The Vagina Monologues – it happened over the past weekend at the downtown theatre, organized by the school student theatre council and the women’s resource centre on campus. Amazing cast, marvellous show. I loved it from beginning to end and I applaud everyone who were involved in the making of it. Before I go on to rant about how deeply it has affected me, I’d like to take a moment to salute the shero who created the work in the first place. Thank you, Eve Ensler, for writing this fabulous, very artsy, powerful and articulate play on behalf of the women all over the world! It is absolutely necessary for women to be concerned about their vaginae (Wow, I didn’t know vaginae was the correct spelling for multiple vaginas!), because male supremacy in our patriarchal society has diminished the role of the female sexual experience – the organ itself and the pleasure it can provide to females – that even women themselves have come to not appreciate and detest their own bodies. The narratives in your play were compelling and persuasive for women to become aware of their own vaginae and tend to their own sexual/health/personal needs and for men to know them also and respect women in that aspect.
The work moved me deeply. I did not cry though – because my brain and my heart have not been wired well enough these past several months – and I have not shed a tear out of happiness or sadness for a long time. But it was as sensational as it was thought-provoking. The play progresses with women, individually and in ensemble, recounting their personal experiences relating to their vaginae – women from all walks of life who have had experienced pain, pleasure and everything in between with both men and other women relating to their vaginae. We men take sexuality and sexual pleasure for granted. For us, it’s simple. Our penises and balls hang outside our main body, just like limbs. When we’re horny, we get hard, we “take care” of it – either by ourselves or with a partner (or partners), we come and we’re done. Orgasm and ejaculation are almost simultaneous, and I myself am barely able to distinguish the two form personal experience. And men pee and ejaculate through the same hole, the same pipeline. With women, it’s profound and complex. The best comparison I can make to a vagina is a flower. Say a rose, in particular – because … you’ll see. Layers and layers of soft delicate petals. Subtly fragrant. And there’s nectar and/or pollen hidden underneath. I picked a rose, because people have had a historical fascination with roses and the reason is not very apparent on the surface. When you observe closely, roses are pretty special. So are vaginae! Do not downplay their beauty and mystery! Ok, I’m only talking about the physical/anatomical/physiological aspect of the female body. They’re designed to accommodate most any penis size (which, by the way, doesn’t mean that any penis can just go ahead an enter) and that vagina leads into the flexible bag of a womb where a human foetus can hibernate before birth. Oh my god, it’s a whole universe in there – or a magic chamber, if you prefer. And orgasms that last longer than a split second (the male experience) and the ability to have multiple orgasms. I wish I had a vagina!
I can’t imagine how people can even be sexist, especially when it comes to sexual relations. (And you can’t deny how big a role sex plays in people’s lives.) Here’s why, and this is what Eva believes in: because people don’t understand vaginae. That is the very reason she wrote the vagina monologues, and still people refuse to listen, far from understand. The Vagina Monologues happened last year also on campus (and I had failed to attend), and news of the rehearsals were all over campus and there was a general excitement about the production. And I heard some similar comments from some (striaght) white male students who identify/appear to be socially progressive/liberal: “Can we have penis monologues, too?”
Excuse me? Are you serious? Of course, you are! You’re a typically ignorant white boy – being the dominant gender and free from the societal pressures of racial stratification – and you can afford to make insolent remarks like those. Now, I sound racist! Yes, there are straight white Christian boys who realize the privilege they are granted by birth and embrace and practise progressive values of equality in daily life. But you, you, you … I know you did intend your remark(s) to be a joke but this is no joking matter!
- No, we can’t have Penis Monologues.
- No, we can’t have Straight Pride Fest.
- No, we can’t have White History Month.
But you can participate in gender, sexuality and racial equality movements. The first thing you do is realize your own privilege in the context of your own society. I have privileges, everybody does. But the privileges I had back at home in Burma were a ton more than what I have now in America. For example, I am discriminated against for being gay, and there’s more of that back home than here. But as of gender privilege, I have more of that as a male in the East than here. Another thing you can do with social inequalities is you can make others realize how they are privileged and how they are not privileged. Some women do not speak up against relationship abuse and sexual violence because they don’t know they have a right, a right to themselves. Educating about social injustices is hard. I’m still learning things myself and I’m trying to teach others along the way, too. But it’s not ok to just dismiss things and ask for things like Straight Pride. If you see some celebration like “Women’s History Month”, ask yourself why, instead of brainlessly storming out and yelling, “Men should have their own history month, too!” and shit. It’s called HIStory already! Oppressed people don’t want to make a big fucking deal out of their oppression, for your information. But oppression is a big fucking thing and it needs to be put under the spotlight. That’s why they do these activistic celebrations – which are only quasi-celebrations. Stop being stuck up little bitches about it. Stahp, just STAHP!
This is probably one of my shortest blog posts. I’m just gonna stop here. Have a good night, everyone!