By Ben Pensant
Modern progressives have a hard time dealing with creative types. Which is hardly surprising given how often creative types get it catastrophically wrong. Indeed, despite the arts providing some of the wokiest thrills this side of Novaro Media’s Winterval knees-up there’s always the threat of something deeply problematic lurking in the background.
So for every Lilly Allen there’s a Liam Gallacher. For every The H8 U Gave there’s a Huckleberry Flynn. For every satirical portrait of Nigel Farrage with his cock out there’s a racist doll-house featuring marginalised ISIS fighters played by the cast of Bigpuss. And for every PC moneyspinner like Hamilton! that strikes a blow for diversity by discriminating against white actors there’s a Vagina Monobrows sticking two fingers up at an oppressed minority by entertaining the hateful concept of women with fannies.
Not that this is news. As the movie industry demonstrates, while so-called artists are happy to seek Twitter cred by dipping their toes into social justice waters, they’ll happily ditch their beliefs and produce the most objectionable material imaginable if there’s a hefty paycheck involved.
And actors are the absolute worst when it comes to selling out in search of the right-wing dollar. Take lantern-jawed weirdo Mick Shannon, who took the lead role in this year’s nautical masterpiece The Shape Of Fishface. As well as providing meaty roles for a gay, a deaf and a coloured, Benicio del Toro’s Emmy-winning tear-jerker refused to shy away from one of the most pertinent questions liberal women have been asking for years: can you retain your independence while enjoying a sex-positive relationship with someone who bites the heads of furry animals and has a bell-end that smells like Grimsby docks? (A quandary Sharon Osborne struggled with for decades.)
Every actor who performed in this movie deserves a BIFTA just for being there, especially the queer, black and handicapped ones. Sadly, there’s always someone who can’t resist showing their true colours, and it will shock no-one to learn that in this case that someone was a white male. Imagine that.
Because despite donning rubber gills every morning to charm his way into a mute girl’s drawers by eating egg shells and flooding her flat, by night he was kicking off his flippers and sneaking off to Telly Viv to play an Israeli spook with a sexually aggressive moustache in BBC3’s Zio-prop hate-fest The Little Princess.
This is what they do. And it doesn’t stop there. Because it’s naïve to expect actors who work in theatre to be any less venal than their Hollywood counterparts. Which is why now more than ever it’s vital we leftists keep our eyes trained on the thespian community and show them that the days of taking whatever roles they like without getting publicly shamed by an army of zeros on social media are OVER.
So naturally I was delighted to read about the Women’s Respite Centre of East Minnesota Uni and their brave decision to no longer host productions of Eve Angel’s The Vagina Chronicles, the aforementioned crudely offensive play that has been inciting violence and delighting self-hating menstruaters for 34 years.
Their ballsy statement was issued following a survey of students and a workshop entitled ‘Not All Woman Have Vaginas’, a necessary if blindingly obvious position to defend in 2018 when women without vaginas have become such a potent demographic force they could comfortably fill the front stalls of the Liechtenstein People’s Theatre. Their understandable objections were that the play “centres on cisgender women”, its version of feminism “excludes some women”, and it “lacks diversity and inclusion”.
Needless to say, the TERF community were furious, belittling both the decision and the workshop: “Even if it were true that not all women have vaginas, why shouldn’t there be a play about the ones who do?” they bleated, as if making up 50% of the population somehow entitles biological females to have their stories told, regardless of how much they offend men in eyeliner.
Predictably, the right-wing trolls piped up: “People who find the play offensive could always not watch it!” they whined, as if this magically cancels out its hyper-dangerous content. Yep, in 2018 there are still people who don’t realise that the very existence of works of art which don’t represent every minority is problematic. (Unless the minority are Jews or lesbians, obvs.) But it’s hardly surprising. How can we expect tone-deaf dipshits to pick up on the dangerous mood music of filth like The Vagina Monolifts when they don’t even realise the very existence of women is problematic in itself?
As the EMU WRC put it, concerns about the play’s relevance to modern audiences “created a need to ask the question: do we still need The Vagina Monologues?”. Because as we know, to decide if a work of art is still needed we should ask not the millions of people who still flock to see it but the tiny percentage of blue-haired authoritarians who think an innocuous play featuring ladies talking about their private parts is as troublesome as a musical version of Mine Kampf.
Sadly, some of the survey respondents had clearly been brainwashed by the far-right, suggesting that the play should not be shelved but “modified or accompanied by a series of workshops addressing the diversity and inclusion it is lacking”. Jesus H.Corbyn. Look, in a perfect world I’d happily edit every offensive play ever written to suit modern audiences, like George Lucozade did with the Star Trek trilogy. But it ain’t gonna happen, people. These transphobes are nothing if not law-savvy, tying up their obnoxious opus in enough legal red tape to stop anyone with a conscience changing so much as a syllable.
“It is important to note that due to copyright laws we are unable to change the script” was the EMU’s terse response, leaving them with no option but to go for the most obvious course of action. And who could blame them? You made your bed, Evie. You don’t want people rewriting your stupid little play, swapping every female character for a 50 year-old bus-driver called Suzy with hands like shovels and a penchant for hiding under piles of knickers in TopShop? Fine, just don’t complain when people decide enough’s enough.
Which is exactly what the EMU WRC did, cutting through the ‘free expression’ nonsense and devising a simple solution to the thorny issue of reactionary plays that offend a miniscule percentage of an already-miniscule percentage of the population: BAN THEM. As soon as writers, directors and actors get the message that their hateful tales will not be seen by anyone they’ll sharp stop making them. And please, don’t bother bringing up the irrelevant fact that most trans folk couldn’t care less about The Vagina Chocolatelogs and have no desire to ban it. Since when have leftists given a flying fuck what the majority think?
Luckily, US colleges have been on the right page with regards to this foul production for some time. Indeed, it was previously re-booted by the American University’s Women’s Institute, who chose to stage a rival production called The Breaking New Ground Monologues. The idea behind this was to “broaden the focus from specifically female genitalia to multiple identities and bodies”, which they essentially achieved by taking a play about vaginas and removing the vaginas.
This intersectional approach was naturally attacked by TERF trolls, who sunk even lower than usual by suggesting that if the multiple identities and bodies were so bothered about representation they could always write a new play instead of butchering an existing one. A ridiculous argument which only exists in some alt-right dream world where the end goal is everyone being able to create what they like rather than what leftists allow them to. Still, as applaud-worthy as the WI’s actions were, they clearly didn’t go far enough. Here’s hoping in future they re-cast any revivals with first-wave transwomen and pay tribute to the early recipients of reconstructive surgery by renaming it The Split Bag Of Mince Monologues.
Because only strident steps like this will allow the theatre to regain its rightful position as the wokiest artform around. Fingers crossed this leads to Fifth Avenue and the East End getting with the program, saying ‘enough’s enough!’ and banning anything that makes more than a dozen Teen Cosmo readers cry.
The first show on my hit list would be Andrew Lloyd Webster’s Kats. Sure, it has great songs and fabulous costumes but it’s always bothered me that it excludes those of us who can’t lick our own arseholes.
Next up would be Confessions Of A Salesman by Norman Mailer. Again, a heartbreaking meditation on guilt and failure but has anyone ever considered how much a play about a working stiff being swallowed by the American Dream alienates people who’ve never done a day’s graft in their lives?
And don’t get me started on bloody Shakespeare. From penning a lighthearted romp about teen suicide to blacking up Orson Olivier for a laugh there’s no place for his ultra-offensive gibberish in 2018. The sooner the so-called Beard and his offensive cross-dressing antics are booted into the same memory hole as Mr Twankie, Mother Hen and Bobby Davros throwing Smarties at feral children the better.
Sadly, there is still work to be done, as only yesterday The Scum – who else? – gleefully reported on a vile ad campaign launched by Bodyshop, purposely created to offend women without vaginas. Taking the form of a grim 3 minute video, it purports to “celebrate the diversity of women’s genitalia”, which it does by ignoring the genitalia of women who don’t have women’s genitalia. Instead it features a parade of privileged females flaunting their femininity, micro-aggressively singing along to Praise Me by Beats International, and rubbing their biological motts in the faces of men who don’t have them.
In a bid to prove that “each vulva is unique” the film brazenly attacks the trans community by giving a rundown of the various different vagina types, forcing the terrified viewer to look at pictures of everything from The Cupcake and The Conch Shell to The Silk Purse and The Papaya. Needless to say neither The Clanger’s Nose nor The Hairy Yorkshire Pudding get a look in.
All of which shows that for all the sterling efforts of the EMU WRC we still have a long way to go. Hopefully the brave steps taken by those courageous US colleges, combined with the outrage generated by Bodypop’s foul video, may go some way to fulfilling the trans-activist community’s dream of full rights, complete acceptance, and world domination. And maybe – just maybe – edge us towards a beautiful, inclusive world in which the word ‘woman’ has been consigned to the dustbin of history: an obscene throwback to less enlightened times, something decent people are afraid to say in polite society, like the N-word or ‘Lord Valderama’.
Stick that in your vagina and smoke it.