round and round...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sister, why must you torment me?

I read something just now that made my head spin. Much like yesterday's experience with the pantsuit question, this particular article made me rage, rage against the dying of women's' sense of self. Oh, thank you, Dylan Thomas, for such a useful phrase.

Here it is. *hefty sigh* There is a woman protesting the Vagina Monologues because of her conservative values. OK, nothing too outrageous there, right? Conservatives protest, liberals protest, protesting your pet cause is a glorious right afforded us by our Constitution. It doesn't mean that I have to agree with her.

Let's look a bit closer for a moment at her ideas. To quote the article, 24 year old Monique Stuart said, "'It's disgusting. The play defines women as their sexual organs." Really? It does? The Vagina Monologues reduces women to the sum total of their sexual parts? This is where I wonder if Stuart has ever seen the play. Turns out - she has seen it. This is where I say WTF?

I believe that Eve Ensler created a medium for expression and empowerment when she collected the stories of more than 200 women to draw from for the stage show. Stories range from happy to sad, from glorious to violent, from celebratory to shameful. Yes, the vagina (not a dirty word, folks, and by the way - it only refers to the chute, if you're talking general area you might want to come up with something a little more catchy since saying "labia, clitoris, vulva, and vagina" is a bit cumbersome. That crazy woman from Show Dog Moms & Dads [you know you've seen the clip] who said, "My dog, he bite me in my vagina!!!" must really be a sick, sick bitch if she's letting her dog get all up in there to bite her IN HER VAGINA. Sorry, I had to get that out.) anyway... the vagina is a sexual part of a woman's beautiful body. But it is used as a tool in the play, not the end goal (anyone who sees it without the veil of super conservative thought will understand that). It is used as a conduit - a way of getting women to express themselves and embrace their senses of self, senses of sexuality, senses of womanhood. This womanhood is what's celebrated, not sex organs. Ensler's goal was to get women (and men) to walk away from the show thinking, "Wow, it really is a good thing to be a woman." What is so bad about that? It's not an overtly sexual piece. Sure, there are parts that deal with sex, masturbation, all that fun stuff - but it's not pornographic or sex-centric.

Ms. Stuart, (warning: catty moment approaching) perhaps if you'd loosen up a bit and embrace your own womanhood you'd look a hell of a lot more like a 24 year old than a 40 year old soccer mom.

15 What people are saying:

Blogger krisbtterfly rambles...

hear hear! bring on the monologues, because i've got a vagina that'll listen. prude, uptight beeyotches should put their efforts into doing something that will actually benefit society. how about you focus on world hunger or something?

3/08/2006 11:54:00 AM

Blogger Melissa rambles...

Or, as Sandra learned on her blog - the genocide in Darfur!

I really am bewildered by women. I don't expect us all to agree, but I do expect us to strive for a strong womanhood. I just don't see how that can be done when the sexual part of ourselves is hushed and kept behind closed doors when our society is overtly sexual often times and vastly male-dominated.

3/08/2006 11:59:00 AM

Blogger Sapphire rambles...

Dammit I wish I could remember the newspaper headline that was on the Tonight Show a few months ago about the Vagina Monologues. It was a major Freudian slip and I nearly peed on myself laughing.

3/08/2006 12:56:00 PM

Blogger Miss Fire rambles...

*sigh* I have mixed views on this one. I've never seen the play, so I guess I really shouldn't comment. But you know me…..

I don't have a problem with the content of the play. I don’t have a problem with women embracing their sexuality. I don’t have a problem with the word vagina. I do have a problem with the hypocrisy surrounding the defense of the play, however. Is it or is it not about women and their vaginas? Is it or is it not a play about women’s sexuality? I can’t seem to get a straight answer. “It is, but it isn’t” doesn’t cut it for me. I don’t understand how a generation of women can fight so hard to have women appear as more than sex objects only to stoop to this level. Bringing awareness to the power of womanhood is great, but we once again have to boil it down to our sex. Are we not smart enough or comfortable enough to market our womanhood and its power in another way?

I agree with Stuart’s tactic of re-typing the whole thing as “The Penis Monologues” – it’s utterly ridiculous. Would we want to go to a play about men’s stories about their penis? If yes, then would you be comfortable hearing men talk about the power they feel when they use their penises? Would you feel comfortable hearing about what a fantastic experience it is for a man to be on top of a woman, completely in control of her pleasure….or pain? Would you want to hear a rapist or child molester talk about the power his penis gives him? They're human, too, we need to hear their stories.

I also have a problem with the condescending tone of the article – which makes me want to laugh and dismiss it as biased. Why is that the conservative women are “trashing” the play? They would never use that term when describing the folks at sitting at a table eating crunchy granola and smoking pot trashing W – they would be “discussing” him.

Good post, girlie. Thought provoking indeed.

3/08/2006 02:02:00 PM

Blogger Miss Fire rambles...

Oh, I do agree with you on the getting some thing for our 24 year old - she does look like she's about 40! Way to represent, conservative sister.

Dear Monique - it's ok, you can remain a virgin and a conservative. But please, please discover a vibrator. It's not a sin - God wouldn't have put the clit there if he didn't want you to use it. Like your eyes....God wants you to see Josh Duhamel. You don't have to fuck him - just look at him and enjoy. :-)

3/08/2006 02:10:00 PM

Blogger Melissa rambles...

Ah, I knew you'd come! YES! Miss Fire strikes again and I love it! hahaha :)

OK, here's the thing for me: men are given power every day by virtue of their gender in our society. I find it interesting to turn the tables and use our bodies to assume some strength just as men do every day - whether they know it or not. I think that the "Penis Monologues" are played out every day by loads of men around this country (not to mention the globe) in various ways, so it doesn't seem ridiculous to me at all. Make sense? That's how I look at it.

HAAAA - my verification "word" is "smrks". Like smirks. That's hilarious. I'm totally smirking right now.

3/08/2006 02:11:00 PM

Blogger Melissa rambles...

OH MY GOD I just saw your last comment and I spit rice and beans all over my keyboard. AMEN!!!!

3/08/2006 02:13:00 PM

Blogger The Rover rambles...

Miss Fire is using the argument I commonly hear from white people about stuff like Black History Month. So you can guess how I feel about that one.

I've seen TVM. Twice, actually. And even though, as a male, I was a bit uncomfortable (because I wasn't a member of the target audience), I certainly wasn't offended. So...I think this lady is a prude. And I don't know how to help prudes...short of making out with them...which I don't think I wanna do in this case...

3/08/2006 03:08:00 PM

Blogger Miss Fire rambles...

*sizzle* That's me. Burning up the blogs.

Rice and beans? Are you turning into Cuban Lady?

I agree with you about turning the tables. I've done it before. My comment the other day about leaving the third button unbuttoned during an interview? I was only half joking. I've totally worked the blonde bombshell thing during an interview, 'cuz I heard the guy was a player and I wanted to play with him, and I got the job. I loved the power my sexuality had over this dude - I had him on his knees (not literally). But my feminist friends, the same ones who would defend the VM, accused me taking our fair sex back to the 1950s by making my looks, not my brains, the focus. I see a lot of hypocrisy there. Feminists want us to be empowered by our sex, then balk when we use it to get what we want.

3/08/2006 03:08:00 PM

Blogger Melissa rambles...

K Lance you are killing me. I swear, sometimes I think you and Kristie want me dead from the way you make me laugh. I don't want to make out with that chick, either. She looks significantly older than she is and that creeps me out. She really should take Miss Fire's advice on that one!

Here's the thing about you - you're black (in case you weren't aware) and you happen to dig chicks. Chicks of all sorts of shades. I think that's cool. Hey, K Lance, this is where I tell you I love you and I have since the day we met and I know I can't do anything about it, but I had to tell you and now it's out and I'm nothing but confused and really don't feel any better... I still can't believe this weekend happened to me - again.

3/08/2006 03:14:00 PM

Blogger a fish on a bycicle rambles...

I've got absolutely no idea about the content of the Vagina Monolgues but I so want to see it now - that poor deluded prim and proper prude seems to have committed the cardinal error of misguided censors everywhere - her protests have actually become a reccommendation - I mean how will I judge it unless I see it for myself.

3/08/2006 04:55:00 PM

Blogger a fish on a bycicle rambles...

By the way,

Monique Stuart = o quim arts nuts!

'nuff said

3/08/2006 05:09:00 PM

Blogger The Rover rambles...

(Please read the comment below in your best Ron Burgundy/Anchorman voice.)

Of course you loved me from the jump, Melissa. I mean, look at me. I am fantastic. I am spectacular. In fact, some scientists consider me the perfect male specimen.

Ssshhhh... You don't have to say a word. I know how you feel, and I know it's confusing. You'll just have to continue to love me from afar. Be strong, Melissa. For both of us.

(Back to normal - thanks for the hijack.)

Bike Fish - I think just reading the script will give you a good idea of the content.

Miss Fire - if the guy's going to hire you because he thinks he's gonna get laid, then that's great for you - you got the job, and that's the point of the interview, right? - but he's a moron. You don't make business decisions based on cup size. At least, you don't make successful decisions that way, unless you're in porn...

3/08/2006 05:20:00 PM

Blogger a fish on a bycicle rambles...

or bra manufacture?

3/08/2006 05:40:00 PM

Blogger Miss Fire rambles...

k lance, it all boils down to one thing with you - sex. Your a simple man. I like that.

For the record, the guy that hired me was indeed a moron. He was your typical, um, Ron Burgundy-like character. I actually had to shut him down once. Where most women would have filed a sexual harassment suit, I got right up in his face and told him the only three way I'd join him in would be conference call with a client. He treated me like his best drinking buddy after that. Asshat.

TVM was just here in Tampon two weeks ago! Didn't hear a darn thing about it.....

3/08/2006 07:36:00 PM


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