NCAC Letter Submitted to the Albany Times Union About The Vagina Monologues Ad


To the Editor:

I understand that the Times Union has decided not to run advertisements about an upcoming production of "The Vagina Monologues," a play that has packed theaters in New York City and elsewhere around the country.

It seems incredible that you would have reservations, much less act on them, about printing a word describing a feature of female physiology that appears in children’s health and biology textbooks. Even young children are taught to use to use anatomically correct terms to describe parts of the human body.

Is it possible that the Editors of the Times Union blush at the word, or think their readers will do so? What about your obligation to those readers who want to see the play and are looking to you for information? Information denied because of embarrassment? Will you now print only material you think is suitable for children to read?

You have every right to make editorial and business decisions about content. This decision, however, is not only foolish, it violates the very idea of a free press—which is to promote the free and open exchange of information and ideas. I urge you to treat your readers and your profession with the respect they deserve, and print the ad.

Joan E. Bertin
Executive Director, National Coalition Against Censorship