Vagina Monologues is back in Ateneo de Manila University in 2010 after it was banned by Dr. Anna Miren Intal in 2002

After my 7:30-8:30 p.m. Ps 121 class last Wednesday, my female student told me that the Vagina Monologues will be shown at the Cervini Field at 6 or 6:30 p.m.  that day, just after our Physics long test.  The play is under the direction of Missy Maramara of the Ateneo English Department (see Petrablog).  This is for the culmination of the Ateneo Women’s Week.  She is excited to watch the play.

I told her that Vagina Monologues should be banned in the Ateneo, because Ateneo is a Catholic University.  Why should the play be shown in Ateneo when it glorifies the sexual liberation of a woman by having sex with a lesbian.  Another student of mine told me that that his Theology teacher also believes in the same way as I do.  I should have asked the teacher’s name so that I can send him a note of thanks for teaching rightly.

In the year 2002, the film was banned by Dr. Anna Miren Intal, the Dean of the Loyola Schools.  Here is an account someone in favor of Vagina Monologues in Ateneo which I got from Pinoy Exchange:

Dr. Anna Miren Intal, Ph.D. is the Dean for the entire Loyola Schools. Obviously, Dean Intal is a female. She took her Ph.D. in Princeton, I believe so she supposedly has . She’s the end-all and be-all of the entire college, and she made her powers felt as she
>effectively derailed the project.

In a meeting with Rabbi and a co-Theatre Arts Major (Missy), Dr. Intal expressed her apprehension and objection about the project because (I’m paraphrasing here) “It goes against the thrust and vision of our Jesuit institution.” Furthermore, “It might destroy the moral fabric of the Ateneo…” (Jeez, you should hear me reinact this LIVE for the “lamb-ish” tone she uses!) When asked if she finds the word “Vagina” objectionable, she just laughs and says “That too…” Missy asked her what in the script she finds objectionable, Dr. Intal says, “To tell you the truth, I haven’t really read the script, but I’ve seen a lot of Broadway plays that are more tasteful…” Rabbi and Missy press her to reconsider, so she gives in a little. She says she’d “forward it to the THEOLOGY Department for moral evaluation.”


My friends went to their professors (to name a few, Ma’am Benny Santos, Sol Reyes, Fr. Nic Cruz, Dr. Ricky Abad) to ask for their recommendations for the staging of Vagina. They got it. Rabbi even went further by getting recommendations from FORDHAM Universtiy (another JESUIT institution in New York City), DePaul University, and some other universities abroad. Locally, he was able to get a a recommendation from a nun who happens to have a Ph.D. in Theology and who happens to be the President of St. Scholastica’s College (one of the more conservative colleges in the country). He wrote a letter to Dr. Intal about how universities like the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, the University of Sto. Tomas, and St. Scholastica’s have agreed to stage Vagina in their campuses. Unfortunately, Dr. Intal did not budge.

She said she had to consider the “tens and thousands of students, parents, alumni who also have a stake in the Ateneo,” and that she doesn’t want “to be responsible for the thousands of people who will flock to the Ateneo in PROTEST” of the staging of Vagina. “I have to think like an administrator.” She even said that she doesn’t want the name “Ateneo” to be linked in the project in any way. She said that the administration has the trademark “Ateneo” and that she wouldn’t allow it to be used. She even said she didn’t want the students involved to say that they were Ateneans. (It was then she hinted of a ‘lawsuit’ if they did.)

How lame is that???!!

I don’t know how this Vagina Monologues got permission to be shown again in Ateneo. Missy Maramara who was only a Theatre Arts major in 2002 is now an Ateneo Faculty.   The quote is revealing: it shows how far the Jesuit universities have been stricken by this Vagina Monologues malady. And even the top Catholic Schools in the Philippines as well.  The Vagina Monolgues has seduced the most brilliant minds . Woe to those who call light as darkness and darkness light! As Christ said, if the light in you is darkness, how great must that darkness be!

I admire Dr. Miren Intal. I was able to join her for lunch once in the cafeteria years ago, long after she ceased to be the Dean of the Loyola Schools. She is a soft-spoken lady, yet principled and strong. May there be more faculty and administrators like her who defends Ateneo’s authentic Jesuit and Catholic tradition.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

12 Responses to Vagina Monologues is back in Ateneo de Manila University in 2010 after it was banned by Dr. Anna Miren Intal in 2002

  1. Pingback: Vagina Monologues is back in Ateneo de Manila University in 2010 … | Hobbit Movie News - Tolkien Lord of the Rings

  2. Frank says:

    The Epistle for the Third Sunday in Lent in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite reminded me of the Ateneo because of the words “lux in Domino,” which is also the motto of the Ateneo de Manila, towards the end:

    “eratis enim aliquando tenebrae nunc autem lux in Domino ut filii lucis ambulate fructus enim lucis est in omni bonitate et iustitia et veritate probantes quid sit beneplacitum Deo” (For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. 9 For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; 10 Proving what is well pleasing to God) (Eph. 5: 8-10)

    The full Epistle reads:

    “1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: 4 Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. 5 For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    6 Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. 7 Be ye not therefore partakers with them. 8 For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. 9 For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; 10 Proving what is well pleasing to God.”

    Worth thinking about, especially in light of the above post.

  3. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    Click to access 06-Winter-Spring.pdf

    The first reflection is by the president of Providence College (RI), Rev. Brian Shanley, O.P. It is his response to students’ request to produce the play The Vagina Monologues. As many of our readers know, this play has become a popular theatrical event on school campuses (high school as well as college). The play is typically produced in conjunction with the national awareness week dedicated to educate about violence directed toward women. This trend is particularly dangerous because of the play’s pornographic messages about women’s sexuality. Sadly, many Catholic colleges and universities have fallen into producing this play in the name of “artistic” or “academic” freedom. Fr. Shanley’s reflection is a sign of hope. He beautifully articulates clear policy on how such freedoms can co-exist with Catholic beliefs on a Catholic campus. In clear and precise language Fr. Shanley summarizes Church teachings on human sexuality. His message is worth sharing with anyone who may be confused about the issue of human sexuality and how artistic and academic freedom should co-exist with Catholic identity and mission in education.

  4. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    Click to access 06-Winter-Spring.pdf

    …First, far from celebrating the complexity and mystery of female sexuality, The Vagina Monologues simplifies and demystifies it by reducing it to the vagina. In contrast, Roman Catholic teaching sees
    female sexuality as ordered toward a loving giving of self to another in a union of body, mind, and soul that is ordered to the procreation of new life. The deeper complexity and mystery lies in the capacity of human sexuality, both male and female, to sacramentalize the love of God in marriage. Any depiction of female sexuality that neglects its unitive and procreative dimensions diminishes
    its complexity, its mystery, and its dignity. Moreover, to explore fully the dignity of woman requires not
    only a consideration of female sexuality, but also of the capacity of women for intellectual, artistic, moral, and spiritual activity; none of these dimensions are featured in The Vagina Monologues.

  5. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    Second, the description of the play as a “new bible” is an indication that its depiction of female sexuality is meant to displace the traditional Biblical view that inspires the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. The two positions are deeply and diametrically opposed. Nowhere is this clearer than in a monologue wherein the alcohol-fueled seduction of a sixteen-year-old girl by a twenty-four-year-old woman is described as resulting in “salvation” and “a kind of heaven.” What is thus characterized in traditional religious language is instead abusive, demeaning, exploitative, and morally wrong according to the true Bible. Precisely because its depiction of female sexuality is so deeply at odds with the true meaning and morality that the Catholic Church’s teaching celebrates, The Vagina Monologues is not an appropriate play to be performed on our campus. Therefore the college will prohibit the production of The Vagina Monologues.

  6. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    …The true meaning of academic freedom is often misunderstood; it is not the license to hold any view that one chooses. Academic freedom is instead always governed by truth. It is the freedom to pursue the truth in a discipline in accord with the accepted canons of inquiry without any impediment by extraneous considerations. Prohibiting a theatrical production of The Vagina Monologues does not prohibit free inquiry about the play. All members of the campus are free to read, study, and discuss the play in various settings, especially the classroom. It is perfectly appropriate that we study texts that have diverse views in order both to broaden our understanding of others and to bring our own views into sharper focus.I fully expect that one result of this communication will be some controversy. As a long-time student of St. Thomas Aquinas, I think disputes are an important part of education, so long as they are conducted with charity. While arguments about intellectual positions help us to learn from each other, attacks on persons do not.

  7. Wants to be Anonymous says:

    I hope there was sufficient discussion before they decided to show the Vagina Monologues again. What’s been happening to the Ateneans of late? I’m starting to feel good about dropping out like Erap :|

  8. Megan says:

    I find this to be very ignorant and taking church teachings to an extreme. In no way was the Vagina Monologues done in a way that reflected badly on Ateneo. If Jesuit universities abroad have approved the staging of the play, why should it be any different here.

  9. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    The Jesuits abroad lost the cultural war and they have become bases of LGBTQ movements. But here in the Philippines, we who love the ideals of Ateneo as it was founded 150 years ago, as characterized by our devotion to Our Lady and the defense of the Catholic Church, shall not back down.

  10. Fides says:

    Is the Ateneo still CATHOLIC?

  11. Fides says:

    If Ateneo is grounded on a Catholic culture and everything that such Faith means, exhibition/staging of that play in-campus courts administrative sanctions.

    Consider the Supreme Court’s words in the case of Garcia versus Loyola School of Theology: “Universities are established, not merely to develop the intellect and skills of the studentry, but to inculcate lofty values, ideals and attitudes. In the case of a religious intstitution, such as th Ateneo, “religious education, as the renowned philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said, is ‘an education which inculcates duty and reverence.'”

    And in the case of Miriam College Foundation versus Court of Appeals, it was said, “The right of the students to free speech in school premises, however, is not absolute. The right to free speech must always be applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment.”

    For the school environment that the Ateneo fosters, refer to its Mission-Vision, which is why parents send their kids there in the first place. Betrayal of that Mission-Vision shortchanges the kids, and their parents.

    Where are you, Prof. Intal? You obviously know your law.

    It appears that the particular brand of religious education offered by the Ateneo de Manila University has been lost on the respondent students.

  12. Fides says:

    BTW, the line that says:

    “It appears that the particular brand of religious education offered by the Ateneo de Manila University has been lost on the respondent students” was taken from the Supreme Court decision.

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