JAJs blog

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Vagina Monologues

The following link is to a clip from the TODAY show which has shocked America... Jane Fonda and Eve Ensler discuss 'The Vagina Monologues' and mention the word Cunt (oops... I said it too!)
On the 4th and 5th of February I directed and performed the Vagina Monologues with an amazing group of women from Swansea University. We are the only group (according to the VDAY website) to be performing in Wales this year as part of the VDAY campaign raising awareness about Violence against women all over the world. With 11,441 recorded rapes in 2002 in the UK and only a 7% conviction rate for rapists this is an area that needs as much awareness as possible raised.
The monologue mentioned by Jane Fonda (Cunt..oops again!) is actually one of 2 monologues I performed as part of the evening and it's all about "reclaiming" the word, turning it from an offensive swear word into what it is supposed to be...another word to describe the vagina...there are lots of them...just read the introduction to the monologues! If we live in a world where just saying a word that means vagina can cause tv stations, presenters and celebrities to make public apologies no wonder women don't feel they can speak about their vaginas!
VDAY has been around for 10 years, it has raised over $50 million for charities fighting for justice and safety and basic human rights for women. If talking about your vagina makes you uncomfortable, whether you hate your vagina or find it fascinating it doesn't really matter, what matters is that women around the world are still being treated as second class citizens. In the words of the White Ribbon Campaign:
If it were between countries, we'd call it a war.
If it were a disease, we'd call it an epidemic.
If it were an oil spill, we'd call it a disaster.
But it is happening to women, and it's just an everyday affair.
It is violence against women.
It is sexual harassment at work and sexual abuse of the young.
It is the beating or the blow that millions of women suffer each and every day.
It is rape at home or on a date.
It is murder.
However you feel about the word the important thing is not to let it distract from the mission..to end violence against women.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the women (and men) who helped make our performance of 'The Vagina Monologues' such a huge success, we raised £675 for VDAY and Swansea Women's Aid and more importantly we raised awareness. As Eve says in the clip, performing the monologues builds amazing friendships and it's been fantastic spending time with you all. I'm so proud of all of you who've written your own notes about the monologues, so proud to see that the monologues have made a difference to you all, we need to break the silence if we're going to make a breakthrough.
I would like to make it quite clear that this post was not intended to offend, I strongly believe that women's rights are a huge issue in today's world and that the work done by VDAY is worthwhile. As I have already mentioned, the whole point of the monologue the title of which is found offensive by so many is to attempt to regain some dignity for a word that has been misused in todays society.