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Monólogos de la vagina

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"I say vagina because I want people to respond," says playwright Eve Ensler, creator of the hilarious, disturbing soliloquies in The Vagina Monologues, a book based on her one-woman play. And respond they do--with horror, anger, censure, and sparks of wonder and pleasure. Ensler is on a fervent mission to elevate and celebrate this much mumbled-about body part. She asked hundreds of women of all ages a series of questions about their vaginas (What do you call it? How would you dress it?) that prompt some wondrous answers. Standouts among the euphemisms are tamale, split knish, choochi snorcher, Gladys Siegelman--Gladys Siegelman?--and, of course, that old standby "down there." "Down there?" asks a composite character springing from several older women. "I haven't been down there since 1953. No, it had nothing to do with [American president] Eisenhower." Two of the most powerful pieces include a jagged poem stitched together from the memories of a Bosnian woman raped by soldiers and an American woman sexually abused as a child who reclaims her vagina as a place of wild joy.

121 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1996

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About the author

Eve Ensler

29 books1,077 followers
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 activists, and inspired the global action One Billion Rising. Ensler lives in Paris and New York City.

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5 stars
11,276 (31%)
4 stars
12,840 (35%)
3 stars
8,422 (23%)
2 stars
2,441 (6%)
1 star
866 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,598 reviews
Profile Image for Warwick.
841 reviews14.6k followers
March 4, 2021
Hiding this in spoilers now, because I no longer stand by this old, old review and I'm rather embarrassed at how it's the top rated one when the book is obviously aimed at a different audience from me. I won't remove it because obviously a lot of people agreed with it (most of them women), but I still wouldn't write this now and I'm not sure why I felt the need to do so then.

Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
February 7, 2018
“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 situations and variations, without cringing, careless even.
But we never say "vagina" out loud. We hardly ever think it. And when we do, we cringe and lower our voices, or we shout it out loud as an insult. Why is that?
Because the female sex organ, in comparison to the male opposite, is at least as oppressed, shunned and mistreated as the female sex in comparison to the male one. This tiny book holds the power to not only normalise but to praise and strengthen the way we treat and talk about vaginas, which praises and empowers females as individuals in our society.

My only criticism is the overwhelming and tiring amount of letters and listing of stars who support this movement (which only appear in this special V-Day edition). It sounded more like a praise of personal fame, than giving evidence of the movement's influence. Sometimes, less is more.

Thanks for Emma Watson and Our shared shelf for bringing this book to my attention!

In a nutshell: an empowering and revolutionary read.

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Profile Image for Elle.
7 reviews22 followers
June 8, 2012
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 organization to promote the performance of this same play every single year all over the country (with strict rules so that no one takes too many liberties with her vision), and apparently the plan is to continue this for all time. Don't get me wrong, I see why this play is so eye-opening for so many people, and I think everyone should see it once, just to get the ideas out in the open. After several years of V-Days, though, I'm through.
Profile Image for Christian McKay Heidicker.
Author 8 books219 followers
February 21, 2011
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 sick of V-day? Really? You have a problem with women becoming comfortable with their sexuality and finding ways to overcome/prevent violence? Shouldn't we keep going until all violence against women ends? And when the hell will that happen?

Third, and lastly, if this is bad theater, what constitutes good theater? Let's see, genuine raw language relating stories that are transformative, not only for the speaker but for the listener as well . . . Are people on here aware of the purpose of monologues?

Now, I can understand if some women are so comfortable with their sex that they just don't get these, but they should appreciate that there are other women in the world who were not raised with the same amount of honesty and information. I'm a Utah guy. It's rampant over here.

I'll insert a letter that I wrote to the person who gave this to me later. Until then, I think everyone should read this (and think about what they're saying before they review).
February 13, 2017
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 waddle like a duck or awkward looking fingers of cotton wrapped in plastic to look like candy.

So yeah, not all that much sex ed at home. And the watered down sterilization of sex at school was little more illuminating. It would be an act of violence that initiated my self-discovery as a card-carrying member of the vagina brigade.

At sixteen I hated my vagina!! It was a cause of great suffrage for me, it had never done a damn thing in my life that didn’t cause pain. From it I got humiliating blood and cramps that would knock me flat with their sharp spiking fissures of agony. And then to add insult to injury, rape. A space in my body that someone could force themselves into against my will simply because it was there. A whole new pain, not just physical but spiritual.

Years later, when I was in my mid-twenties I remember sitting in the living room with my best friend and her daughter, who was five. I remember hearing her whisper something to her daughter about going to her room if she wanted to do that and not really paying attention…. Until her daughter said, “Is it because my vagina is gross?” That got my attention. I turned my head from the book I was reading and froze, staring onto a scene that perplexed me. And her mother, my friend, said – without a bit of discomfort, “No. Your vagina is not now and will never be gross.”

And I started to silently cry as their conversation continued, and her mother explained that it was perfectly acceptable to explore her body and her vagina but that she shouldn’t do it in the living room. That if she wanted to do that she should go to her room and close the door. I looked over at this five year old and she was smiling at her mommy with wide blue eyes and rosy pink cheeks. I left the room to go wipe away the tears and came back and hugged my friend, startling her. She laughed it off when I told her how amazing of a mother she was.

But you see, I thought my vagina was gross. My whole life. Because it was a secret I couldn’t talk about. It was a cunt. It was a pussy. It was words used to describe someone who was weak and inferior…

The heart is capable of sacrifice.
So is the vagina.
The heart is capable to forgive and repair.
It can change its 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 don’t know that I think vaginas are flowers or our centres, or anything like that. BUT I do think they are something we need to talk about, openly, because living in terror, disgust or simple ignorance of our own bodies is no way to live. No way at all.
Profile Image for Anthony Vacca.
423 reviews285 followers
November 12, 2014
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 helping perpetuate? And by breaking out of this narrow longview of gender identity, help the reader - the female and, by extension, the male reader - learn to appreciate their own owness that is neither defined by societal expectations nor cultural pressures? Emphatically yes and yes. Besides, how can you not find joy in a work that has a section entitled "My Vagina is Angry"? The Vagina Monologues is another welcome bit of social upheaval in the never-ending, variegated discussion of gender identity.
Profile Image for Little Black Car.
462 reviews
August 28, 2016
"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 reproductive anatomy out there, just that I think it's possible to go too far in the other direction. It's just another body part. Two arms, two legs, one vagina.

And sorry, but isn't statutory rape still statutory rape, regardless of whether the rapist is male or female?
Profile Image for Shannon.
547 reviews100 followers
February 22, 2008
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 speech. That was about it.
Profile Image for Aaron.
20 reviews2 followers
April 5, 2007
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 of "creative" editing that awkwardly turns the mundane things people have to say about their sex lives into what is supposed to sound like meaningful drama, but is in fact just forced. I'm sorry, but all the positive vibes of a theater full of people chanting "cunt" isn't going to make it any less awful when the same word is said by some asshole trying to hurl invective at a woman when he is just to trying to make her feel like shit.
Profile Image for رێبوار.
92 reviews76 followers
September 20, 2021
"I have a Dream"

رویایی که در آینده روزی در این کشور نمایشنامه هایی با این محوریت در دانشگاه هایمان اجرا میشود(این صرفا یک رویا است و میدانم تا تحقق آن قرنها فاصله داریم) و کتابهایی تخصصی و آکادمیک و علمی در باب آموزش و بهداشت مسائل جنسی تدریس میشوند ،کودکان در مدارس با اعضای جنسی خود آشنا میشوند و در مورد بهداشت جنسی آموزش میبینند‌ و دیگر چیزی به اسم تابوی جنسی وجود ندارد.به گمانم این تنها راه برون رفت از بحران جنسی و تاثیراتش بر جامعه ایران و روان افراد است.روزی که صحبت کردن از اندام های جنسی و نیازهای خود دیگر نه‌ گناه است و نه ضد ارزش،و به قول بامداد من آن روز را انتظار می کشم
حتی روزی که دیگر نباشم.

تک‌گویی‌های واژن نمایشنامه ای است شامل تعدادی مونولوگ که توسط چند زن انجام می‌شود و در هر بخش زنی در مورد مسائل مرتبط با واژن خود صحبت میکند.
کتاب صرفا در مورد واژن به معنای فیزیکی و جنسی نیست،بلکه نویسنده بیشتر به مسائلی چون سکس، عشق، تجاوز جنسی، عادت ماهانه، ناقص سازی جنسی، خودارضایی،زایمان و ارگاسم که همگی به نوعی به واژن مربوط میشوند اشاره میکند.خوانش آن برای همه تجربه خوبی میتواند باشد و شاید بتواند اندکی از تابو بودن اسم بردن از آلت تناسلی و اندام های جنسی و مسائل مربوط به آن بکاهد.
در زیر بخشی را که به زنان جنگ زده بوسنی اشاره میکند مشاهده خواهید کرد.

"واژن من دهکده من است. " واژن من سبز بود٬ مزرعه صورتي رنگ نرم پر آب٬ ماده گاو ماغ ميکشد٬ آفتاب ميتابد آرام٬ دوست پسرم به نرمي مرا لمس ميکند با تکه بوريايي نرم و طلايي رنگ.

چيزي بين دو پاي منست. نميدانم آن چيز چيست. نميدانم آن جا کجاست. لمس اش نميکنم. نه حالا٬ نه هيچوقت ديگر٬ نه از آن زمان تاکنون

واژن من بذله گو و پر سروصدا بود. واژن من نميتواند منتظر بماند. واژن من خيلي حرفها براي گفتن دارد. خيلي حرفها. واژه ها حرف ميزنند. از تلاش باز نميمانند. نميتوانند باز بمانند. آه. آره ... آه . . آره...

نه از زماني که خواب ديده ام که يک حيوان مرده با يک نخ ماهيگيري سياه ضخيم به پايين تن من دوخته شده و بوي بد حيوان مرده نميتواند از تن من جدا بشود. و گلويش چاک خورده است و از آن خون ميچکد روي تمام لباسهاي تابستاني من .

واژن من تمام ترانه هاي دختران را با آواز ميخواند. تمام آوازهاي زنگوله هاي بزها را. آوازهاي تمام مزارع وحشي پاييزي را. آوازهاي واژن٬ آوازهاي خانگي واژن

نه از زماني که سربازان لوله يک تفنگ ضخيم را در اندرون تن من فرو بردند. بسيار سرد٬ ميله بسيار سرد آهني ميخواهد قلبم را بشکافد. نميدانم که آيا آنها ميخواهند شليک کنند يا توي مغز من فرو کنند. 6 نفر از آنها٬ دکترهاي عظيم الجثه٬ هيولاوار با صورتکهاي سياه٬ بطريهايي را هم به اندرون تن من فرو ميکنند٬ چوبهايي هم فرو ميکنند و دسته يک جارو را.

واژن من شناور در آب رودخانه. ميپاشد آب شفاف و تميز را روي سنگهاي آفتاب سوخته٬ ميريزد آب روي سنگها٬ روي سنگهاي کليت ميريزد آب بارها و بارها.

نه از زماني که صداي پاره شدن پوست را شنيدم و صدايي مثل صداي گوشخراش ترکيدن ليمو را٬ نه از زماني که تکه اي از واژن من پاره شد و افتاد توي کف دستم٬ تکه اي از لب واژن من٬ نه از زماني که واژن من تقارن لبهايش را از دست داده است. 

واژن من يک دهکده زنده پر آب مرطوب. واژن من شهر من است.

نه از زماني که آنها با بوي مهوع شان همچون بوي مدفوع و گوشت دود زده٬ يک به يک براي هفت روز تمام٬ اسپرم کثيفشان را درون تن من ريختند. من رودخانه اي چرک آلود و زهرآگين شدم و با جريان اين رودخانه٬ تمام محصولات خشکيدند و ماهيها جان سپردند.

واژن من يک دهکده زنده پرآب مرطوب. آنها تصرفش کردند. سلاخي اش کردند و آتشش زدند. حالا من لمس اش نميکنم به ديدارش نميروم حالا جايي ديگر زندگي ميکنم نميدانم آن جا کجاست! 
Profile Image for Beth F.
354 reviews339 followers
October 22, 2010
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. But the girls who achieved the highest scores on the female diagram had a nearly equal success in identifying all the different parts on the male diagram as well. However, even the boys who achieved the highest scores on the male diagram scored very low on identifying the parts on the female diagram (with 1 or 2 exceptions).

After explaining these findings the teacher asked for responses from the class. Some of the more vocal boys complained that it “wasn’t fair” because girls had “more parts” and it wasn’t like they “got to see it all the time.” The teacher said that wasn’t an excuse and she made everyone who scored less than 70% retake the test. Good for her!

Frankly, I wish more health teachers had been like mine. Over the course of my adult, dating life, I met a surprising handful of fully grown men who had no idea where to find the clitoris. And no, they weren’t virgins and hadn’t been for years. In fact, one of them had been sexually active for nearly 10 years. I was surprised by that but glad he’d finally asked such an important question because honestly, there is no reason why a heterosexual man not know where to find it.

Reading this book made me think about these things. It also made me think about a recent conversation I’ve had with another mom about teaching the appropriate names for body parts and how the mantra you teach toddlers goes something like this, “Boys have a penis. Girls have a…a vagina.” And even though we’re too modern to do something embarrassing like whisper the word vagina, or give it a stupid, cutesie name like coochi snorcher or itsy bitsy, we still find ourselves hesitating before we actually say it, almost like you have to first think, “quick, wait, is this the right time to say vagina or…????”

I hate that I do that. It makes me angry that I often feel a need to pause before saying the word and to worry that maybe the other person will have an embarrassing reaction to my saying the word. Whatever I do, I don’t ever want my daughter to think that I’m embarrassed to say the word vagina. It bothers me that she could potentially develop some hang ups with the word in life from other sources, like other family members or friends or boyfriends but Lord help me that it doesn’t come from me.

That is one of the things I really loved about this book. There was no need to feel embarrassed even though I was reading about messy things like pubic hair and menstruation and odor and rape and lesbian sex. And birth. The V-Day edition I read had an amazing piece on birth that gave me chills.

Thanks to the internet, I’ve met a number of moms who’ve had all sorts of different experiences with birth, specifically cesarean birth vs. vaginal birth. I’ve observed that many of the women who had c-sections, especially unplanned, were left feeling distraught and like something had been stolen from them. To some extent, I imagine this can in part be attributed to longer recovery times, scarring, being cut open, etc. But there’s always been some other emotional component that I’ve never fully understood. As someone who experienced a vaginal birth, I’ve looked at some of the c-section mothers and felt those emotions pouring off them and never understood where they were coming from. I’ve heard them say things like, “just because I didn’t give birth doesn’t mean I didn’t give birth.” And I’ve thought, “well, of course” and didn’t understand why the other person felt the need to validate her experience. Reading the birth piece in this book gives me further insight by putting into words the sheer power of my own experience with giving birth and how close it comes to capturing the symbiotic relationship that can exist between woman and vagina. Feeling like the experience has been taken from you might require time to come to terms with. I feel better equipped to respond sensitively having read this.


All that said, I can’t rate the book higher than three stars. I usually have a hard time getting on board with in your face “shock politics” and I can’t help but think this book falls under that category. It tries to shock regular people into thinking about things they perhaps never would have thought about otherwise by using socially shocking words like cunt and vagina.

For the record, I had a near perfect score on my eighth grade male and female genital exam. So this means I know when the word vagina is being used properly and when it is being improperly used as a synonym for vulva. I think it’s disappointing the Vagina Monologues barely acknowledges this. This just further convinces me that the primary purpose of this book is shock value rather than to effect actual change.
Profile Image for Poonam.
605 reviews506 followers
March 31, 2017
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 girlfriends or even their mothers. And why is that, because it is just not done! It is considered something that is not openly spoken about and if done is heavily frowned about by society.

Some women face guilt for something that is natural....
"I was black and poor. Blood on the back of my dress in church. Didn't show, but I was guilty."

And somethings if spoken any differently is termed as crass in our society
"Dear Miss Carling, Please excuse my daughter from basketball. She has just matured."

It talks about how the society and culture decides what's right for a woman and what's not!
"Like, if we'd grown up in a culture where we were taught that fat thighs were beautiful, we'd all be pounding down milkshakes and cookies, lying on our backs, spending our days thigh-expanding. But we didn't grow up in that culture."

It talks about abuse and violence that women face but are too ashamed or scared to talk about as they may be judged or because no one may really understand what they went through.
"Edgar Montane, who is ten, gets angry at me and punches me with all his might between my legs. It feels like he breaks my entire self. I limp home. I can't pee. My mama asks me what's wrong with my coochi snorcher, and when I tell her what Edgar did to me she yells at me and says never to let anyone touch me down there again. I try to explain he didn't touch it, Mama, he punched it."

Reading this book made me feel the pain that these other women went through and I realized that women even though facing similar kind of problems in life are isolated in what they are dealing with.

Only by speaking about the issues with their close one's can one find a strong support system to fight and deal with any problems that one may be facing.
Profile Image for Lucy.
417 reviews625 followers
May 17, 2019
”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 does a groundbreaking job in unearthing this topic by interviewing various women, and once they started talking, stories from all types of women came pouring out. Eve put them together into a series of monologues to perform on stage.

The topic of this book was initially controversial with publishers wanting to pull the book as the title contains the word "Vagina". One review of the book/play on Tv didn't even mention the word Vagina- further shrouding the word into shamefulness. However, Eve Ensler perseveres and this book is now an international phenomenon, with roots in starting important conversation and activism, such as V-day, a day acknowledging and raising awareness of women suffering from abuse and violence.

This book is funny and heart-breaking, shocking and beautiful. It describes women's most intimate experiences and celebrates women's sexuality and the condemnation of its violation. Some stories were upsetting, highlighting the rapes and abuse women faced from the Bosnian war, as well as domestic abuse from family members. Some monologues were hard to dissect and raised conflicting feelings. The realisation that the monologues shouldn't shock you as violence against women happens to 1 in 3 of us and is constantly talked about, however, the shock to these stories are unending.

Throughout the book Vagina facts are sprinkled through and some of these are truly disturbing.

It was great,also, to read the introduction that Eve Ensler gives. She notes her fascination with the vagina as a taboo subject and the struggles she has faced getting the book published and the play produced. She values the importance of this book and the need for it to be published as she is telling women's stories, their intimate stories, from sex to birth.

It was exciting to read the foreword of the book by Gloria Steinem, a power house in the feminist movement. Furthermore, the exploration of the chapters in “V-Day” and “Letters” were so uplifting and liberating. This play has helped numerous women, they are exhilarated and liberated as a reaction from this play. It has given women power over their sexuality, over their autonomy. It has raised consciousness in both men and women. It has given a platform, an important step in acknowledging and raising conversation about women's autonomy, sexuality, and ending violence against women.

From this play/book women are able to reclaim the word Vagina. It is liberating, exhilarating, and empowering. This was an interesting book to read and I would love to see this performed live after some of the reviews I have seen!
Profile Image for Petra on hiatus, really unwell.
2,457 reviews34.4k followers
May 6, 2015
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 relevant family history. Then there is the preface by the author about Vaginas and finally, sigh, yes finally, on page 38, the book begins.

The next 150 pages are wonderful, five star with a bullet, really, tremendous writing, thought-provoking and very enjoyable to read. I couldn't put it down, all these women's stories transcribed into poetry and prose and something in between, I read until 3 a.m., fascinating stuff.

But then we have the afterwords. 40 or 50 pages to slosh, trudge and wade through about V-Day. It could all have been summed up in a couple of pages, I mean, do you really want to know about which college held V-day in what year and how many people attended? No? Neither me. (Yes? You involved in funding it or something?)

So the Vagina Monologues itself gets 5 stars, the prefaces get 3 stars (because of Gloria Steinem) and the afterword gets 1 star and that's generous. That's an average of 3, so there you have it.
Profile Image for Coraline Riley.
47 reviews6 followers
June 17, 2019

“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 alive to be bent, infertile, and broken.

I finished this book in about 45 minutes total while listening to some Black Sabbath and Fleetwood Mac, but it was quite an empowering read. Being a survivor of gang rape and sexual assault myself, I understand the traumatizing affect it can have on the spirit and general feelings toward one’s own vagina. Eve Ensler lets the reader open up (no pun intended) and teaches how to love and respect the vagina and its inner workings. Everyone’s is different, everyone’s is beautiful. This book brought a smile to my face. I’m glad several celebrities have also joined in the V-Day movement, which can reach out to fellow survivors and women who feel trapped. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars is it is not normally the genre I am drawn to. But, everyone should go out of their comfort zone every once in a while. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Profile Image for aayushi.
133 reviews179 followers
August 22, 2020
saying vagina 5 times in a sentence doesn't make anyone a feminist. so much of this book felt like contrivance, excessive fillers like these making up the content :

'my vagina was green water, soft pink fields, cow mooing sun resting sweet boyfriend touching lightly with soft piece of blond straw.'

do we really have to romanticize everything to understand it's value? the writing feels so condescending, yes i have a vagina, no i do not blindly worship it, do i really have to incessantly shout vagina from my window to prove my femininity? do i really have to define myself by a body organ?

just...no. there might be people who would benefit from this book..but definitely not me. i think it would have been better if it was written in a more informational, non fiction kinda way.
Profile Image for امیر لطیفی.
159 reviews176 followers
March 17, 2019
جسارت کتاب در پرداختن به چیزهایی که «شرم‌آور» تلقی می‌شوند و به انحاء و درجات مختلف قربانی می‌گیرند، ستودنی‌ست. موضوع کتاب روان و بدن نیمی از انسان‌هاست. محتوای کتاب می‌توانست با حفظ همین میزان از سادگی و بی‌آلایشی و همین واژگان پخته‌تر باشد.
Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,015 followers
January 4, 2011
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 'cunt', or if you wish that women wouldn't talk about 'down there' in public.

It's about that discomfort, and it's about shining a light on something that we don't talk about, that we are often taught to be ashamed of. A few years ago, I wouldn't have been able to stand the idea of reading it: right now, I can't stand the idea of performing it. And I'm not ready to talk to my grandmother about it! But maybe someday...

In any case, I think it's a very important idea, to talk about these things that we find so discomforting. How often have I heard men talking about their penises in public? Far more often than I've ever heard women do -- and often when we do, it's hushed and breathless and illicit.

On the other hand, I am not my vagina. I am not my physical form at all, personally. And it feels like this book does a lot of that -- distilling women down until the only important part of them is physical, sexual. For many women, that's not the truth, and it doesn't have to be. And the references in the foreword about not being able to write 'politically correctly', not being able to write about transgendered women -- I believe she should have tried until she got it, by talking to transgendered women, and talking to them again, and again, just like the one about the lesbian who said she was doing it wrong. And if she really, truly couldn't do it, then she should have stepped back and let a transgendered woman write it for herself, if her work is truly intended to be inclusive and about all women everywhere.

There's more I don't really engage with: I don't relate to questions like what would my vagina want to dress in, or what it would say. It's a part of me, not separate.

Everything has limitations, though, it's true, and this is a big step for many women. Hopefully fewer and fewer, as society moves on. I'm sure someone has written their own transgendered woman monologue -- I hope many have -- and I hope they're heard, too.

This particular edition, with the introduction by Gloria Steinem, is quite interesting, giving some historical/cultural context. It also includes a lot of stuff about people's reactions to "V-Day", which can be interesting to read. However, do note that the Kindle edition is badly proofread in places.
Profile Image for Anu.
365 reviews888 followers
February 6, 2017
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 was!

What makes The Vagina Monologues special is that it isn't fiction. It's true, it's real, and it's the opinions of living, breathing women. The anecdotes, the incidents, the stories - they're human too - warm, passionate, humorous, and of course, meaningful. I would want my daughters to read it; I think all women should read it. In fact, I think men should read it too, 'twould change their perception of what a vagina is, and that is much needed.
Profile Image for Jesse James.
18 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2007
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.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,379 reviews139 followers
April 28, 2023
This is a really short book, mainly puffed out with a couple of introductions and play reviews.

I haven't watched the play. This book is my intro to the monologues. 

I really enjoyed reading these short essays by women writing about their vaginas. The woman who have been raped and abused to the women experiencing pleasure for the first time and the women who don't have a relationship with their vaginas at all. There's an array for women here putting their vulnerabilities on page.

I'll high-five anyone who puts themselves out there. These women get five stars from me.
Profile Image for Eärendilen.
177 reviews50 followers
March 17, 2019
حس ناخوشایندیه. مُمُسی و دودول که میگی، خیلی آدم شیرین و شوخی هستی، اسامی کاف‌دار رو که به کار می‌بری، به غایت حالت هرزه و نااهلی داری. حد وسط کجاست؟ حد وسط رو کی دزدیده؟ کی؟ مو طحال زانو باسن...فرج؟ مذکرش چیه؟ اینا عربی نیست؟ آره خوب عروق هم آره، اما رگ هم هست؛ پس این‌بار حد واسط کجاست؟ میگی به نظرم فرجم ملتهبه؟ نمی‌دونم. من که میگم وولوا، شما هم میگین وولوا؟ وولوا هنوز بی‌طرفه، واقعیه، قبح نداره، وولوا همون دسته، همون زانوست. پوسی نه ، نه اون همون کافداره، کافدارم که شده فحش، اسامی کافدار مثل اون فعل کافدار فحشن، به جهت خشونت‌ورزی و تحقیر و با انگیزه‌ی بددهنی به زبون میان. دایره‌ی لغات و اصطلاحات سکشوالمون با فحاشی و کثافات زبانی هم‌پوشانی داره. برای همین تابو شد؟ یا چون تابو بود این شد؟ برای همینه که عده‌ای از شنیدن در مورد لذت جنسی به اندازه‌ی خشونت جنسی بیزارن؟ شاید بیشتر.


کتاب از این حیث که زنان را تشویق به خودشناسی می‌کند و از خود بیگانگی با سکشوالیته‌ ( هر قسمت آن) بیم می‌دهد، شایان توجه بسیار است. شاید فمسنیست‌های اکتیویست‌ حال حاضر اول بار ایده‌های خود حول اندام جنسی زنان و نجات آن را از این کتاب گرفته باشند. مشابهت‌های بسیاری به چشمم خورد.
موارد بسیار معذب کننده‌ای هم در کتاب بود، گاها اروتیک و یا خشن؛ ولی آن‌قدرها شکایتی ندارم، نیت چیز دیگری بود، و از هر کجای کتاب عبرتی گرفتم، چه انگیزه‌ی نویسنده بوده باشد و چه غیر آن.
«پشم» و «سیلاب» نظرم را به طور خاص جلب کرد و از همه بیشتر « وولوای عصبانی من» رو دوست داشتم ؛خیلی ارتباط بر قرار کردم، بین شکوه‌های روزمره‌ی مادر و خود و دوستانم این حرفا‌ها زیاد رد و بدل شده بود.
به هر جهت، وولوای خویشتن را مثل زانو‌هایم دوست دارم، یا ریه‌هایم یا مژگانم.
پیشنهاد می‌کنم و نمی‌کنم. ۲۲ صفحه کتاب. مطالب گاها انتزاعی ، من الباب شناخت عامه‌ی وولوا و واژن، ارگاسم، تجاوز، تروما، هومو سکشوالیته، ابژه انگاری زنان و... بله ۲۲ صفحه، به نوعی نمایشنامه. اگر خواندید، بدون نقد نباشد.
Profile Image for Michela De Bartolo.
163 reviews56 followers
September 29, 2019
“ Le vagine sono circondate da tanta oscurità e segretezza... come il triangolo delle Bermuda”. È questo che preoccupa: le donne non si occupano delle loro vagine, nemmeno le guardano, perché non hanno tempo. Sono passati 22 anni da quando Eve Ensler debuttò in teatro con questo testo. A venti anni dalla prima edizione del libro, se ne sente ancora la necessità, non ci si deve dimenticare che lo stesso testo è diventato il manifesto di un movimento contro la violenza sulle donne che al momento sembra in crescita, di fronte a un’incapacità sempre maggiore degli uomini di gestire un rapporto, sia in embrione che ormai consolidato o finito. Attualmente i monologhi sono rappresentati in tutto il mondo, anche nel nostro Paese, dove vengono utilizzati nel rispetto del “V-Day”, il giorno di San Valentino, per raccogliere fondi per qualche attività o associazione sempre legata alle donne. Intanto, dobbiamo continuare a imparare, tutte le donne per prime, a utilizzare la corretta terminologia per tutto quello che riguarda il nostro corpo, soprattutto da un punto di vista sessuale. Così come per le mestruazioni, anche la parola “vagina” ci è risultata sempre ostica, impronunciabile, quasi un suono a noi estraneo, grazie a quel “vizio di forma” per cui era “meglio tacere”.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,929 reviews437 followers
July 17, 2022
Should be required reading.

‘The Vagina Dialogues”, the 20-Anniversary Edition, was originally a stage monologue created by a performer and artist, Eve Ensler. As she toured cities, first in the United States in 1994 and later in other countries, she discovered women all over the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan where she had illegal shows, word of which had been spread by word of mouth, had all experienced patriarchal or societal body shaming in being a woman.

This edition includes the comments and stories from women all over the world. Women cried during her shows, and many waited hours to see her backstage to tell her of their personal horrors. Often, women did not know how to speak of what crimes, like rape, that had happened to them until seeing Ensler’s show. Many women do not know the name of the bits of their vaginas. Many women have never had an orgasm. Many woman can’t find, or even know about, their clitoris. They were not permitted to express themselves in any way of their traumas before. Most had never seen their own vaginas since they had been taught all of their lives to see this body part as disgusting and shameful.(Hint: a hand mirror, and *I can’t believe I have to mention this* even courage to go against your societal/religious teaching.)

Gentle reader, do you see most men feeling like this? Tell me true, young women of today, has the man in your life sent you a penis picture? No? That’s a rarity…and it is very likely all men young and old know exactly what every centimeter of their penises look like.

Since men considered women a shameful less-than beast because of their body parts, it’s clear men feel empowered to rape, beat, and use women as they see fit. Men who have been perceived to possess feminine qualities are painted by the same brush of masculine scorn, so the Movement now includes them. The V Movement, as it has been renamed, is still continuing to provide NGO support all over the world today.

Vagina is a dirtier, more shameful word than penis everywhere in all societies. Why is that, gentle reader? After all, it actually is a proper word, used by doctors and medical personnel. Is it possibly because all societies, patriarchal in nature and/or in their early formation, have normalized the belittling of women, including their bodies, and so the sexual-organ shaming of women is an important tool to maintain a Master/Slave relationship? To create an environment where victims willingly victimize themselves? To create an environment where victims refuse to speak out loud of the crimes committed by perpetrators because the words have been taught them to be “dirty” and that it is more shameful to SPEAK of crimes done against women’s vaginas than the crimes themselves?

What crimes am I speaking of? Rape, of course, is the main one. Believe it or not, rape has been normalized in many countries as a natural consequence of war and poverty and going to college or trying to be a professional of any kind, like in acting and sports. But there are the cultural taboos of hiding the facts of menstruation and of women having sexual desire.

Women today are forced to hide the fact they are menstruating because it is not only considered “shameful” in most countries, but it is considered a pollution, a poison, a befoulment, a contamination, in many countries and religions. Check out by googling what women are required to do while menstruating, and afterwords, to “cleanse” themselves back to body and community “purity.” Or just ask your rabbi, minister, cleric or iman - if the primarily religious male leaders can bring themselves to “befoul” themselves speaking on the subject of menstruating. In SOME cases, they will say purification rites are a thing of the past, but in most theological countries, “purification rites” for women who are or have finished menstruating are still required. Mothers are emotional wrecks talking to their daughters about menstruation - why? And why are tampons taxed or made unavailable to many women around the world? Because often tampons are considered unessential or embarrassing (why?), or the men in charge do not want to *think* about it. Or women are, shocker, EMBARRASSED.

Thankfully, agencies, NGO’s, and many organizations are “on it” whether it be in the form of providing women’s doctors and clinics, or in-home private meetings and classes, teaching women everywhere about their vaginas. “The Vagina Monologues” includes an intensive history of and what is happening today in The V Movement.

There is a short bibliography. Of course, googling for further info brings it too.

Let’s get this done, people. Inform yourself. Women, we are all beautifully and gloriously well-designed! Men, if you love your daughters, your mother, your sisters, you know what you should do. Be proud of them.

Btw, the clitoris is the ONLY organ in all bodies, male or female, that is designed explicitly for pleasure alone. Religious folk should reflect on that.
Profile Image for Bill.
938 reviews160 followers
June 9, 2022
When Eve Ensler started interviewing women about their vaginas she had no idea what an incredible journey she was embarking upon. This was another book recommended to me by my daughter & I'm very grateful that she brought it to my attention.
The interviews here are in turn funny, tragic, informative & compassionate. It's a book that everyone should read, & if you don't want to read it then go & see it performed on stage instead.
Profile Image for Sophia.
404 reviews52 followers
February 6, 2019
B.R.A.CE. 2019 Ένα βιβλίο που συνδυάζει 2 κατηγορίες του B.R.A.CE 2019
Νο 23: Ένα βιβλίο που ντρέπεσαι να διαβάσεις σε δημόσιους χώρους
Νο 26: Ένα βιβλίο που μπορείς να τελειώσεις σε μία μέρα

Για το μήνυμα που περνάει.
"Αιδοίο" [...] Το λέω γιατί ό,τι δεν λέμε δεν υπάρχει, δεν το αναγνωρίζουμε και το ξεχνάμε. Και ό,τι δε λέμε, γίνεται μυστικό και τα μυστικά προκαλούν ντροπή και φόβο και δημιουργούν μύθους. Το λέω, για να μπορέσω κάποια μέρα να το πω άνετα, απενεχοποιημένα.

The Vagina Monologues video

το δικό μου εξώφυλλο:
Profile Image for Virginia.
289 reviews52 followers
September 30, 2007
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.

Profile Image for Christine.
6,673 reviews490 followers
May 6, 2015
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 call Michael Douglas or Tom Cruise? Okay, now what is the term for an older woman (Shakira, say) who dates an insignificantly younger man (say Pique)?
Yep, you got it in one. And the age difference between Shakira and Pique is less than between Douglas and Zeta-Jones.
I’m not blaming any one group here. As long as everyone is a consenting adult, I don’t care, really. What I don’t get is the double standard. A woman who embraces her sexuality is a slut; a man is a stud. A woman doesn’t have the right to have se without judgment. But a man?
And I’m not saying this is global. I’m not saying all men are pigs and all women aren’t. Seism occurs on both sides of the line. Quite frankly, the attitude that society has towards male victims of rape is insulting and upsetting. I’m just saying that even in a country where the average woman doesn’t have to worry about female cutting, forced marriage, war rape, and ignorance, the monologues in the book still resonant.
While it is easy to see the power in the monologue of the rape victims, it is almost as horrifying to read the monologues of women who were taught not to be sexual, who did not have emotionally ownership of their bodies. The personal stories that come out in monologues work because you know someone like this. I also have to give Ensler props for including an observing viewpoint. I do not like the word cunt. You have no idea how much I hate typing it. I don’t buy the reclaim the word argument. I really don’t. To call someone a cunt is to simply limit a woman down to that aspect of anatomy. It’s the same when you call a guy a dick. So I don’t like it. Ensler actually debates this idea of objectification and reclaiming of the word. Nicely done.

Crossposted at booklikes.
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