My Vagina, My Girl

February 14th was V-Day. No, not Valentine’s Day, that’s bullshit. Click the link.

I am a bad feminist in that this weekend I saw the Vagina Monologues for the first (and second) time. I’m way too old to be a Vagina Monologue virgin. But I’m glad I had it twice in one weekend.

I loved both shows. I left each performance feeling secure that I am very comfortable with my own vagina. She’s my girl. I love her. I’m good to her. She’s good to me. I was going to write an ode to my vagina, but y’all don’t need to know all that.

I remember a friend of mine told me that she and her husband went to see the show and they left early because it was “too much”. I was waiting for what could possibly have been too much for, um, married people. Reminds me of a conversation I had with friends last week.

We were talking about some woman not having (my first words) the balls to do something. I said it without hesitation, despite the fact that their kids were in the next room. Then, in an effort to be gender specific (although anatomically inaccurate) I corrected my statement by saying that she did not have the clit to do whatever it was I was babbling about. I’m crass. I’ve warned you about that before. I guess ovaries would have been the corresponding gonads, but that’s not the point.

Everyone was comfortable with me saying balls around the kids, but clit stirred up uneasiness. What’s up with that? Why can we talk (colloquially or otherwise) about the male genitalia, but mentioning the female’s is taboo? Now, granted, I’m not the one to teach anybody’s child about their own anatomy, but socially why can we yell balls, balls, balls all day long, but be considered vulgar to mention vaginas or their respective parts? We have so far to go.

But, for the sake of gender equality, here is the message on the T-shirt I bought this weekend.

Front:

VAGINA

Back:

Pussycat. Pooki. Twat. Powderbox. Derriere. Poochi. Poopie. Peepe. Poopelu. Poonani. Pal. Piche. Toadie. Dee Dee. Nishi. Dignity. Money Box. Coochie Snorcher. Cooter. Labbe. Gladys Seagelman. VA. Wee Wee. Horsespot. Nappy Dugout. Mongo. Pajama. Fannyboo. Mushmellow. Ghoulie. Possible. Tamale. Tottita. Connie. Mimi. Split Knish. Schmende.

The Vagina Monologues
Georgetown University
“Until the Violence Stops”

I think I’ll wear it to the next kid’s birthday party I’m invited to.

No? Well, can I at least pass out the chocolate vagina lollipops I bought?

On a serious note. This movement is about ending violence against women in all its forms. Gender inequality is the root of all of the atrocities that are committed against my sisters worldwide. It is the root of what is happening right now, this second, as you read this, to hundreds of women and girls–mothers, grandmothers and their daughters– in conflict zones around the globe. It is a tool of war and it is a story the media won’t tell. The violence doesn’t end when our troops come home.

It’s happening on college campuses, in high schools, next door, maybe even in the next bedroom. Violence against women is everywhere. You can’t escape it if you desire eyes to see.

So I urge you to contemplate whatever resistance this post may have instigated in you. What’s so hard about challenging deep seated notions for the sake of equality and peace?

I bid you peace.

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9 thoughts on “My Vagina, My Girl

  1. I used to give my friends copies of The Vagina Monologues for their birthday. I’m not sure why people are so uncomfortable with vaginas, since we all come from one. I say the word “cunt” alot. I own one, I’m allowed. I like the word. It’s a strong word.

    I think this uneasiness is a part of what keeps women in their ‘place’, so to speak. So many of my friends have never even looked at their vulvas. One time I asked why, because I thought it was weird that they would let their lovers look at their vulva and yet they have no idea what’s going on.

    Anyhow, I’ve seen the Monologues about 9 times and everytime I love it. It’s a beautiful movement and has a sound purpose. A purpose that benefits mankind.

  2. I’ve never seen the show — crazy, I know. Next time it comes around, perhaps I’ll buy a ticket or two. šŸ™‚

    I love your new t-shirt. That’s a trip! I’d let you wear it to my kid’s birthday party.

  3. I have never seen the show either, but have been deeply aware of gender inequality since I was born into a male chauvinist household.

    You are right that our culture is uncomfortable with words or depictions of the female reproductive anatomy (while worshiping breasts) but we all regularly use many different words for male parts w/o thinking.

    I have always wondered why the word “fuck” is used to describe both lovemaking and committing dire deeds on someone, as in “fuck you” and “we’re fucked,” and why we describe people we don’t like as pricks, dicks, etc.

    We are a very fucked up society.

  4. @ Debbie

    I think this uneasiness is a part of what keeps women in their ‘place’, so to speak.

    I think you’re spot on about this.

    And I love that you are so verbally accurate. We can’t exactly see our vaginas can we? Not without “duck lips”.

    @ djn

    I knew I’d be welcome at your birthday parties.

    Go see it!!

    @ Heart

    You too, Lady! Go see it.

    I’ve never thought about the word fuck in that way. In my work we often contemplate the very fine line between sex and violence. I see it plays itself out in our discourse as well.

    @ Jali

    You three, Mama! Go see it.

  5. I think those sentences were a lovely ode to your vagina.

    I’ve not seen the show.

    I much prefer “clit” to “ovaries” as a power source. After all, female genital mutilation doesn’t assault the ovaries. My problem with the use of “ovaries” is that they are not equivalent to “balls,” metaphorically or otherwise. In the slang, it merely substitutes one word for another; it doesn’t transfer the meaning.

    What you say about discussing male anatomy is interesting. I think the objections are due to expressing female enjoyment of genitalia/sex. You can use terms in a derogatory fashion, especially when intended to emasculate. The use of (fe)male terms in this way is important when considered along with the fact that the opposite is done when it comes to showing anatomy.

    We can say “dick” or “balls,” etc., but show them, and you get an NC-17 rating. Or it’s a foreign film w/ limited release. But for a PG-13, you can show boobs, but not nipples (thanks for the intel, Remington Steele!). On the more permissive basic-cable T.V. channels, we can only see male butts.

    You needn’t give up on such a newly formed dream. You could totally do feminist birthday parties!

  6. I think my favorite was “coochie snorcher.”

    A few years ago, my friend Julie and I invented the female equivalent of the “jerk off” gesture. It’s the index and middle finger extended downward and swirled.

    I now give this gesture to you. Do with it what you will.

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