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Books by Town Hall columnists

The Viagra Monologues
Mike S. Adams (archive)

July 24, 2003 | printer friendly version Print | email to a friend Send

Author’s Note: this editorial contains graphic sexual references and heavy sarcasm.

I have been meaning to read The Vagina Monologues (TVM) ever since my university began sponsoring the feminist play several years ago in an effort to promote respect for women. Last week I finally found the time to read it in its entirety. I’ll never be the same.

In the very first chapter of TVM, author Eve Ensler tells the reader that she wrote the controversial play because she “was worried about what we think about vaginas . . .” and because she “was worried about (her) own vagina. It needed a context of other vaginas-a community, a culture of vaginas.” I suppose it takes a village to raise a vagina.

Ensler got the information for her play by talking to other women about their vaginas. One of the questions she asked over 200 women was “if your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?” Responses from the women who agreed to be interviewed included, “A beret,” “a leather jacket,” “Lace and combat boots,” and “An electrical shock device to keep unwanted strangers away.” Nothing shocking there.

In addition to the questions she posed to all interviewees, Ensler did some focused interviews. One was with a woman who participated in a “vagina workshop.” This is not to be confused with the “C*** Workshop” offered at Wesleyan University (their motto begins: “At Wesleyan, we aim high”). In this revealing chapter, the vagina student describes the director of the workshop as one who “helps women see their own vaginas by seeing other women’s vaginas.”

In fact, she helped her change her view of her own vagina. She had previously seen it as “an anatomical vacuum randomly sucking up particles and objects from the surrounding environment” and an “independent entity, spinning like a star in its own galaxy.” Vacuum? Vagina? Vortex? It’s all so confusing.        

Later, after being unable to locate her clitoris with a handheld mirror, the vagina student was reassured by the director that her “clitoris was not something (she) could lose.” I thought that was pretty insensitive to trangendered persons.

Another chapter urges women to spend time looking at their vaginas in order to love them. Here, the reader learns that vagina hatred is a part of the internalized hatred of the patriarchal culture. The book explains, “Like, if we’d grown up in a culture where we were taught that fat thighs were beautiful, we’d all be pounding down milkshakes and cookies.” Or, like, maybe they’d just, like, watch the Anna Nicole Show. Or, like, maybe something else.

Nonetheless, Ensler calls for vaginal unity by urging all “p******” to “unite.” And some have listened to her by forming “c*** clubs” on college campuses. Some of you may have heard them on your campus chanting “viva la vulva.”      

“My Angry Vagina” is perhaps the most disconnected chapter of TVM. The first few pages offer a diatribe against tampons. It then moves into a discussion of the prospect of talking vaginas capable of doing “vagina impressions.” Imagine changing your impression of Groucho Marx to Monica Lewinsky with no additional props. The possibilities are endless!

A chapter called “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could” chronicles the seduction of a sixteen-year-old girl by a twenty-four year old woman. Another chapter explores women’s answers to the following question: “What does your vagina smell like?” Answers range from “wet garbage” to “God.” Next thing you know, we’ll have a play called “Irma La Douche.”

Perhaps the highlight (or lowlight) of TVM is an interview with a six-year-old girl, which asks (among others) the following questions: “If your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?”  “If it could speak, what would it say?”,  and “What does your vagina smell like?” Of course I wondered why Ensler would ask these questions of a six-year-old girl. Maybe she got the idea from Michael Jackson. Well, maybe not.

After nearly 120 pages of this obscenity, the author does ponder the possible ill effects of her research by asking whether “talking about vaginas ruin(s) the mystery.” But then she dismisses that conclusion as “another myth that keeps vaginas in the dark, keeps them unknowing and unsatisfied.” Finally she admits, “I realize I don’t know what’s appropriate. I don’t even know what that word means. Who decides?”

Of course, many people would like to see TVM banned from college campuses. I disagree with that approach. Instead, I’m going to write my own play called The Viagra Monologues. That way, I won’t be accused of censoring campus feminists. And I won’t have to interview six-year-old boys.

Mike S. Adams (adams_mike@hotmail.com) is an associate professor at UNC-Wilmington.

©2003 Mike S. Adams

From a recent Townhall.com review:
Massive illegal immigration from Mexico is radically changing the face of California, which is home to 40 percent of the country's immigrants. The ethnicity-obsessed Left and the free-market-loving Right have transformed the Golden State into the epicenter of illegal immigration, writes NRO's Victor Davis Hanson in Mexifornia: A State of Becoming. The book is an honest discussion about the social and economic realities presented by an increasing alien population that is not assimilating.

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