Monday, February 13, 2012

On Vaginas.

Original title to this post: "On VDay" or "On the Letter V"

Vagina. Valentines. Violence. Victory.

The word "Vagina" has came out of my mouth more than a normal person in the past couple weeks. Partly, to promote for the show I was this past weekend and partly because that word is actually part of my daily vocabulary. Aside from that, I had time to actually meditate on what that word means when asked by many what the show Vagina Monologues entails.

It's more to than just that word. Yes - vagina, cunt, coochie snorcher, pussy, vay jay jay, etc. - there are all synonyms for the female genital that we are all oh-so-familiar from both the male or female perspective. We know what it is. And the sort of funny-ness that comes from saying that word. But when describing to those about the show "No, it's not a vagina talking on the stage... No, it's not like those parodies you've seen ... It's sorta funny, but sorta not" For those who have seen it, I challenge you to describe what this show is. It's almost impossible to give the show its justice in 3-4 sentences. Imposible.

It is not this uber feministic, semi-butch show where we denounce all men and hail and praise the vagina on a pedestal. It is this empowerment, this re-claiming, this identity of multiple women and their story about their lives, their bodies, their relationships with men, people, institutions, stigmas and how they interpret those interactions with those people or objects. The best part of the show, I believe, is knowing that at any one point, there were thousands of women saying those same words, with a similar intent, with the same goal to work against violence (since proceeds of the show go to both local programs as well as the VDay movement) by saying just a few scripted words.

I have never acted before except for that one time again for VagMo my Senior year of my undergrad. When people say I performed well, I just think its just their nice way of saying that I am (at times) overly dramatic and that "luckily" I can use this dramatic personality of mine on a stage in a somewhat productive manner. But, seriously, what I think I do well is that it's not that I'm "acting" but I just try to embody the real stories of the women in each of these monologues and think, how would I feel, where would I be, what would I have done. How different would my life would be, my decisions, my relationships.
I was molested when I was a child. Yes, this is extremely unfortunate and actually one of the most terrible things to ever happen to me and I feel like I've gone through a lot as a child. This isn't a "bragging right" either, comparing scars and such. God no. But by exposing this, I want to say that, if it wasn't for this show - where there was a medium for me to just be able to speak - even if those words were not my own, were not written by my own hand, I still mirrored the very sentiment they held. I remember the first time I got to see the audience stand when asked if they were victims of sexual violence or knows someone that was, it took my breath away. A weight lifted from within. Knowing that I was not alone. Knowing that stupid shit happens to women that are just so unjust. And yet, and yet. I am here, and as for those who do know me, would say you could not see the injustice in me. Because. I was able to rise from, knowing that this unfortunately is not out of the norm, knowing that there are lives living on, moving on, flourishing. Life goes on, they move on. Partly because there is no other option but to do so. Yet there is this subtle resilience, translating to the stage, is a very remarkable thing.

So yes, the V - this word vagina or violated or violence (sexual or domestic) or vengeance or victory - all come from this shit. That is why I praise it so much, because it means more than just the 6 letters it is. It encompasses strength, stories, the actual lives of women that had to see the world through that hole. Now, do you see? It's all about the "Power to the V".

So help me celebrate today's VDay and be part of the world, the people that empower the V. Giving it the respect, the honor, the life it deserves. So with today being Valentines-  the day for lovers, couples, hook-ups, and the alike. I want to wish everyone a very safe and joyous VDay. Consent is the key. V love.


  1. You really said it best here. You're so brave! I'm really proud of you for sharing your thoughts and being so open. And I'm so happy to have gotten to know you through this <3

    I think Lindsey's Facebook post made it all worth it: "I am so proud to be who I am and I've never felt so beautiful". I hope others left the night feeling the same way and wanting to share that with others.

    xo, Katherine

  2. This is such an eloquent explanation of a play that really does defy description. After putting in so much time to the production, I don't think I really understood how meaningful it was until it was over and I had time to reflect. Thank you so much for sharing.