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The Vagina Monologues: A Modern Review

Updated on October 8, 2017

A review of Eve Enslers' "The Vagina Monologues"

“The Vagina Monologues” : An analysis

The Vagina Monologues is a movement; work of art, play, book and relates to women's studies as the sole message of the monologues is for women to embrace themselves and for violence against women to be abolished. Although I have seen the Vagina monologues when I attended Humboldt state university this analysis is on the novel by Eve Ensler.

Ensler collects stories from a diversity of women, creates her own work and researches facts about the Vagina. From these “monologues” as a reader I experienced a new knowledge of the control that the society has been used to having over the female body. Ensler writes; “ In the 19th century, girls who learned to develop orgasmic capacity by masturbtion were regarded as medical problems.” She goes on to describe of how the mutilation of girls’ vaginas was legal in our country until 1948.

What struck me most was the poetry response following this fact; My Angry Vagina, where Enslor writes “An army of people out there thinking up ways to torture my poor-ass, gentle, loving vagina.” To me this is her expressing the violence that women experience through the patriarchy. She goes on to depict in this poem that products made for women are done without consideration of the women who use those products and also that products are made by men for men.

Enslor also uses women's personal stories to inspire and set an example out of different women's experiences. She writes; “ how crucial it is for women to tell their stories, to share them with other people, how our survival as women depend on this dialogue.” She includes in her monologues different social and cultural perspectives on the Vagina. Each one unique and empowering in their own way. One of my favorite being The little coochie scorcher that could which consisted of a statement made by a woman who had previously experienced homelessness and discovered through rape a lesbian identity. We see this woman go through different ages and her and her “coochie schorcher” (vagina) experience different occasions. At ten years old we see her get raped violently by a man and then again when she is 13 she is raped by a woman whom she claimed to love.

Enslors work both with the v day movement and the Vagina monologues is to me in the simplest form, creates room for major change. Enslor is aiming to end violence against women by educating and sharing experiences of “vaginas” simply because they matter. Her validations help to shape perspective not only on women in general but the way we can come to embrace ourselves completely by becoming more comfortable with ourselves and our bodies.

© 2017 Christa Canady


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