Vagina Monologues: getting to the nub of the problem

March 6, 2009

vagNerve-endings, wet-dreams and pubic hair; true to form, television series Gavin and Stacey stars Margaret John and Joanna Page, and broadcaster Sian Lloyd don’t beat around the bush. Pun intended.
Based on author Eve Ensler’s vagina interviews, conducted with women from all over the world, Vagina Monologues is part Sex and the City, part hearth-side gossip. At times it will have you crying with laughter; at others with heart-wrenching sadness.
Although superficially the play explored a woman’s relationship with her genitals, the three actresses highlighted some of the issues which have historically plagued women world-wide.
Inevitably many of the women interviewed shared the same fears, insecurities and secret pleasures, and the performance relied on these themes for its depth and humour – it is a monumental landmark in understanding and celebrating female sexuality without the burn-your-bra form of feminism which alienates so many.
Although dated (the play was written in the 90s and features a Bosnian rape victim), Vagina Monologues is essentially geared towards the middle-aged and older generations and the performance sometimes felt forced, with over-zealous shock statements slapped in for good measure.
On the other hand, this only highlighted the shift in attitudes towards women and their bodies over the last 40 years, making many of the monologues all the more poignant.

The Vagina Monologues is a mass female visit to the therapist, and aims to put to bed unhealthy, but ingrained, attitudes towards women and their sexuality. But while the topics are still relevant, it is high time they were re-addressed and re-vamped.

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