Updated: Dec 16, 2018
This is a brief summary of the Vagina Monologues. If you ever wondered what its all about read this post:
Have you've ever wondered what the vagina monologues are?
“Probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade.” — New York Times
The Vagina Monologues
An Obie Award-winning whirlwind tour of a forbidden zone, The Vagina Monologues introduces a wildly divergent gathering of female voices, including a six-year-old girl, a septuagenarian New Yorker, a vagina workshop participant, a woman who witnesses the birth of her granddaughter, a Bosnian survivor of rape, and a feminist happy to have found a man who “liked to look at it.”
The Vagina Monologues is made up of various personal monologues read by a diverse group of women. Originally, Eve Ensler performed every monologue herself, with subsequent performances featuring three actresses, and more recent versions featuring a different actress for every role. Each of the monologues deals with an aspect of the feminine experience, touching on matters such as sex, sex work, body image, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the various common names for the vagina or simply as a physical aspect of the body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.
Some monologues include:
I Was Twelve, My Mother Slapped Me: a chorus describing many young women's and girls' first menstrual period.
Hair, a piece in which a woman discusses how her husband had cheated on her because she had refused to shave her pubic hair, ultimately allowing her to see that it should not matter whether or not she chooses to shave, and that "hair is there for a reason".
The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could, in which a woman recalls memories of traumatic sexual experiences in her childhood and a self-described "positive healing" sexual experience in her adolescent years with an older woman. This particular skit has sparked outrage, numerous controversies and criticisms due to its content, among which the most famous is the Robert Swope controversy (see below). In the original version she is 13, but later versions changed her age to 16. It also originally included the line, "If it was rape, it was a good rape", which was removed from later versions.
Reclaiming Cunt, a piece narrated by a woman who illustrates that the word "cunt" itself is an empowering word when reclaimed, despite its history of disconcerting connotations.
The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy, in which a sex worker for women discusses the intriguing details of her career and her love of giving women pleasure. In several performances it often comes at the end of the play, literally climaxing with a vocal demonstration of a "triple orgasm".
Because He Liked to Look At It, in which a woman describes how she had thought her vagina was ugly and had been embarrassed to even think about it, but changed her mind because of a sexual experience with a man named Bob who liked to spend hours looking at it.
I Was There in the Room, a monologue in which Eve Ensler describes the birth of her granddaughter in graphic detail and positive wonder.
Every year a new monologue is added to highlight a current issue affecting women around the world. In 2003, for example, Ensler wrote a new monologue, called Under the Burqa, about the plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. In 2004, Ensler also wrote a monologue called They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy. . .Or So They Tried after interviewing a group of women whose gender identity differed from their assigned gender at birth. Every V-Day thousands of local benefit productions are staged to raise funds for local groups, shelters, and crisis centers working to end violence against women.