vaginas and their monologues
December 17, 2002 11:12 PM
I did not like The Vagina Monologues. But, for the sake of We Have Brains, I'll talk about it a little.
I have to say, the word vagina just bothers me so much. I'd rather use cunt. I'd rather use darn near any other word for it. So, I'm not interested in hearing "vagina vagina vagina vagina". Nope. [Apologies to those of you who already know this, but I don't like the word because it means "sheath" in Latin. The vagina-completed-by-penis aspect of that bothers me. So, I prefer the indeterminate etymology of cunt. I don't care if it does mean any of the things Inga Muscio claimed, it at least isn't flat-out Freudian. Bah!]
So. I didn't like The Vagina Monologues in part because I do not like the vagina. I also don't care for Eve Ensler much. Her delivery, her "acting", if you will, was so pedantic and intrusive and slightly condescending in the version she did all by herself. Now, the versions with other, local women working together - those are okay. They're about women discovering commonality, and that sisterhood thing is, as bell hooks'll tell ya, powerful.
I do, however, feel pretty okay with my own cunt. I'm not quite to the speculum-peering my-cunt-is-my-inner-female stage, but I'm conscious of my bleeding and my sex. I pay attention to my cunt as a part of my body, something that has animation of its own but is still part of me.
It does not. Give. Monologues. No more than my mouth could give monologues without the rest of me. It would no more wear lipstick than my arm would [Ha, although given certain circumstances, it might perhaps wear my arm, in a manner of speaking.]. I have difficulty grasping the "Huzzah for my vagina!" aspect of the new feminism.
Part of that is, I think, that I feel a need to consider my body as a whole, a usable unit rather than a series of joined components. I need grounding in my body, and talking about my cunt like it's an anatomical marvel doesn't make me feel stronger and more womanly - it makes me feel distant and apart from my physical aspect.
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I had really mixed feelings after watching it, but didn't feel too bad since it only used an hour or so of my time and cost nothing. I'm going to address this all in my answer when I get around to that.
The "vagina as its own entity" thing is what kind of bothered me, because that is just a step away from objectification.
That, and the "cunt" skit could have been much improved on. I liked the idea for that one the most, but there was something creepy about how she delivered it.
these are the thoughts of kerri on December 17, 2002 11:59 PM
Whew. I'm glad someone else feels the same. I feel like I'm pooing on some great feminist party when I talk about Ensler sometimes.
I agree about the cunt skit. She dismisses the whole reclamation thing like it's something for the young and tragically hip, and her audience isn't that. I don't know what it is exactly, but you're right - something creepy.
these are the thoughts of april on December 18, 2002 12:13 AM
I admire the intention of the whole thing- to get women to talk about something that is literally and figuratively kept covered up most of the time, but I think she takes it too far, when maybe she could have taken it in a different direction. I never thought I'd say this about anything, but it really excluded the heterosexual experience. . .I felt like half of my experiences were negated because male-female intercourse was either directly linked to childbirth, rape, or shame. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, but she could have done more with validating all experiences. I plan on answering my question sometime tonight
these are the thoughts of kerri on December 18, 2002 08:56 PM
i read the book and it bored the fizuck out of me, i think / thought that a lot of the allure of the vagina monolgues was due to actually hearing a woman speak about her vagina in a large public forum.
i dunno, sometimes i wonder if perhaps it is simply the fact that women are speaking and less how or what they are saying. "oh my god, she is talking about vagina's publically." not "wow, that's a great poem about vaginas." quite frankly, i don't think they were good poems. Oooooh, bad tankie. ;)
these are the thoughts of Tank on December 23, 2002 07:23 PM
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