empowerment Workshop at Boston University for all organizers of The Vagina Monologues. Women came from all over the country — it was just good luck that it happened to be in Boston. We met each other there, both wearing our “Enjoy Vagina” shirt from 2002. We sat around, waiting for the meeting to start, and Eve Ensler herself came up to us to tell us how much she loved our shirts. A few minutes later, a photographer came by and asked if we would be willing to pose for a coffee table book they were putting together.
So we followed her upstairs and after we finished the photo shoot, we had a short interview. But the interview was interrupted because in walked Cat Ballou herself, Jane Fonda. She also loved our shirts and wanted to know if she could get one (sorry, we haven’t made that one in years). Later, once the workshop started, I got to watch her do an impersonation of an orgasming G-spot.
Now, my question is, does a coffee table book and a workshop get me into the six-degrees-of-separation game? Because if so, then I am only two degrees away from my favorite actress of all time: me -> Jane Fonda -> Katharine Hepburn (via On Golden Pond).
A couple of people have brought this to my attention. What’s missing from the website version, but appeared in the e-mail version that Kraft forwarded to me is the biblical passage that suggests that all those who bring this show to others should “have a great millstone hung around his neck and… drowned in the depths of the sea.” It’s a little too ridiculous for me to really respond seriously, but let me just say this:
Instead of giving your money to a group that will just use it to mount protests, you should use the money to buy a ticket to our show and find out why it is so blasphemous for yourself. Then your money will go directly to places like BARCC that are actively working to prevent and stop sin instead of just railing against it. And then you can go on calling us blasphemous, if that’s what you really think.
My biggest problem with protests like these is that they are usually led by people who haven’t actually seen the show or have any idea what it’s about. But as Kraft’s “I’m definitely going to go see the show now” demonstrated, all publicity is good publicity and in the end, this kind of stuff just brings us a larger audience.
Oh, and VAGINA! (with jazz hands)
And as soon as Usman throws the link up, you’ll be able to sign-up for auditions here. (Okay, technically, you can go straight to that link yourself and sign-up now.)