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The Vagina Monologues

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  26,367 ratings  ·  1,880 reviews
I decided to talk to women about their vaginas, to do vagina interviews, which became vagina monologues...At first women were reluctant to talk. They were a little shy. But once they got going, you couldn't stop them. Women secretly love to talk about their vaginas. They get very excited, mainly because no one's ever asked them before.
Paperback, 185 pages
Published May 3rd 2001 by Virago Press Ltd. (first published 1996)
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Eva If you have eyeballs then absolutely, positively read this book. It's for everyone!

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Warwick
Nov 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: drama, gender-stuff
My vagina is a shell, a round pink tender shell, opening and closing, closing and opening. My vagina is a flower, an eccentric tulip, the center acute and deep, the scent delicate, the petals gentle but sturdy.


No it isn't. It isn't a flower, it isn't a tulip, it isn't a shell or a piece of coral or an exotic orchid. It's a tract of epithelial tissue, just like everyone else's.

Don't get me wrong, vaginas are lovely – I'm a massive fan – but these monologues represent the sort of facile,
...more
Kai
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I bet you're worried. I was worried. I was worried about vaginas. I was worried about what we think about vaginas, and even more worried that we don't think about them.”

To be honest, I was worried as well. I didn't want to think about vaginas. I still don't want to think about vaginas (simply because I've got the gay, you know.) But it is important that we do.
Thinking, reading, talking about vaginas in a feminist way, that's what I'm here for. We use the word penis in so many different
...more
Elle
Dec 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays, gender, overrated
It's disturbingly tempting to give this book a high rating just so everyone knows that I'm a feminist (which I am) and that I'm comfortable talking about sex (you mean coitus?). And I think Ensler depends on that tendency. Because here's the thing- VM's politics may be admirable, but as theatre it's really quite bad. Also, Ensler is a self-serving egomaniac. Think about it- she could fund an endowment for female playwrights and premiere a new feminist play every year, but instead she's set up an ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Thank you, Secret Santa.

5 It May Not Be Perfect, but it’s a start! Stars

I may not have grown up in a “down there” age, but I most definitely grew up in a “down there” house. I don’t remember ever having open dialogue with my mother about vaginas growing up, not once. Or maybe once, actually, when we discussed menstruation. This sign of womanhood that brought about nightmares of waking up in puddles of blood that could be hidden with scraps of material bunched around your underwear making you
...more
Whitney Atkinson
LOVE. Wish this was longer.
Christian McKay
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I don't understand a lot of the reviews on here. Especially the one star ones.

First of all, over the vagina/vulva debate, Ensler addresses that almost first thing. She purposefully chose the more hideous word to make people uncomfortable (and eventually--hopefully--comfortable with the subject matter). The low goodreads reviews make me think those people didn't actually read the play. Maybe they just saw a sub-par production that didn't have all the pieces. Fine. Forgivable.

Second, people are
...more
Anthony Vacca
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really see the need for the stances of overwhelming crassness many of the reviews take against this book here on the GR. Is Ensler's collection of performance pieces the final word on feminist ideology? No, not at all. But is it a sincere work that approaches with humor and gravity the notion that especially men and especially women should view the female body outside of the bullshit male-centric, patriarchal perception that many people seem utterly oblivious to their own culpability in ...more
Dixie Diamond
Dec 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: plays, women
"I did not see my vagina as my primary resource, a place of sustenance, humor and creativity."

You know, I don't see it that way, either. I thought the source of all that was my brain.

I must not have been abused enough as a girl, because I always feel like vagina-centric art projects like this reduce me to a piece of anatomy just as much as does the alleged male fantasy of big boobs and miles of leg.

Which is not to say that there weren't/aren't some seriously screwed-up ideas about female
...more
Shannon
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: feminists who don't feel like thinking too hard
There's a lot to critique about this - but I really don't feel like getting into it. I will say this, though: Eve Ensler doesn't know what a vagina is. If you're unclear: a vagina is "the passage leading from the uterus to the vulva in certain female mammals". Everyone in this play says "vagina" when they really usually mean "vulva". I'm not being oddly specific, they are completely different parts of the anatomy. COME ON. Vulva is a prettier word than vagina anyway. I liked the reclaiming cunt ...more
Aaron
Apr 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Ideologues, those looking for a larf.
While I don't necessarily disagree with Ensler's thesis, or the help the project has provided to various women's charities, the whole thing, as a literary or dramatic work, is very problematic. Anything more honest than a fawning critique reveals how shallow the whole thing is; there's hypocrisy, repetitive symbolism and metaphors, a heaping of that empty sort of communal feminism that makes everyone feel good but doesn't actually change anything, and, upon close inspection, evidence of the kind ...more
Lucy Langford
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
”I was worried about my own vagina. It needed a context of other vaginas... there's so much secrecy surrounding them- like the Bermuda Triangle."

This book, or rather a play, became a large political movement. The words in this book, even 20ish years after its release, feels radical to read.

Eve Ensler wrote this play after her interactions with women and opening up a rather taboo subject- vaginas. Women's sexuality was a taboo subject, shrouded in darkness and shameful to discuss. Eve Ensler
...more
Poonam
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This is my Book Of the Month- January- February 2017, with GR group- Our Shared Shelf.

I really did not know what to expect when starting this book and just thought, What kind of title is that?- The Vagina Monologues... But after reading this book it make's sense. I don't think any other title would have been as fitting as this one for the content of the book.

This book basically deals with topics that women shy away from talking about to even their close one's - to their close
...more
Beth
Oct 22, 2010 rated it liked it
When I was in eighth grade health class, the teacher handed out diagrams of male and female genitalia with lines pointing to the different parts and told us to memorize the names of the parts for a test at the end of the week. After our tests had been graded, the teacher admitted that she’d analyzed the results for boys vs. girls and found some interesting discrepancies. Not terribly surprising, most boys and girls scored the highest when identifying the parts of their own respective genitals. ...more
Nikki
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it
I've been meaning to read or see The Vagina Monologues for a long time. Someone was talking about it, as people often do, and I realised it was available on the Kindle store, so I got it.

It's a very quick read. It's not an easy read. There's discussion of self-loathing, of embarrassment and shame, of sexual assault and violence against women, of statutory rape. It might also not be easy for you if you can't read the word 'vagina' without getting uncomfortable, or if you don't like the word
...more
Anuradha
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women. Men too.
Recommended to Anuradha by: Some plays we did in college
POPSugar Reading Challenge: #12. A bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read, the genre being non-fiction.

We did parts of The Vagina Monologues as, well, for lack of a better word, plays for various events in college; this was my introduction to this...play. Of course, because performing the whole thing would be too time consuming, we only performed bits of it. I vividly remember In Memory of her Face; I wasn't in it, but I watched it, and what a passionate, heart-rending performance it
...more
Coraline Turner
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
*TRIGGERING*

“Slowly, it dawned on me that nothing was more important than stopping violence toward women-that the desecration of women indicted the failure of human beings to honor and protect life and this failing would, if we did not correct it, be the end of us all. I do not think I am being extreme. When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet. You force what is meant to be open, trusting, nurturing, creative, and
...more
Petal X Planet
The book itself is very short and because of that several introductions and a afterwords have been included to pad it out. First there is the extremely long introduction by the author which was partly about how the book was written and partly history and what has happened since the Vagina Monologues was created. Then there is a another extremely long (but much better written and more interesting) introduction by the fabulous Gloria Steinem telling us something of her eccentric, interesting and ...more
Jesse James
Apr 16, 2007 rated it did not like it
I have big issues with this play. It essentializes what it means to be a woman, equating femininity with a having a vagina! Not to mention endorsing racial and cultural stereotypes.
Virginia
I have such conflicting feelings about this book. On the one hand, I appreciate it for saying out loud some things that haven't been really accepted by society.

On the other hand, Eve Ensler is a self-promoting, self-satisfied twit.

Christine
I’m coming late to this party, I have to admit. And for my, the defining feminist changes my outlook and gripped book is Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.
Still, you have to be a complete idiot to not see the power in this play (or performance piece). Considering that women’s sexuality is in many ways still owned/controlled by men, this book is still timely. Don’t believe that first part. What is the term for an older man who dates a younger woman? No, I’m not thinking Sugar Daddy. But what would you
...more
Sara
May 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"the vagina monologues" began ambitiously, as the author, eve ensler, interviewed hundreds of women from all around the globe about their vaginas-- something most of us don't spend much time talking about!-- but i don't think even ensler could ever have predicted the impact it would have on the world. "the vagina monologues" turned into v-day, one of the most important worldwide events, consistently raising awareness and money to work to end violence against women.

through all of this, it can be
...more
Goldberg
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is something very powerful and liberating in this book, something that will make you cry. But also something that will worry you. When did we lose our feminine half? How did it happen?

In the primitive societies, women had immense power. In a society where a bolt of lightning was considered magic, the ability to give birth (still magic today) was regarded with astonishment, and subsequently, women had something unique and magical that gave them power. We know that the most ancient
...more
Debbie
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women everywhere
I have read this before, but I listened to it on audio today and the live version is definitely the best. At times hilarious, brutal, disconcerting, and poignant - The Vagina Monologues is the result of interviews with over 200 women. If the idea of a woman's sexuality makes you uncomfortable, then you definitely need to challenge yourself and come to terms with the vagina. It's not going to disappear just because we are afraid to talk about it.

Here in the United States, a woman is raped every
...more
Ylenia
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
*3.5 stars*

Originally I was going to count this for my 52 books challenge as "a book you're embarrassed to read in public".
As this book taught me, though, I shouldn't be embarrassed of my own vagina.

This one was a super fast read, I finished it in one sitting, but if you don't want to read the full book at least please check out these two monologues:
They Beat the Girl out of my Boy…Or so They Tried;
Say It (written for the "Confort Women", I can't find the link for this one but I'm sure it's on
...more
Anna
Apr 18, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: earlyyears
i think for her target audience (middle america's sorority girls) they're revolutionary. for me personally, i felt like they essentialized women to their genitalia and were problematic in that sense. i've also had to sit through the play 5+ times, so perhaps i'm just burnt out on cunt-love
Ben Babcock
Hmm … tricky.

The Vagina Monologues is the February book for the Banging Book Club, run by Hannah Witton, Lucy Moon, and Leena Norms. It’s also the first book I’ve read for the book club, because I ordered January’s pick, Asking For It, on January 1 … and it only arrived from the UK yesterday.

Anyway, this is a tough one to review, for a few reasons—not all of them having to do with vaginas! For one thing, it’s one of those books that defies library categorization. It was in the non-fiction
...more
Nandakishore Varma
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I did not read the book, but a sample that was available online.

While I found the concept revolutionary and exciting - women talking about what happens "down there" - after two or three monologues I sort of lost interest. Maybe it's different to see it performed.

But I do think it should be performed all around the world, with dialogues in local languages added on as required, based on regional experiences. It would be very intriguing.

But with the current puritanical mood in India, I think any
...more
Fiona
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Upon reading this book I gave it the "I liked it" three star rating. Having now listened to Eve Ensler breathe so much energy and character into these monologues, I am increasing my rating to four stars. The audiobook version of The Vagina Monologues is wonderfully textural. My emotional responses to these pieces as they floated into my mind this afternoon were in abundance whereas when I was reading the monologues I gradually became aware of an emotional disconnect which felt, for me, extremely ...more
Jojo
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
Having read the title of this book, one doesn't know what to fully expect from it. The Vagina Monologues. Now, after completing it, it all makes a hell of a lot of sense.
This book deals with and discusses the kind of topics many women tend shy away from. Talking rather openly about vagina's in the society in which we live is generally not done and it is even considered "wrong"

This book discusses how different societies and cultures decide what is right for a woman and what is wrong.

"Like, if
...more
Natalie
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You can giggle all you want at the title- and you can giggle an even considerable amount more when you open the book, as well. Yes, it is in the category of "Feminism," but don't the let the stereotype dissuade you from reading. If I could sum this book up in one word, I'd say it's beautiful. I read it for a Women's Literature class several years back, and it surpassed my expectations greatly.

The idea behind the book, is generally, yes, somewhere along the line of answers to the question, "If
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Parada Lector: Reseñas "Monólogos de la vagina" 3 13 Aug 22, 2018 10:24AM  
Parada Lector: Hablemos sin spoilers... 2 6 Aug 13, 2018 02:17AM  
Parada Lector: Frases favoritas 2 6 Aug 12, 2018 04:05AM  
Around the Year i...: The Vagina Monologues, by Eve Ensler 1 13 Sep 15, 2017 01:40PM  
Our Shared Shelf: VAGINA MONOLOGUES will be playing at the Cupcake Theater in North Hollywood, CA, USA 5 136 May 07, 2017 08:29AM  
Facts, Fictions, Euphemisms and Vaginas 1 3 Mar 05, 2017 05:44PM  
Our Shared Shelf: This topic has been closed to new comments. Questions for Eve Ensler! 109 1053 Feb 17, 2017 08:02AM  

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Eve Ensler is an internationally bestselling author and an award-winning playwright whose works include The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, Insecure at Last, and I Am an Emotional Creature, since adapted for the stage as Emotional Creature. She is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than $90 million for local groups and ...more
“When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet.” 114 likes
“The heart is capable of sacrifice. So is the vagina. The heart is able to forgive and repair. It can change it's shape to let us in. It can expand to let us out. So can the vagina. It can ache for us and stretch for us, die for us and bleed and bleed us into this difficult, wondrous world. So can the vagina. I was there in the room. I remeber.” 92 likes
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