Feminism at its finest?

By on February 18, 2009

If my vagina could talk, it would say, “I’m extremely uncomfortable right now.”

I will admit, as a female this show was most likely easier to endure than for any of the select few men that were sitting in the audience this past Friday night.

However, between the numerous descriptions commonly associated with the vagina and the over the top (though for the most part dead on) reenactments of the ways that different types of women have an orgasm, I found myself almost wishing I didn’t have a vagina of my own–just so I didn’t have to consider that I may have something in common with these women for whom the monologues were written for.

While I give the actors on stage an enormous amount of credit for their bravery and overall performances (especially Heather Rudow’s remarkable reenactment of numerous types of orgasms in “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” monologue) I found that overall, the underlying theme of female empowerment was over the top and at times even frustrating.

While I firmly believe that as women we owe it to ourselves to take pride in being self-reliant and successful, I don’t believe that the only way to accomplish this is by getting in touch with our “inner vagina.”

In one of the monologues, a woman discusses how women secretly love to talk about their vaginas, but you would never know because no one ever asks them about it. Now personally, when I’m hanging out with my roommates or run into an old friend or classmate, their vagina is not usually on my mind. Imagine a conversation that begins with, “Hey I haven’t seen you in a while, how’s your vagina been doing?” or “I heard your vagina had a rough day yesterday.” No thank you.

The assigning of emotions to the sacred part down under was perhaps what drove me over the edge. In the monologue titled, “The Angry Vagina,” the main focus of the monologue that starts out with the exclamation, “My vagina is angry!” is to showcase the different emotions a vagina goes through when it finds itself in certain situations.

Perhaps I have taken the monologues too literally, but to me it is altogether ridiculous to assume that the vagina has a mind of its own. While on occasion it can seem as if this is the case for us women, it is disturbing to even momentarily imagine that while I am sitting in class, or at home watching a movie or doing homework, my vagina is off in another world, thinking and feeling things that I am unaware of.
Give me a break.

Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I want to take away from Eve Ensler’s work or from the original intent of the overall content of the monologues. I am simply trying to understand why a group of women need to stand up on a stage yelling things like “Pussies unite!” or chanting the word “vagina” so many times that it begins to not even sound like a real word anymore, to feel as if they are making a statement.

I think that the idea of female empowerment should be based on so much more than a single body part. Just as men are constantly criticized for relating their power with certain anatomy below the belt, the same should be considered for women. As someone who considers herself to be extremely independent, I associate this independence with my own personal understanding that the only thing I need to be successful is my intellect and my passion and drive for everything that I do. I believe that I am a strong woman because of life experience and self-motivation-not because I happen to have a vagina.


About Stacey Kinnier