The Vagina Monologues

Hello all,

So, as the title might suggest, I just came back from my first viewing of the Vagina Monologues put on at my university. I really liked it, they did a great job (my only complaint would be about the backdrop artwork, but that tends to always be my complaint with things put on by non-vis arts departments)

Anyway, I am just curious how many of you have seen it performed or even performed in it yourselves, or read it... yadda yadda.

Because my university is bilingual, they did parts in French but it was mostly in English, so I missed small portions as my French is not quite as fluent as it was in high school and thick Quebec accents are quite difficult to understand when you are used to France-type French. (wow, did I ever get off topic there)

I think my favourite monologue was a woman who sold sex to other women describing how much she loved the different kinds of gasps that women make, and impersonating them. That would take guts to do on stage.

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Davik's picture

Embodiment

I saw a performance of it when I was going to Purdue that was just amazing. It was even better, I think, because I was very active in the feminist group there and not only knew all the people performing it, but helped out with the fund raising (and we went all out, including vagina shaped chocolates and scented soaps that we sold at the performance). I haven't managed to hit a performance here at Michigan State (the feminist group here isn't as welcoming of guys in their ranks, so I haven't been as involved), but I really need to make a point of it next year.

Clare-Dragonfly's picture

Supplicant

I have liked the Vagina Monologues since the first time I saw a production, my freshman year of college. I have *loved* the Vagina Monologues since the production of my sophomore year, when I first heard the monologue "I Was There in the Room"--about the woman giving birth. Not to exalt it too much, but that was honestly a religious experience for me. Last year (my senior year) I was in my college's production, performing "The Vagina Workshop" ("Be my clitoris. *Be* my clitoris"). It wasn't my first choice, of course, but I loved the whole process.

My college usually performs it in the chapel (most small performances, especially the a capella groups, are done there, since the acoustics are fantastic), but one year, due to complaints from a Catholic alumna, it was moved to a much smaller and less performance-oriented area. I was so angry about that, especially since the alumna was someone I'd considered a friend. Her reasoning was that the chapel is a sacred space, and something as prurient as the Vagina Monologues shouldn't be performed there. I wish I'd had the opportunity to make my counterargument and have it taken seriously: it's a multifaith chapel, intended to cater to all students, and for me the Vagina Monologues are a religious performance, so there's no more appropriate place than the chapel to host them.

Ahem. I seem to have babbled. Sorry! I can understand some of the issues people have with the Vagina Monologues--mainly, that they are not really as necessary as they once were, for which I am profoundly grateful--but they remain near and dear to my heart.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

In English. Performed by people with no noticeable German accent (which is hella distracting). Which is probably not an easy goal around here. Also, I'm not sure I could convince my wife to go, and going alone just doesn't appeal.

Also, I'm kinda put off by what seem to be somewhat misandrist undercurrents in the whole thing, but that's a minor quibble, really.

Blue Coyote's picture

Devotee

I saw it for the first time last year when a good friend of mine preformed "the Angry Vagina" monolog (which was rather funny for a never-married lesbian but she was the oldest in the group). I even did a little bit of artwork for her afterword to comemorate it. http://bluewingedcoyote.deviantart.com/art/Vagina-Monologue-82094416 (it has a "mature content" filter imposed for language, just double-click or hit the 'download' button to the left and it will open in a seperate window)
And I'm helping out with artwork and flyers for this year's production (though I didn't have the nerve to volunteer to read. It is a powerful and amazing piece, I cried and cried when listeneing to "my Vagina was my Villiage" about the mass-rape of Bosnian-Serbs. http://www.ivillage.co.uk/ivillageuk/vday/vfeat/articles/0,,180661_18197...
Anyone who thinks it has misandry in it just still has no concept of what it is to be a woman. No matter how many books you've read or women you've talked to or how fucking enlightened you think you are- you still don't get it. To be a woman is to suffer, to suffer endlessly and be mocked and jeered at for your suffering. Pure and simple.

V's picture

Embodiment

The core of being a woman is to suffer endlessly and be mocked for it? Do all the women here agree with that statement?

If one doesn't, are you claiming that you know what it really is to be a woman, but she doesn't? That your enlightenment and insight supersedes her opinion? That she is an outlier and has just "gotten lucky"?

magalicious's picture

Postulant

But I don't agree.
I'm not saying that I know what it's like to be a woman and Blue doesn't. I'm not saying that women are treated the same as men, by men *or* women. And I'm not saying that some women don't suffer terribly simply because they are women.
But so do men.
What about the men in Virginia, Utah, and Pennsylvania (among other places, domestic *and* foreign) who spend their entire short lives in a mine, who's bodies are so abused that they use methadone to keep their muscles moving? What about the boys in other countries who are forced into armies before they even hit puberty?
I am not a victim simply because I am a woman. I am what I make myself. We are all just people - of different genders, races and creeds, but we are all people, and we all have our problems.

V's picture

Embodiment

But the phrasing of the original post was designed to attack or marginalize any contribution from a male, so I had to punt to the female readership. When I look up the definitions of "feminist" and "egalitarian" I feel they both apply to me...I support social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men, blacks equal to those of whites, or any other comparison. I support equal opportunities but not equal outcomes. Thus, quotas need not apply.

However, looking at the rest of the replies I don't think I "got you in trouble"...the other posts have supported what I believe to be true, more eloquently and with better examples than I could have found, anyway.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

...both to you, V, and to those women here who took up your "challenge". I went through several draft replies and scrapped each and every one of them for being too snarky, harsh, or worse. Ultimately, y'all did a much better job of replying than I could ever have hoped for.

magalicious's picture

Postulant

Sneaky! I was just being facetious, and kind of like getting into (a little) trouble anyway. If I wanted to avoid all controversy - well, I wouldn't be me. Wink
Also, yes, yes, and yes.

V's picture

Embodiment

Misreply--feel free to delete

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

The text of the piece aside, the requirements for acquiring the rights to the Vagina Monologues for free (as discussed elsewhere on the site) (i.e. no men involved) are profoundly misandrist, and alienate potential allies to feminist thought.

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

I'm in it this semester. I'm not a monologue, but I'm one of the three intro-women and the "Interesting Vagina Fact" that you can't sell vibrators in four states, and the interviewer of the little girl. It's a great show, it really, really is.

And no, I disagree Blue Coyote pretty entirely. My Vagina was my Village IS one of the most moving pieces, but it doesn't define womanhood. It defines one terrible plague on womanhood. Honestly, my life as a woman is pretty awesome; I fit in anywhere I want, whether with the guys or with a room full of girls, I can do what I want like hug or fight or fuck, and even though occasionally someone will be taken aback, for the most part, I'm valued and supported and appreciated for exactly what I am. I'm lucky, but I'm not alone.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

and in agreement with MsGamgee, the idea that to be a woman is to suffer, to suffer endlessly and be mocked and jeered at for your suffering is a little absurd. I think that plenty of women have suffered throughout history. I think that in many countries, women still suffer. Maybe even in parts of this one, there are problems with the opportunities that women have. In this day and age, and in advanced countries, though, I don't have much to complain about. I'm an engineer, and when I'm done with grad school, I'll get paid a lot more than many of the men I know. In all of the jobs I've worked, my opinion has been treated with the same amount of respect as anyone else's opinion, and sometimes more. My relationships with men are often more fulfilling than my relationships with women, which is perhaps a fault of mine, but it tells me that it's possible for men to be sensitive and thoughtful. People respect me as a person, they don't scorn me or disregard me as a woman.

Sometimes being a woman makes life easier for me, as well. People are nice to me, everywhere I go. Other girls identify with me, and the men that I meet are always nice. I get to have more orgasms than I can count. I have the opportunity to breast feed my children, which, even if it's annoying sometimes, will probably give me a bond with my children that men won't ever have (this is what I hear, anyway, I've certainly never done it). Yes, there are trials and tribulations in my life, just like anyone else. Yes, sometimes someone thinks I'm not as smart or well educated as I really am, because I'm a woman. But that just gives me an opportunity to prove them wrong, and it happens rarely anyway. All in all, I have nothing to complain about. Maybe I just missed the sign-up for the secret club of endlessly suffering women, but I worked hard to be where I am and so did everyone else who is where I am...male and female. I believe in equality: men aren't better than women, and women aren't better than men. Yes, we're different in some ways, but we're also all people, and that humanity should bind us together, not tear us apart.

The idea that you can't use the Vagina Monologues for free if there is a single man involved in the production of the show is a little ridiculous and upsetting, I think. I think it's possible to celebrate being a woman without hating men, and while embracing the fact that, while men would be nothing without us, we would be nothing without them. Yes, terrible things have happened to women. Yes, terrible things are probably happening to women right now in foreign countries, maybe even because they are women. But horrible things have happened, are happening, and will happen to men and children all over the world, as well. We shouldn't ignore that because men ruin women's lives sometimes. Sometimes women ruin men's lives, too.

If you take the crimes of one person out on another person because they have something in common (like a penis), that's not fair to the individual. I think it's important to treat people on an individual basis...don't punish a man, who may be a wonderful person, because somewhere, sometimes, women were raped. It's not his fault.

magalicious's picture

Postulant

I believe in equality: men aren't better than women, and women aren't better than men. Yes, we're different in some ways, but we're also all people, and that humanity should bind us together, not tear us apart.

Sing it for the world to hear! I would hug you if I could, you darling, you.
'Love yourself despite your faults, and love your neighbor despite your differences.'

Voyeur's picture

You're beautiful. That is all.

annekat's picture

Petitioner

wow, interesting replies Smile
I would agree with some of the other ladies in here and say that I, as a woman, do not suffer for my gender. Nor have I ever really suffered, in fact I think that I am really friggin happy to be a woman. (although I think I would look sweet with a mustache if I were a man...)
It really sucks that there is so much suffering in the world, both to women and men. We can be a terrible species sometimes, killing each other, killing the world around us. Sometimes I hate the world for it, other days I am in awe at how amazing life is and how such small simple things (like getting a free coffee for answering a trivia question) can make me smile non-stop. Which in turn, makes everyone I pass on the street smile and everyone I talk to smile. I love how contagious emotions are.
Being in a room full of women (and quite a few men) watching the Vagina Monologues performed it was amazing to see the mass reactions from tears to laughter in a matter off minutes.

Ok, I think i went off topic again, my mind wanders as I think and I type what I think, I will never be a good writer..... but that is ok with me.

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