also published in the Feministing.com community blog. see it at
This weekend, I performed in The Vagina Monologues. I would love to go on and on about how amazing the entire experience was and how great our cast was, and how it was a great bonding experience that will bring our feminist community on campus together. Or even how we raised a whole lot of money for a really necessary office on campus. But, this post is not about that.
No, this post is for a woman whose name I never learned. A woman who probably does not realize that it is her, and not the performance, that inspired me. I met her after the Friday night performance, and I may never be the same.
This woman was an older woman, maybe in her fifties or sixties. She was short and quiet, and had a limp. She did not seem very sure of herself, but she needed to tell me something. She waited quietly as I socialized with other members of the audience, my conservative parents included, she waited as the crowd died down, she waited as we cleaned up for the night. She waited, and she mustered, and she glowed.
Finally, she came up to me. She told me that she has a mirror at home, and that she would, finally, after all these years, look at her vagina for the first time, and she expected that she would be in awe. She was inspired by our performance. She was inspired by what we did. She was inspired to do something that is not socially acceptable, or even spoken of. She said she was inspired by us.
Wow. I can't begin to explain how amazing this makes me feel. And also, how sad. How sad is it that we live in a culture where a woman can go her entire life without looking at her vagina, or having an orgasm? How did we become so disconnected from our own body part? It's as normal to have as an arm, or a toe, yet far more integral.
Tampons even have applicators so that we don't have to touch it.
Something went drastically wrong here. See, a man would never go that long without looking at his penis, or pleasuring himself. It is expected and even celebrated when a man is proud of his penis, whereas even saying vagina makes a woman uneasy.
It was not always like this. At one time, the vagina, or cunt as i like to call it, was revered as the center of creative power. Women were revered because of the amazing things our bodies can do. We bleed with the moon, we create life, and we have earth shattering orgasms, sometimes many in a night. When did this stop being awe inspiring? When did vaginas become dirty?
I don't know those answers. Maybe I will someday. What I do know is that this lack of respect for women, and their vaginas needs to end. Just think what could happen is we all started loving ourselves. Women and men, and everyone on between. When our bodies stopped being the enemy and we weren't trying to either adhere to, tear down, or enforce these crazy ideals and boxes and roles. If we could all just... be. How great would that feel?
How many stress related disorders would no longer exist?
Just a thought to leave you with for now.