Amanda Marcotte

Weirdly enough, the hokiness of it is sort of genius, because it signals that it's "safe" to people who think of feminism as an academic ivory tower. I hate the hokey crap, too. But believe it or not, the play itself is pretty entertaining.


>>> I certainly don't want to imply that my essence resides in my reproductive and sexual capacities. Obviously, I possess a vagina but, more importantly, I possess a heart and a brain.

By George, I think you're starting to get it! Maybe you'll turn out to be a reformer one day.


I have to say that I have always been unhappy about such slogans as 'the vagina vote', or whatever because, as you said better than I can I do like the vagina monologues themselves (I've read them), but I'm very queasy about feminists reducing women to body parts in the same way that patriarchy does. On every men's and woman's magazine we're reduced to sex: it's meant to be what we are and all we're fucking interested in. We're human beings for heaven's sake, and we don't use our vaginas to vote (it would take a fair few yoga lessons to learn to!)

I am really glad that Ensler is working for an end to DV, and as always I support those actions over and above my reservations about her choice of language and slogans.


Oh crap, it left out the quote. I used the wrong html tags again.

'as you said better than I can do: I certainly don't want to imply that my essence resides in my reproductive and sexual capacities. Obviously, I possess a vagina but, more importantly, I possess a heart and a brain. I like the...'
is how it was meant to read. Duh!

The Happy Feminist

Starting to get it? My feminism has been pretty well defined for years, thank you very much.

Richard, the difference between you and me, and the millions of individuals who call themselves "feminists," is that we keep our eye on the ball even when another self-proclaimed feminist says or does something that we find distasteful.


For years, I've watched my college students' reactions to Eve Ensler's play. At first, they hesitate to even talk about it -- even with these young women, there still seems to be a strong taboo about not talking about women's bodies in any serious way. But once a few women start speaking up, the others do too. I think perhaps that is one thing the play really accomplishes -- breaking the silence about women's bodies. It's one way to begin a discussion about how women's bodies are viewed by our culture.


"breaking the silence about women's bodies"

There is silence about women's bodies? I must be around a different set of women, because they are not shy about talking about their bodies.

The Vagina Monologues didnt do much for it. It was ok. Parts of it were a little disturbing (the underage girl part). It was almost as if she was saying "as long as I am chanting vagina, anything I say is ok."

Perhaps I also just feel that treating men and women as equals is not that revolutionary of a concept. It seems so basic to me. Why would someone have any problem understand that a woman can be smarter than a man or that the man should be in charge in relationships?

I understand that some people that think like that, I just do not understand it.

The Happy Feminist

Uh did you mean that the man does not have a right to be in charge of relationships?


Maybe the problem with the Vagina Monologues is that it has, as they say, "jumped the shark." In this case it's not an episode in the production, but manner in which it is now presented. Everything runs its course. Maybe it's time for the script to be put on the shelf for a while and let new plays regarding feminism, sexuality, anatomy, or whatever emerge. After it's forgotten, someone can then rediscover the script and take a look at it in a fresh light. People can then appreciate it until it gets overplayed once again.


I should admit up front that I have neither seen nor read the play.

Not to be rude, but you really ought to see the play (which is different from reading the book of the play, or watching a video presentation). Seeing it performed is a sufficiently unusual experience that it may change your outlook on Ensler's project.

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