The Vagina Monologues is an empowering, informative, and at times hilarious book that tells the tale of women’s vaginas from many different view points. The author, Eve Ensler, who considers herself to be a playwright and a feminist, first performed The Vagina Monologues as a play in 1996 and later published it as a book in 1998. Ensler was born on May 25, 1953 in Scarsdale, New York. She acquired the stories in her monologues by interviewing women that were willing to talk about their vaginas. The Vagina Monologues was first performed as a play in the basement of the Cornelia Street Café in SOHO. Currently the book has been translated into 45 different languages and has been performed in over 119 countries. Eve Ensler was inspired, after performing The Vagina Monologues, to create was has come to be known as V-day, which takes place on the same day as Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Eve Ensler helped create V-day in hopes to start a movement to end violence toward women and girls, as well as to help bring awareness to the subject. V-day is now a global movement that has helped raise over 35 million dollars to help support anti-violence organizations around the world.
At first the reading of the book was shocking, but shocking in a good way. It was good because I think the author made her point; she wanted to bring awareness to a topic that is rarely talked about in public or even in private. As a woman myself, I enjoyed the read very much because all women have their own personal story to tell and I could relate to some of the situations brought up in the book. Even if I could not relate to the story or information, it still brought me a sense of empowerment knowing that a woman was willing to bring up a personal tale about such an important, but taboo topic. Many of the views in the book are emotionally charged and leave a lasting effect.
What I believe to be the best aspect of the book was that it many times made me laugh out loud, despite the seriousness of the issue it addresses. “‘If your vagina could talk, what would it say, in two words?’ Slow down. Is that you? Feed me. I want. Yum, yum. Oh, yeah. Start again. No, over there. Lick me. Stay home. Brave choice. Think again. . . .” This is just one excerpt of the many laughable lines from The Vagina Monologues. I found myself reading many parts from the book out loud to my roommate, either because they were funny or good discussion topics. The author was able to somehow keep the mood light, yet still make it clear to the reader that the topics of vaginas and violence against women are of great importance.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to both women and men. It brings up great points about what women deal with because of their gender and body parts. I believe that there is a wealth of information to be learned from the women’s stories shared in the monologues. I also believe that the book’s insights on the great tragedy of violence against women will help people become more aware of the problem, and thus help prevent such crimes in the future.