The word “vagina” is often frowned upon, despite being politically correct. This past week there was a performance of the Vagina Monologues put on by an organization at UM-D. As a student of the university and a woman I was interested in seeing the Vagina Monologues. Additionally, I had never seen the show and had no idea what it was about. In this ignorance I brought my father as well as my boyfriend to the show. A friend of mine was in the show and she told me it was racy but thought it was a good idea to bring my pops. So, I attended the Vagina Monologues, I found them shocking, I learned a little, and I noticed a huge relationship between the show and this class.
The Vagina Monologues is a set of monologues that has been performed numerous times. Some monologues are performed by a lone woman on stage, these are usually introduced with a fact or story. Other monologues are performed with more than one woman on stage. They covered a range of topics, and all spectrums of an age range as well. From what I can remember, I will describe what I saw. One woman was very old, and her vagina would gush with fluids when she was turned on, but she never told anyone because no one had ever asked; she was very embarrassed about it. Another woman was younger and she talked about how angry her vagina is with things like tampons and PAP smears, and thongs. A young girl explained that her vagina smells like snow flakes. There were sad monologues too; for instance a poetic one about rape. There were two lesbian monologues, and a transvestite group monologue. The stories discussed bad experiences and good ones. They all focused on the woman’s vagina and showed, like the speakers said in the intro, ‘women love to talk about their vaginas.’
Those monologues themselves were not particularly surprising. However I was shocked that there exists a show which has such an outrageous script. My friends and cousins and I hold conversations a lot that are along the lines of the topics in the monologues. Even my mother and I are open about sex and vaginas and everything. Thus, the type of conversations the monologues enacted were familiar to me; and they are things that all women ought to be able to talk about. However it is not something that women talk about in public, or on stage, or to men. This raises the question, why is that? Why don’t women feel comfortable talking about their vaginas? Which brings up the topic of rape and how no one talks about that.
The monologues had a very poetic and sad representation of the women who have been mistreated, particularly those raped during war times. I learned about the prevalence of rape throughout the world, and the rates and numbers given for places like Africa shocked me. The poetic, sad, beautiful and terrible monologue had a woman dancing and then shuttering as she told a story on stage, I was nearly reduced to tears. She discussed how she hates her vagina, as did other women.
Hate for one’s vagina, and in turn, insecurity in one’s self was a theme in the monologues. This was eye opening to me. I think that seeing the monologues was a very valuable experience and I think more people ought to.