A group calling themselves the Sedalia Concerned Citizens met Thursday to discuss the upcoming “Vagina Monologues” play to be held April 19 and 20 at the Liberty Center later this month.
“I think the purpose of tonight’s meeting is to discuss what, if anything, we should be doing to fight against this play,” said Patsy Wickern, who organized Thursday’s meeting. “When I heard it was coming to Sedalia, I decided that I needed to read it, to see what it was about to make up my mind about it. I can’t walk away
“The Vagina Monologues,” created by Eve Ensler as an off-Broadway play in the early 1990s, is composed of true monologues about women. One of the monologues discusses a girl who is raped by an older man and then develops a sexual relationship with a woman in her 20s. Wickern said she believed the monologue was condoning statutory child molestation because the girl was 16 when she was with the older woman.
“I think this is an issue for everyone — liberal, conservative, atheist, Christian — how can we support something that allows and agrees with this rape of a child?” Wickern asked the group. “And that Citizens Against Spouse Abuse (CASA) is involved in this? Did anyone on the CASA board read this play because they’re giving their consent if they allow this to go on?”
One of the stipulations of “The Vagina Monologues” is all proceeds go toward a local women’s shelter. The Three Wild Women production team that is bringing the play to Sedalia decided funds would go to CASA.
“The fact that this money will be going to CASA, it’s ironic,” said Jean Simon. “It’s immoral money gotten from a play that condones sexual abuse going to a group that helps survivors of sexual abuse. It’s not right. CASA should not be part of this.”
Cathy Kelsey agreed, saying it was “blood money” and calling the play “filthy, lewd and degrading to all people.”
“I don’t think it would do any good to picket the play, it’s already going to come here, Satan has already entered,” Kelsey added. “I think what we need to do is get the knowledge out; we’re obliged to educate people about what this play truly is. We need to bring true healing (to the community), not this garbage.”
The group eventually decided to send a letter stating their concerns and a PDF version of the offensive monologue to the mayor, Sedalia City Council, CASA Board of Directors and every pastor in town, as well as encourage friends and family to not attend the play.
“I am a firm believer that you need to be aware of what’s going on and not just rely on the say-so of someone else,” Wickern said. “I read the play and I encourage others to read the play. That’s part of the battle, letting people know exactly what’s in it and then they can make up their own mind. I think once we do that, more people will be aware this isn’t something we want in our town.”