"Writing is my passion. It is a way to experience the ecstatic. The root understanding of the word ecstasy—“to stand outside”—comes to me in those moments when I am immersed so deeply in the act of thinking and writing that everything else, even flesh, falls away."
-bell hooks

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vagina Monologues- Eve Ensler

The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler. The Vagina Monologues is made up of a varying number of monologue read by a varying number of women. Every monologue somehow relates to the vagina, be it through sex, love, rape, menstruation, mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. Every year a new monologue is added to highlight a current issue affecting women around the world. Every V-Day thousands of local benefit productions are staged to raise funds for local groups, shelters, crisis centers working to end violence against women. In 2003, for example, Ensler wrote a new monologue about the plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. This Monologue is known as "Under the Burqa."

Some monologues include:
  • I Was Twelve, My Mother Slapped Me: a chorus describing many young women's and girls' first menstrual period.
  • My Angry Vagina, in which a woman humorously rants about injustices wrought against the vagina, such as tampons, douches, and the tools used by OB/GYNs.
  • My Vagina Was My Village, a monologue compiled from the testimonies of Bosnian women subjected to rape camps.
  • The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could, in which a woman recalls memories of traumatic sexual experiences in her childhood and a self-described "positive healing" sexual experience in her adolescent years with an older woman. In the original version, she is 13, but later versions would change her age to 16. This particular skit has sparked numerous controversies and criticisms due to its content (see below).
  • Reclaiming Cunt, a piece narrated by a woman who illustrates that the word "cunt" itself is a lovely word despite its disconcerting connotations.
When I started thinking about the Vagina Monologue and the whole concept and purpose of it, it made me realize how closed I am about the subject. Being Arabic and coming from a very strict background, talking about my vagina experience was not an opinion. Girls in Middle East are not allowed to be open about the subject because a women’s vagina is a sacred thing and it should not be reveal to others. The subject of the vagina is only talked about between the wife and husband because after a woman gets married it is than the husband property. I personally do not agree with this because I find it important for a young woman to be open and have that knowledge about their own bodies and no one is in charge of their own body. 

At the bottom of the page I linked Eve Ensler website and it basically talks about the whole concept of V-Day and it talks about who inspired it, what inspired it, etc... 


1 comment:

  1. Sandra,
    The vagina monologues are ways young women can reclaim a part of themselves. And even though some women cannot claim to call themselves feminists or even see themselves as part of the feminist movement, they find strategies to try to do so. Instead, many young women adopt what they call girl culture or youth culture. They see the power in being a girl-not in using sexual appeal but rather the personal power to be strong and do whatever you want. Some proudly wear pink, hair-bows, and knee-socks, or the burquas, carry purses meant for very young girls, and otherwise brandish their personal style. While one might be tempted to say such actions are infantilizing or perhaps even complicit in the oppression of women, youth culture feminists see it as self-determination and pride in one’s personal power.
    Grrl power celebrates the power of youth culture and self-consciously assumes a name that some feminists would call demeaning or infantilizing. The double r of Grrl also indicates anger and aggression. Grrl power is a movement to claim agency and effectiveness in spite of a culture that devalues contributions from young people. Third wave feminism works to bring girls and women to feminist by breaking feminism out of the ranks of upper and middle class educated women. Youth, poor women, women from rural areas and many other women and groups previously marginalized from the working of feminist theory and the ranks of feminist activists all contribute to feminism in the third wave.
    A sort of the flip side to the youth culture feminism is the sexualisation of younger and younger girls. On one hand, this may be indicative of a cultural acceptance of women claiming the right to sexual pleasure. But on the other hand, it could be a backlash against feminism gains by sexually objectifying very young children. Some feminists will see empowerment and grrl power in the sexually provocative fashions for preteen girls while others will vilify the sexist fashion industrial complex.Some feminists both in and out of third wave youth culture have argued that third wave feminism lacks a clear political agenda and third wave feminists lack political consciousness. But with assistance from vagina monologues young girls can fight against the objectification of their bodies and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.


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