Recently, I attended the Vagina Monologues with a group of girl friends. The place was packed, sold out actually, it was pretty incredible. For those of you who are not familiar with the Monologues, they are a collection of stories presented in a play like form and all about the Vagina. The purpose of the Monologues is to raise awareness and stop violence against women and girls. According to the United Nations, one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime. That is a frightening statistic. The stories vacillated from comical to devastating, as did my emotions. I laughed and cried my way through the hour and half.
The performances were over the top, in your face and very uncomfortable at times. But I was determined to be mature. I refused to squirm in my seat as one woman acted out an orgasim scene. So I just squirmed inside. But that was the whole point. To bring the Vagina and the stigma associated with it out into the open. To demystify what has been so secret and shameful. They did a great job.
Vagina can be a hard word for people to say. Honestly, it has only been in the past few months that I have been able to use it more freely in conversation. It’s like a dirty word, for a dirty part of a woman’s body. I find it easier and more comfortable to talk about Vaginas in an a general, global sense. The minute I write or say, “My Vagina” I fell very self conscious. It’s like I let the cat out of the bag and now everyone knows that have one. So I may as well confess right here, right now that I do indeed have a vagina and I bring it with me wherever I go… sort of a package deal. Honestly, I think it should be a word that everyone has to say at least 3 times a day. This way, people can become more comfortable talking about vaginas and then maybe real, honest conversations can happen (we should probably include the word penis too but we will stay away from clitoris for now… baby steps).
As I sat there that night, something began to break inside of me. I began to realize how many negative feelings and thoughts I have about my own vagina and sexuality. That it is something shameful and dirty. These thoughts are more subconscious than overt. The funny thing with subconscious thoughts, when you recognize them, you can see them for what they are. Then you can decide if they are true. And these thoughts, they are the farthest thing from the truth. My vagina is not dirty nor is my sexuality. It was like my eyes were opened for the first time and I just sat there soaking in the truth, letting it wash over me. I felt like God met me in that theater, in that quiet space and spoke to me. He spoke of love and compassion, of acceptance, of tender healing that is to come. It was an amazing night. A life changing night. And I will never be the same.
For more information about the Vagina Monologues and V-Day visit http://www.vday.org/mission