Thursday Thirteen #3: Why I Love The Vagina Monologues

January 19, 2007 at 11:49 am | Posted in The Vagina Monologues, Thursday Thirteen | 3 Comments

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1. The Vagina Monologues is one of the biggest forces in my life. I have spent the last four years being part of it, performing, directing, producing, volunteering, spending time with the actresses, talking with the beneficiaries, meeting people in the university who had no idea what it was previously, talking with audience members who laughed and cried were shocked, but came back the following year for it. And yet, until I began doing my research on The Vagina Monologues and interviewing the actresses – I had NO idea what it meant to people in their lives and what a big influence it was on them. For me – it has changed my life in so many ways for the better.

2. Lets talk about VAGINAS! Enabling women to speak about that which has previously been unspoken. My first year as director, I admit I had a hard time talking about my own vagina or asking other women about theirs. Suddenly all of us were sharing stories about our coochi snorchers with *less* qualms than we previously had. And in doing so, you could see women start to feel empowered and stronger in being able to put a voice to this silent part of their body. To quote Eve “if my vagina could talk, it would be SCREAMING”

3. The opportunity for healing… When women are assigned parts, you never know how they’ll respond. Will they be doing a monologue they can relate to, or not? But so often what I’ve seen happen is that afterwards – a monologue will relate to some experience in a woman’s life she may not even have really thought about and suddenly she is TALKING TALKING TALKING. And thinking. And consequentally healing. Healing is the biggest factor of The Vagina Monologues – how can we get rid of patriarchy and sexism and oppression without healing all the hurt that we’ve all experienced?

4. Laughter. “If your vagina could talk – what would it wear? Red high tops and a mets cap.” There is so much room for laughter. There has to be. Feminists laughing? You bet! And when women who may not have laughed in years about their bodies can do so again – that’s something.

5. Friendship. I have made so many friends thanks to The Vagina Monologues, it had to be on the list.

6. Raising awareness of sexual violence. And that goes not only for the cast members, but for every single audience member that is exposed to the production. When we talk about our beneficiaries – organizations that are working to stop violence against women and girls – its all about raising awareness of what they do, and in the monologues what violence exists in this world for women. Whether its date rape, sexual harassment, acid-burning, female genital mutiliation, or general sexism – the show is all about raising awareness and that is something that does not happen enough.

7. Raising monies to combat violence against women and girls. Because again, this does not happen enough. If it did, maybe we could absolutely be living in a V-World without violence against women.

8. The promise of V-World. Where no violence exists. No war. No need for crisis centres or women’s shelters. No need for programs that help raise money for violence. No domestic violence counselling. No teasing when boys cry. No negativity to the words “cunt” or “whore”. No being afraid of walking down the street at night. No acid-burning. No violence.

9. Global sisterhood. For every production taking place around the world, there is a bond formed not only amongst its own cast and crew but with others around the world. I am fighting with my global sisters to eradice violence against women. Each production may have its own spin and its own unique features because of the varied cultural differences in each place, but we’re all fighting for the same thing.

10. Individual spirit. Like I said, I had NO idea the impact of The Vagina Monologues in people’s life, even after several years of working on it, until I began doing my own research and interviews. There is no way to explain the impact on individual people and performers, and how it affects each person individually in their own personal histories and experiences. But it happens. And its amazing. Its something people don’t talk about it share. But its incredible.

11. Eve Ensler. The vagina goddess. Enough said.

12. Feminist activism in all its entirety. The chance to yell “Cunt!” on stage to a room full of people. The opportunity to dislay our feminisms on a t-shirt five days a week while advertising the show. There is so much unique individual opportunity for feminist activism from production to production in ways that this generation had never seen previously. It empowers women to do it in other ways in their lives, and gives them the skills to continue with feminist activism throughout their lives.

13. Why do I love The Vagina Monologues? Because I cannot imagine my life without it. The camaraderie, the spirit, the laughter, the emotional tears, the singing in my heart when I go to a rehearsal, when I talk with women who are new to the show and have no idea what its about, when I talk to women years later about it, when I meet someone, when I wear a t-shirt or wear red for V-Day, when I imagine V-World. So many reasons I cannot begin to express here. But this is just a taste.

V-Day is happening in your community during the month of February. For more information or to find a production go to the V-Day website.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Bubba, Marcia, Amy … (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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3 Comments »

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  1. I haven’t seen it yet, but it has been on my list to see. Interesting list.

  2. As a male, I guess I can’t totally relate…even after seeing Eve perform it on HBO. However, it sounds like you’ve been blessed enough to participate in something for four years that has contributed to a lot of good in the world. And that, I can comprehend…and offer my congratulations for doing something so useful. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your list with us! My list is up.. Happy TT!

  3. Heard about it on the radio..Looks really funny!


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