Aug 4, 2010
The Vagina Monologues
(5 stars out of 5)
Release Date: 14 March 2007
Cast: Eve Ensler
Director: Eve Ensler
Writer: Eve Ensler
Genre: Monologue, Comedy, Drama
Run Time: 76 minutes
When I asked a friend to download his movies into my hard drive, I told him any movie, as long as it's a good movie. My easter egg came in the form of The Vagina Monologues. I've heard the title many times before. I do not undermine the potency of vagina for one second. Kings have abdicated and empires collapsed over it. Now, I finally get a chance to find out what the big hoopla is all about.
The movie, you guessed it, is about one woman (Eve Ensler) doing a monologue about vaginas. Material was lifted from over 200 interviews of women across the continents, spanning a broad demographic range - young, old, poor, rich, black, white, yellow, abused, wholesome, etc.
Eve covered a broad range of vagina topics performed over several acts. In one act, she talked about its shape...and how women are surprised to see how theirs look like for the first time in their lives (some in their senior years!). Surprisingly, some didn't even like what they saw. On another act called The Flood, she talked about vaginal fluid gushing out when the woman is aroused, only to regret it when she starts staining bed sheets and car seats to her partner's chagrin. She touched the topic of violence against women, and talked about her liberation from the word, cunt.
Eve's presentation ranged from outrageous to tragic. On one act, you'll laugh out loud, and on another act, when she talked about women surviving the rape camps of Bosnia, you'll be shocked and angered. She also took her audience to uplifting highs when she narrated the birth of her first grandchild, coming out of that vaginal opening and into the free world.
In later showings on the live stage, different actresses performed on different acts. But on this movie, Eve performed on all acts. She was both stellar and compelling. She was funny, she was riveting, and she was poignantly moving.
Unlike some militant feminists who liken a woman's need for a man as a goldfish's need for a bicycle, I've always regarded man and woman as 2 sides of one coin - a delicate relationship woven into an intricate but complementary symbiosis. I celebrate women and I cherish moments spent with them. The women in my life - my daughters and my exs (most but not all) are very dear to me. I'd rather hava an intimate conversation with a woman than be drinking beer with the guys (well, most of the time).
This film is another vehicle for me to get to know our female brethren a little more. I learned a lot about vagina and more importantly, people's perception of vagina just by watching this monologue. Apparently, there's a lot of hang-ups here:
You wanna learn sex education? See The Vagina Monologues first. If you think the vagina is a sex object, think again. It's a place of worship!
- women ambivalent about its aromatic attributes? Wow...that's new to me. But I can see why. The pharmaceutical machinery keeps hammering the notion that the vagina smell is unpleasant and therefore needs to be deodorized. Why? Feminine wash products is a multi-million dollar industry. But think about it. Why would you want a pine-scented vagina? If I crave for pine scent, I won't go looking for vagina, I'll go to Baguio!
- women ambivalent about the way the vagina looks? Let's say for instance that there is no such thing as a vagina and a master sculptor is commissioned to create one. I don't think there is anyone on God's green earth gifted enough to fashion the vagina the way we see it. It defies genius! But why this ambivalence on how it looks? Again, I can only point my finger at the medical machinery for this misconstrued mind set. It's amazing how this industry creates a demand from thin air and then offer solutions for an arm and a leg. It's like printing money. Have you heard of labiaplasty? - the surgical removal of a woman's labia (the layered lips) for cosmetic reasons? The first time I heard of it, my jaw fell. When I saw a picture of a reconstructed vagina (after labiaplasty), my jaw fell down to the floor. It looked horrific! Imagine a mexican hairless dog with clipped ears. It looked like a freak. And the medical establishment wants that image as the new benchmark for vagina. Horrors!
- women ambivalent about the way the vagina gets wet because guys find it yucky? or the flood, as the movie called it. To those guys out there, if you want to swim in the beach, be prepared to get wet. Vaginas, like people come with their own personalities....dry vagina, wet vagina, torrential vagina. That's just how it is. You don't like it that way, go get a latex doll.
(Feb 3, 2011) I acted one if them out on theater class. "The Vagina who loves to make Women Happy." You're hilarious!
(Aug 11, 2010) I'm glad it was a positive experience for you. It's amazing how clueless we are about how women really feel and how it takes a cry of pain like this to awaken us. Hopefully it makes us better men who know how to love.
"...vagina should be of equal footing with the penis" -- Bernice Varona
(Mar 2, 2012) I would call that stiff competition :)
(Aug 8, 2010) Thank you for the open-mindedness. It's good to know that there are people out there thinking that the vagina is not a dirty thing (no matter how media, medical practices, and other establishments and institutions regard it). It is a miraculous thing, much like the penis too, and should be of equal footing with it.
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