Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jane Fonda and Words for Vagina

The Associated Press: Jane Fonda Uses Vulgar Slang on `Today'

The AP leaves you guessing what the "vulgar slang" was, but it doesn't take much guessing. Here's what someone uploaded to YouTube.

There should not have been an apology regarding the word. Does the Today Show not know what the Vagina Monologues are? If you find the word "cunt" inherently offensive you shouldn't interview someone about her role in the Vagina Monologues. She didn't even use the word in a graphic way--she simply said she'd once been asked to perform a monologue by that name. What offends me here is that the Today Show promotes the Vagina Monologues while objecting to its content.


zeppo said...

Let's deal with a couple of issues. Legally they have to apologize or the FCC would beat the bloody snot out of them. The FCC is the broadcast regulator on behalf of Americans and the regulations prohibit vulgarity in certain time slots.

Also, you can say vagina on TV but can't say cunt for the same reason you can say feces on TV but not shit. TV is a form of broadcast commons that reaches the whole of society and is regulated by society's rules. The airwaves belong to the commons and are licensed to broadcasters under a set of rules made by the commons.
Many people find the use of certain terms vulgar so they have been banned from broadcast over the public airwaves. On the other hand a broadcaster can, without fear of sanction, set up a cable pay channel and have Jane Fonda bark "cunt" until she passes out.

Finally, I can't rule out the possibility that this might be a marketing stunt designed to promote a tired play.

Amy said...

I'm not objecting to the word "cunt" being subject to different standards than the word "vagina." I'm pointing out that the Vagina Monologues is in favor of people saying "cunt."

An apology doesn't change the legal state of affairs.

zeppo said...

Apologizing does change the legal state of affairs (as you put it) because contrition demonstrates remorse and, perhaps, a lack of intent. This will likely mitigate any fine that might be levied.

If NBC did not apologize then the FCC would be forced to defend its legitimacy as a regulator. If the FCC did nothing then other broadcasters would start to wonder why they have to follow the rules. If NBC showed no contrition then the FCC would be forced to go for the maximum allowable punishment to make sure other broadcasters understood that they have to follow the rules and that the FCC has the authority to enforce them.

Anthony said...


Glad to see you are "surviving" the students. How much longer? This simester?


Amy said...


How'd you end up at this blog? Depending on how long it takes to get my thesis wrapped up. May or August.