The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether

Todd brought this little gem to my attention yesterday: Mount Holyoke College has apparently canceled a performance of that pinnacle of Western literary achievement, 'The Vagina Monologues,' because it might be offensive to transgender women who do not have the relevant anatomical part.

Of course, it sounds completely mad but it actually makes complete sense within the logic of the LGBTQ movement.  If gender is detached from sex, then a woman does not need the physiology of a woman to identify as such.

At least, it makes sense up to a point.   Forgive the inelegance of the following sentence, but for a variety of reasons  it is hard to discuss radical feminism in graceful prose.  If a woman does not need the body of a woman to be a woman, then a play which seems to assume the opposite is obviously going to be oppressive and clearly should be banned from all decent society. 

But, then again, if bodies are irrelevant to identity, why all the fuss about plays which refer to body parts?  And, while we are on this issue, I ask once more: why the need to have them surgically changed to match the gender within?

And what about cisgenderism?  I wonder if Mount Holyoke allows its students to put on plays or read books which assume a basic binary opposition between genders? As in virtually any piece of literature from Homer to the present day?  Such cisgender works would seem subject to the same arguments about oppression.  No doubt, as the writer says, conversations on that are evolving, or will do so in the near future.  If you are a fan of Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, or even his more famous grandsons, the Hardy Boys, you might want to start hiding your books now.  You would not want to incur the ire of a hashtag wielding mob.

Thinking of revolutions which devour their own children, I am reminded that I need to start my own little campaign to have biographies of Napoleon removed from colleges, libraries and bookstores.  Given the fact that I have for many years now been convinced that I am Corsica's greatest son trapped in the body of a mediocre Englishman, I find the existence of such books deeply oppressive and offensive.