The Vagina Monologues Tackle The Taboo
I’m not usually speechless. I’m the type of person who always has a comment or opinion. That’s part of why I wanted to write articles – my friends were tired of hearing me talk. Despite my tendency to never shut up, after attending the Vagina Monologues, I really did not know what to say.
It might have been my amazement with the skill of the actresses. I felt like I was watching professionals. The women were mature, well spoken, and passionate. It was incredible to observe. Each one of them was better than the last; each monologue more powerful; each delivery more impressive. I could not imagine doing this myself. They seemed so sure of themselves. At one point, one of the actors was giving a monologue about how her short skirt does not insinuate that she is promiscuous. The confidence she embodied in presenting this polarizing subject was strong in attacking this established cultural norm. These issues transcend generations, and I believe that regardless of previous feelings and expectations, the Vagina Monologues were able to present the information in a respectful yet pointed and inciting way.
More likely, it could have been the message of the monologues. Throughout my life, I don’t think I have heard the word vagina as many times as I did within that hour of the performance. In fact, I have never really thought about “vagina” – the word, the meaning behind it, and the fact that the word is so taboo. It made me consider what else there is that we don’t talk about, and why we don’t talk about these things.
The show offers possible explanations. The word sounds like it could be the name of a disease. It kind of evokes images of a doctor with a tool kit. It does not have connotations with words like beauty or happiness. But why? We form our own connections and opinions. Language evolves, and new words are added to the dictionary everyday. Despite this, the word vagina continues to be ignored and seen as disgusting. The same cannot be said for penis. People play “the penis game,” but nobody would dare suggest the vagina, because nobody wants to discuss it.
Although the vagina is where lives are created and sexual pleasure occurs, it is seen as taboo. Another stunt against feminism.
When I decided to cover the show, I expected to write about the message of the monologues and the performance. I planned to describe the show and discuss my reaction to it. After seeing the Vagina Monologues, I realize there is no way to describe each monologue and give each one the credit it is due. Everyone should go see this show. It opened my mind not only about the lack of respect we give our vaginas, but about what it means to be taboo.
I will admit that I tend to avoid problems. I would much rather be happy than dwell on an issue, or even discuss it all. I know that this is not necessarily a positive character trait, but the Vagina Monologues made me realize that this can in fact be detrimental. Why do things become taboo? It is because people avoid them – out of discomfort, fear, or societal pressures. How did we allow vaginas to become a source of discomfort and fear? This seems counterintuitive and is inherently problematic.
I know this article does not really help if you were hoping to find out what these monologues cover and what the show discusses. This article does not cover the event because this event isn’t something that needs a description. It needs publicity and support from women around the world. It contains a message that must be spread, and I can’t imagine a more effective way than attending the Vagina Monologues. Writing a review of the Vagina Monologues that gave away too much information would ruin their effect and lasting impression.
Next time there is a performance, go. It might make you uncomfortable – I surely was. It might scare you and it might confuse you. It will certainly force you to think about difficult topics, but more importantly, it will open you up to self-reflection and self-awareness.