A V-Monologues Monologue

Feminists
Feminists

So I’ve done it. I’ve seen it. On Saturday, Valentine’s Day, 2009, we saw the Vagina Monologues. I know that the boys have been writing some hard hitting articles about how it makes women feel like sex objects and is degrading and I have to say they’re right. I’m a woman, and I agree with everything they’ve posted.

Moaning; Orgasm; Clitoris; Vagina; Coochi-Snorcher; Cunt. These were all words used in the play to try and bring out women’s sensual side and make them comfortable with their bodies. Hearing the word “cunt” being chanted and screamed all around me does not make me feel sexy, in the least. Disgusted, yes, but not sexy.

The crassness of the play was not my major issue, and I must give the actors props for talking about some real issues that affect women and making all of us laugh a few times. But, the main problem with the play is that it does not do justice to the cause. This year’s spotlight for the V-Day Initiative is on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the atrocities that occur to the women there. There is no representation of that in the play.

There is one incident of rape, but it was the rape of a minor and portrayed as a “good rape”. There is one monologue that fits the purpose, “If my Vagina was a Village” in which a Bosnian woman describes being raped by soldiers during the Yugoslavian Wars. The actress performed well, and made me understand the pain of women affected by sexual abuse. The rest of it that was supposed to “empower” me did nothing more than disgust me. I support empowering women and do not mind making a twelve dollar donation to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, but I would rather pay for a self defense class to keep the creeps away instead of sitting in a stuffy auditorium listening to a bunch of actors moan.

In the monologue “Because He Liked to Look at It,” the woman was with a man who insisted on “seeing her.” By saying “her” he meant her vagina. According to the actress, this was because she is defined by her vagina. That is a horrendous message. Women are far more than one organ in their body, we can not be defined by our vaginas. This feminist mindset seems to degrade us into merely sexual creatures. Sex is supposed to mean something a bond between a man and a woman, a way of showing deep love for a person within marriage. The vagina monologues treated it as a cheap circus trick to please one’s self.

16 comments

  1. How can you attack the Vagina Monologues? you attack the feminist movement, while accepting all that it has provided for you. I’m sure Machine-Gun Palin would be proud…

  2. Way to throw in a pitch for sexual inequality, while you’re at it (“Sex is supposed to mean something a bond between a man and a woman”). Any other groups you care to discriminate against? Oh wait, the second part of that sentence does just that (“a way of showing deep love for a person within marriage”) Do you conservatives care to shove your Judeo-Christian “values” any further down our throats, or was that to much of a sexual innuendo?

  3. A bond makes people more equal, not less; it makes them one, not two. Performing reproductive functions does not constitute discrimination against a group of people.

    Brian: Post a more coherent response instead of rambling against other people’s values.

  4. I just want to say to the author that I couldn’t agree more. saying those sorts of things do not empower me as a woman. And to you Brian, we may be conservative and yes I do believe that sex is something that should ONLY happen within the sanctity of marriage… however, we are not shoving that value down your throat no more than you are ours. We just state our views that we feel strongly about just as you did so back off of whoever wrote this article. She has valid points and opinions just like you.

    Cudos to whoever wrote this.

  5. FNC: I saw the Vagina Monologues and if that is the feminist movement the feminist movement is nothing more than a joke; a perverted mass of stupid people who believe women are nothing more than their vaginas. I hope you are wrong in your belief that if you attack a play that venerates rape and prostitution you attack the feminist movement.

    Brian: V-Week shoved things that were offensive to conservatives down our throats. I suppose by discriminate you mean to say everyone but your point of view.

  6. This author could not have stated more clearly that she did absolutely no research on feminist viewpoints and has no understanding of the message given in the plays.
    Feminism is not about making women purely “sexual creatures” as this author would have readers understand. It is about allowing women to be knowledgeable about and comfortable with their sexuality and their physical bodies as to protect them from harm or humiliation- to allow them to make healthy, educated decisions about their sexuality and lifestyles. If women are taught that their sexual organs are vile and ugly, how can they demand self respect in a sexual relationship? How can they know that they deserve pleasure AND safety?
    You say the word cunt disgusts you? You are disgusted by a word that describes your own body. Obviously this is a cultural phenomenon that gives women many words to tell about the horrible organs we possess and not many which celebrate their amazing capabilities. If we do not reclaim these words, we have no language to talk about our sexuality in a positive way.
    The vagina monologues is not a play about vaginas. It is a forum for women to speak about their experiences as women, and it is an opportunity for other women to hear about these experiences and to realize they are not alone. If solidarity, support, and knowledge does not do anything to empower women, I would be interested to hear what does.

  7. A couple points…

    You cannot demand self-respect from anyone but yourself. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be self-respect. However, you can demand respect from another person.

    Words that disgust people include words with vile, negative connotations that portray the thing in question inaccurately or as less than it really is. The feminist redefinition of certain vile words as positive descriptors is absolutely meaningless.

    Nobody said that anything is horrible or awful or disgusting. But the author did say that some things are so important, so private, and (depending on what we are talking about… and to whom we are talking) so beautiful (i.e., reproductive capacity) that only accurate, clean descriptors should be used.

    That gets to the heart of the matter, I think. Women can bear children. Get used to it. Don’t deny it.

    Both women and men can have sexual pleasure. Does this mean that the best way to increase respect for the opposite sex is to talk about sexual pleasure using terms that are offensive to the majority of society?

    No.

    Some feminists’ ends contradiction their means. They claim to be against violence against women – even putting on a play to raise money for a crisis center. But they naively postulate that the play itself, with all of its violence and portrayal of women as beings with no other capability besides sexual intimacy, will somehow help men respect women more.

    I’d take the Judeo-Christian system of respect for women as what they are (real beings with things to do besides sex) over a self-contradicting relativist doctrine anyday.

  8. This play was written by leftist radical pinko feminists who want to push their pro-divorce anti-god agenda on the good christian masses at Chapel Hill.

    Jesus wouldn’t watch this play even if he was strapped to a chair and his eyes were pried open. He’d probably use his laser vision to kill all the anti-American anti-Jesus women who have the nerve to say things that deviate away from thousands of years of social standards.

    Did Moses part a woman’s legs? No. He parted the Red Sea. I don’t see any pro-cunt woman leading the Jews out of a desert. All I see them doing is rotting in hell.

    Maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe I should listen to the Marxist tree-hugging pinko radical tax-and-spend feminists out there and learn about this play or watch it. But unlike most people, I want to go to heaven.

  9. Maybe everyone just needs to step out of the shallow hole in which they learned to crique Enligh literature because the “message” of this play has been misinterpreted to the point where I am not sure which play we’re arguing over anymore. Maybe everyone shuold take a DRAM120 class (or at least read “How I Learned to Drive”) before deciding what “viewpoint” this playwright had intending because I think that this is one heck of a feminist drama.

  10. The purpose of plays is to raise questions, to provoke thoughts and to spark debate. Plays put topics on the table for discussion/argumentation in ways that are often risque. The aim of The Vagina Monologues is not to tell you what to think, it is to raise questions for you to answer on your own. For example, the playwright is not telling us through the dialogue that having sex at 12 years old is a good thing she is asking us WHY someone in today’s society would think that having sex at 12 years old is a good thing. Plays, like films, are catalysts for discussion about controversial issues; they are the questions, not the answers.

  11. Michaela, you’re fooling yourself. Eve Ensler is a radical feminist and most certainly believes everything she raises in the Vagina Monologues. In her worldview, there is nothing inherently wrong with lesbian sex with minors. Radical feminists are like the female version of NAMBLA.

  12. I must say, after seeing the play, I honestly do not believe that Michaela’s statement regarding the purpose of the play is accurate. I do believe that the perspective presented in the Vagina Monologues is more like a religion with the vagina as a Christ figure. It was strange and disgusting and no questions were raised except the question of whether the actors and the people involved in promoting the silly thing were sane.

  13. To Chelsea Cook: Why would Chelsea Miller need to do research on the feminist movement to know whether this movie was successful in its goal of “empowering women?” After all…she’s a woman. If she doesn’t feel empowered (and I certainly don’t think I would have if I had chosen to see the V-Monologues), why should she try to force herself to see things from a “feminist” point of view? I’m getting pretty tired of feminists acting like women who stand up for decency are some kind of traitors to the cause. We don’t have to “reclaim” disgusting and offensive words in order to have conversations about respect and decency towards women. In fact, if we as a society concentrated less on sexualizing women and more on respecting everyone for their minds and personalities, acts of degradation towards women would probably become far less prevalent.

  14. Chelsea M: I would like to discuss a specific section of your critique. The message of "Because he liked to look at it" has be extremely misunderstood. Anyone who thinks that the message of the piece is that a woman is "nothing more than her vagina", therefore making her a "merely sexual creature" has clearly not payed attention. The monologue is about self acceptance, and self love. In the intro, this woman describes her disgust with her own body. She tells her story of a sexual experience, yes, premarital, with a man named Bob who essentially makes her realize how amazing and unique this piece of her body is. The message is extremely positive, ending with this woman's acceptance of her body and herself. It's not about being defined by your vagina, it's about accepting it as a part of you.

  15. Chelsea W: I understand and respect your observation, but I would like to remind you that the work is obviously intentionally written to push boundries and pop comfort bubbles, simply to dissolve the taboo surrounding women's sexuality. If you are uncomfortable with the material, good. Thats the way it's supposed to be. If you don't like that you do not need to watch the show.

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