On a personal note…
My boyfriend and I each have a teenaged son. We took both them and their respective girlfriends to a local college production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
If you get a chance to see this outrageous show with its positive feminist message, take everyone you know! We got our tickets for $5 each and were treated to a full evening of entertainment. Not only that, but the girls (not having been raised by us), had never before been exposed to this type of progressive feminism and they had an awesome time!
I was a little worried about them being embarrassed – the show is not in any way pornographic, but it does feature some frank discussion of explicit material.
One monologue is dedicated to reclaiming the “C word” and the Vagina Warrior who performs it urges the audience, “Come on, say it with me! C***! C***! C***! You can say it! It’s OK! C***!”
It’s funny and silly and empowering in a way that’s difficult to understand unless you’ve seen your sons screaming the word in a dark theater full of women laughing and crying at the same time. It’s even better when their girlfriends are doing the same thing. It’s the best thing in the world when they go from that to complete stillness and silence so they can hear the statistics about violence against women in the following monologue.
When we left the theater, they were all eating chocolate vagina popsicles and wearing the lapel pins I bought for them. The boys got “Made in Vagina” and the girls got “Vagina Warrior.”
In the parking lot, my son said to me, “Mom that was really awesome. I just wish they would have said all that sad stuff at the beginning and then switched to the funny stuff in the second half, cuz I’m still thinking about it. I didn’t know all that bad stuff happened so much.”
It took me a minute to respond because I had a huge lump in my throat. “Well son, I guess they think no one would come back after intermission if all they talked about was the sad stuff in the first half. The idea is that we’ll think about both. We’ll be both entertained and horrified and we won’t forget.”
He stopped right in the parking lot to give me a big hug and thanked me for taking him. Then his girlfriend hugged me. Then my boyfriend’s son hugged me and his girlfriend hugged me. In the car on the way home, the boys sang songs from the show. Mainly Storm Large’s rendition of “My Vagina is 8 Miles Wide.”
And you really can’t ask for more than that, can you? And I didn’t really think there would be much more, but I got it anyway.
I logged on to FaceBook the next day and the kids were all writing comments about it. I’m paraphrasing here, but my son’s girlfriend said,
“Why do we indulge in so much hatred and negativity? Why do we shun those we don’t understand just because they aren’t like us? Be it color, religion, or sex/sexual orientation, I won’t judge you! I am a vagina warrior!”
Vagina Warrior n. – someone who has suffered or witnessed violence, grieved it, transformed it, and then does extraordinary work to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else in their community.