“I say vagina because I want people to respond,” says playwright Eve Ensler, creator of the hilarious, disturbing soliloquies in The Vagina Monologues. And respond they do–with horror, anger, censure, and sparks of wonder and pleasure.*
The Vagina Monologues is an Obie Award-winning episodic play based on interviews with over 200 women about their real memories and experiences …
of sexuality and gives us real stories of intimacy, vulnerability and sexual self-discovery.
Trading off between light-hearted, shocking and pit-of-the-stomach disturbing, the play covers hair, scents, masturbation, sex, orgasms, secretions, periods, birth, mutilation, rape, what we call vaginas, what they would wear if they got dressed, what they would say if they talked, etc. Acknowledging that vaginas do exist, it’s a reconnection of sorts, making us aware that vulvas are a part of women and sacred, connected to the mind and not a shameful thing.
The Vagina Monologues has been celebrated as the symbol for women generation and of their desire of speaking publicly about their sexuality. It represent a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations.
The Vagina Monologues grew into V-Day, an international grassroots movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery.
The Vagina Monologues have already been performed in 80 countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Palestine, Israel and Iraq.
Through its global campaign, local volunteers perform The Vagina Monologues to focus the attention of their community on violence towards women.
This is a complete and utter celebration of being female and of female sexuality, as well as a plea to stop violence against women.
When I first read that international acclaimed The Vagina Monologues was going to be played in Nepal, I got very excited.
As the V-day came, I entered the nearly full hall with great anticipation.
The Monologues was performed at the initiation of Helpnepal, an organization working in the field of women’s rights with the help of UNDP and others.
The stage was minimally designed and a bold wooden sculpture of a women with displayed vagina was placed at the right corner .
A total of fourteen monologues were presented .
But the volunteer amateur actresses seemed ill prepared and failed to create an impact that the monologues have internationally. There was no intensity in their voice and spontaneity in body language. Some were too high, some too slow and none seemed connected with the issue they were performing.
The slouched backs and bowed head stood as antithesis of V-Day movement.
But I do really appreciate their courage to come in front of the mass and speak the lines .
I was expecting to see our local celebrities joining boldly in this global movement.But as I happened to know that they ditched at the last moment out of hesitation, I felt pity towards our closed conservative society where no prominent names dared to get their names associated with the campaign already been joined by world wide celebrities like Jane Fonda, Souad Amidou, Nadia Amiri, Cate Blanchett, Christine Boisson, Naomi Campbell , Glenn Close, Serena Dandini, Julie Depardieu, Assia El’Hannouni, Melissa Etheridge, Sabrina Ferilli, Isabella Ferrari, Calista Flockhart, Jane Fonda, Valeria Golino, Melanie Griffith, Sabina Guzzanti, Salma Haiyek, Annie Lennox , Joan Osborne, Sherri Parker Lee, Rosie Perez, Carole Pope, Romina Power, Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Spaak, Meryll Strip, Valentine Varela, Oprah Winfrey, etc.
And because our society is a such closed and conservative one, I see greater significance of this movement in our society.
Because we women are still ashamed of our sexuality, because we are made ‘untouchables’ when we menstruate, because we still are too afraid to disclose our abusive uncles, because we are too hesitant to defend against the harassing passenger, because we still remain silent over the molesting husbands, because we women are too afraid, too naive and too weak to respect , defend and celebrate our own body and sexuality, we have to talk about ‘vagina’ and celebrate ‘vagina monologue’.
Though disappointed with the quality of performance, I applaud the organizers for making an effort to break the silence.
As my support to this global campaign, I would like to add my own lines:
आजित भएर, क्रुद्द भएर ,
मेरो मनमा बाधिएका मर्यादाका पराया सांग्ला,
अनि मेरो पेवा शरिरमाथि तेर्सिएका लाजका ताल्चा,
मैले मेरो नया परिचय बनाएको छु,
निर्लज्ज, चरित्रहिन अनि स्वतन्त्र ॥
note: references taken from various sites *www. Amazon.com