I am the President of my university’s Feminist Student Alliance. Though ‘tis the season, we aren’t resuming the tradition of performing Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
Among the issues surrounding Vagina Monologues, I agree that it remains a hegemonic narrative of the “penis or vagina” binary. Humans are complex and we have complex expressions of reproductive organs and genitals. We each deserve a platform to talk about our unique experiences with them. It’s true that we are divided by the social hierarchies involved in sex/gender relations, which always include ethnicity, race, religion, class, and many more intersectionalities therein. The copyrighted scriptedness of the Vagina Monologues disempowers us from telling our own experiences within these social hierarchies, within our own bodies, and in our own words.
The Vagina Monologues have a great history in the feminist movement, but as movements are want to do… they move on. It is our duty as feminist scholars to be critical, even and especially of ourselves.
We need to queer the Monologues. This means rewriting the script.
My suggestion is that groups and organizations on college campuses should write their own Monologues to perform on V-days. All of our narratives are valid and unique— not just those in the societal & Vagina Monologue script. We must be our own advocates on stage in front of our peers. Let our communities know of our struggles.