BOOK: The Vagina Monologues
AUTHOR: Eve Ensler
After discussing how the word “vagina” makes me massively uncomfortable, it was strongly suggested I pick up Eve Ensler’s famous manifesto. After spending 45 frustrated minutes aimlessly wandering my favorite bookstore by myself – because I was too embarrassed to tell the customer service people what I was looking for – I located and purchased this title with more than a little apprehension. I did not read it on the way home; for fear of people seeing the title and knowing I was reading about private parts. Once in the comfort of my own apartment, I curled up in bed, took a deep breath and started reading. Two hours later I was finished… and stunned.
The first thing that hit me is that the fact that fear of saying the word “vagina” out loud caused me to waste almost an hour of my day in a futile search when the far simpler solution would have been to ask for help. This is EXACTLY why this book is so vital! Too many women – myself included – are taught to be embarrassed and ashamed of their sexuality and female parts. The most extreme result of this shame is the vast sexual abuse that is inflicted on one out of every three women in the United States. But that’s not the worst of it. The numbers are astounding when you look at other countries. Now, I am a worldly gal. I read the papers and watch the news. I’m pretty on top of what’s going on in the world. But I had NO IDEA the amount of sexual warfare being exacted on my gender all over the world. I was literally shocked into breathlessness. Appalled and speechless.
But a more immediate concern is that we don’t properly teach women how to own and embrace their sexuality here. I was shocked at how many other women shudder at the idea of speaking these anatomically correct words out loud. I thought I was the only prude among the group. After reading Ensler’s book; I have a new appreciation for its very existence and am tempted to make every single female I know purchase it immediately.
The stories told are moving. The statistics are alarming. The message is vital. A must read. Now.