The students – Megan Reback, Élan Stahl, and Hannah Levinson – used ‘the word’
during a public reading at John Jay High school
in a New York city suburb.
School principal Richard Leprine said the girls
were being punished because they disobeyed
an order not to use ‘the word.’
They used the word
Hang thee, young baggage!
I tell thee what – get thee to church Thursday
Or never after look me in the face
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me!
My fingers itch …
Out on her. [Capulet in Romeo and Juliet]
The three girls
were a bit older than Juliet would have been
when she disobeyed
When a student chooses not to follow that directive, consequences follow.
[Leprine in NYTimes, Mar 8, 2007]
The girls said they never made such agreement. [NYTimes, Mar 8,2007]
Megan, Élan, and Hannah took turns reading an excerpt
from the play; then they read the
offending passage together:
My short skirt is a liberation flag in the
women’s army – they read – I declare
these streets, any streets, my vagina’s
country. [from Monologues, “My Short Skirt”]
Readings of the play [The Vagina Monologues]
are a common fund-raiser for sexual assault
and battered women’s centres
because [Eve] Ensler
suspends royalty payments for groups combating
violence against women
Plate 1. Francesca Woodman: From Angel series, Rome, 1977. George and Betty Woodman.