Why do we always fear the V- word? We call it by different names, depending on the country, culture, language,etc. But never by its name.
Vagina. There, I have said it.
Eve Ensler is right. That does make me feel good.
Today is Eve Ensler’s birthday. Playwright, performer, feminist, activist, all rolled into one and famous for having written ‘The Vagina Monologues’.
There have been certain controversies regarding the incident of the ‘good rape’ used by her in the play. Some feminists have lambasted her for the same with the argument that rape is rape, irrespective of the gender of the rapist. I agree, but in the context of the play, having read only the script, it seemed as it meant something else. Did the girl not realise that this was going to happen. I felt as if she was longing for it, this ‘good rape’ by a woman. And no, I am not justifying rape here.
The Vagina Monologues is all about setting aside our fears and breaking away from years of repression. Yes, it is loud. You may feel uncomfortable with the language but if it had a sober script, would it still remain so powerful? It is about time we talked about such stuff rather hiding behind silly names for the vagina and being ashamed of what essentially makes you a woman.
Some may argue that rape, trauma due to sexual harassment and other associated problems are in no way related to the shame we associate with that female organ. But no, it is. It all comes full circle here. At a young age, we are taught about how one should never talk about your vagina, menstruation, and other ‘delicate’ topics. Chastity, ‘purity’, suddenly, becomes important. In Biology classes in school, the lesson on sexual reproduction is skipped. Boys (and girls too), secretly look at the cross sectional diagram of a pregnant female body. It is natural for boys to do so for the female body is completely alien to theirs. But even girls do so, just because that part of them has been royally ignored by teachers and parents. And just because of the desire to avoid any ‘uncomfortable’ talk. At this age, you are made to start feeling guilty about what is only natural and they are made into taboos. Masturbation, being one of them. And what happens when a women is raped? She hides it. She’s ashamed of herself again. Forget about the other feelings of anger, hurt and pain. Shame destroys her.
To tell you the truth, reading The Vagina Monologues made me go into a power trip. It seemed as if all those pent up angry feelings suddenly wanted to come out. I felt like talking about all that was wrong with the world when it comes to the perception of female sexuality. Does it make a woman or rather the vagina, a victim? It probably does. But isn’t it the truth? The sorry truth?
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