Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Vagina Amazed Me

Reflections on why we need the Vagina Monologues 
more than ever before

“I found it quite unsettling at first, my vagina…..”

When I tell people that I’m doing the Vagina Monologues and that they should come, they usually laugh nervously and look away from me. Ok, the men I tell laugh nervously or condescendingly (what a cute little show for women—but we all know that the penis is king!). The women sort of shush me because I should absolutely NOT be saying the word  “Vagina” out loud, what if our mothers heard us?

“I did not think of my vagina in practical or biological terms. I did not, for example, see it as something attached to me….”
There is a deep seeded belief that this particular production is only for the “super feminist”.  I am going to ask all of you to put that notion aside. The V-Day movement is for all people with vaginas. It’s also for anyone who has known, cared for, listened to, comforted or loved someone with a vagina. It’s for those who have had their vaginas violated, for those who have had theirs cared for, for those who have never used theirs yet and for those who take their vaginas out for a night on the town regularly.

“I had to give up the fantasy, the enormous life-consuming fantasy, that someone was coming to lead my life, to choose direction, and to give me orgasms."

The experience I’ve had with the V-Day movement is one of the most meaningful of my life. It is one of the richest forums of combined women experiences. It’s a safe place for the Vagina. Let’s face it, the Vagina is in danger. The Vagina is constantly the focus of debate. The Vagina is constantly trying to be controlled. The Vagina has no rights to what happens to it.

The Vagina is under attack.

FACT:In the aftermath of the 2010 midterm elections, women’s representation on Capitol Hill – already at a paltry 17 percent, in a nation where 51 percent are female – fell for the first time in history. In the media sphere, women continue to be seen but not heard, with less than a third of U.S. films featuring women protagonists, and only a third of that number even being directed by women.” *

FACT: “One needn’t look to policy or institutions to see how society strives to silence the voices of women. Whether it’s the way women in online spaces are swamped with violent threats when they dare to voice their opinions, or the way girls who speak openly about their sexuality are shouted down for being “dirty whores,” or the way rape survivors who go public with their narratives and “dare to take pleasure in their bodies and live their lives on their own terms deserve whatever they get,” sexism is just too stupidly obvious for any (conscious) person to ignore.”

FACT: “(Conservative) extremists’ (are) relentless (in their) assaults on contraception, affordable childcare, collective bargaining rights and healthcare reform. These are all issues that disproportionately affect women’s ability to pursue education and careers like their male counterparts – because last time I checked, men don’t have to worry about pregnancy endangering their health and employability.”

FACT: “There’s no hyperbole in classifying these attacks not as equivalent to violence against women, but as violence against women, period. When legislators endanger women’s lives by forcing fraudulent abstinence-only education on teen girls, or by stripping women of their right to life-saving contraception, they are by definition waging war on women. These legislators have carte blanche to violently pursue their goal of expelling women’s voices from the public sphere – not because women aren’t speaking up or fighting back, but because existing institutions have zero interest in representing women’s independent voices.”

"My Vagina is a shell, a round pink tender shell opening and closing, closing and opening. My vagina is a flower, an eccentric tulip, the center acute and deep, the scent delicate, the petals gentle but sturdy…”

It took me 27 years to get comfortable saying the word “vagina”. It took another three years after that to realize its beauty. I don’t want it to take you as long as it took me.

I do not want it to be taboo. I do not want you thinking that I am somehow eccentric because I can talk about vaginas and orgasms and the clitoris without turning red in the face.

I do want women’s voices to be heard. I do want violence towards women to end. I do want women to be able to decide what happens with their very own bodies. I do want them to connect with themselves in ways that they may have remained disconnected. I do want them to love, love, love every part of themselves. I do want them to have daily orgasms of their own making (as I believe that is the number one thing that will lead us to world peace). 

I want you to know you.

And I sure as fuck do not want the government to come between the very special relationship that I have with my little pussycat.

*Facts were taken from this amazing article written by Echo Zen.
You can learn more about the V-Day movement here

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