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The Vagina Monologues

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  21,159 Ratings  ·  1,435 Reviews
"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. . . . So I decided to talk to women about their vaginas, to do vagina interviews, which became vagina monologues. I talked with over two hundred women. I talked to old women, young women, married women, single women, lesbians, college profess ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 3rd 1998 by Villard Books (first published 1996)
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Eva If you have eyeballs then absolutely, positively read this book. It's for everyone!

Community Reviews

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Warwick
Nov 12, 2013 Warwick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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, pseudo-
...more
Kai
Jan 29, 2017 Kai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: important, 2017
“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 situatio
...more
Elle
Dec 23, 2007 Elle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Karly *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 w
...more
Whitney Atkinson
Sep 21, 2015 Whitney Atkinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, feminism
LOVE. Wish this was longer.
Anthony Vacca
Oct 11, 2014 Anthony Vacca 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
Christian McKay
Feb 09, 2011 Christian McKay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 s
...more
Shannon
Feb 21, 2008 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 Aaron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dixie Diamond
Dec 29, 2008 Dixie Diamond rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 reprodu
...more
Poonam
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 girlfriend
...more
Beth F.
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. B ...more
Nikki
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
...more
Anuradha
Jan 12, 2017 Anuradha 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 wa
...more
Petra Eggs
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 r ...more
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.

Jesse James
Apr 16, 2007 Jesse James rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sara
May 27, 2007 Sara 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
Chris
Apr 15, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ca
...more
Goldberg
Feb 21, 2017 Goldberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 religion
...more
Ylenia (slothreads)
Jan 03, 2016 Ylenia (slothreads) 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
Debbie
Sep 13, 2007 Debbie 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
Anna
Apr 18, 2007 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Afsaneh khajavi
Apr 16, 2017 Afsaneh khajavi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
اگر میتونین ذهنتون رو از چارچوبهای معمول ذهنی رها کنید این کتاب رو حتما بخونین .
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 sectio
...more
Nandakishore Varma
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 a
...more
Fiona
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
Navidad Thelamour
Hilarious, riveting, mind-shattering, thought-provoking, unsettling, and raw. What else can I even say? Loved it!
Deniz Balcı
Oct 12, 2016 Deniz Balcı rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bir belge çalışmasından yola çıkılarak, vajinanın neliği üzerine farkındalık yaratan; çeşitli sanat ve medya dallarına yayılıp çok kollu bir projeye dönüşen bu 'Vajina Monologları'nın ülkemizde de sahnelenen tiyatro oyunundan haberdar olmuş ancak izleme fırsatını yakalayamamıştım.

Miron Yayınları'nın, 2002'de Özden Öke çevirisiyle yayımlamış olduğu bu Türkçe baskısına denk gelince hemen okumak istedim. Oldukça ilgi çekici bir metin bu. Aslında vajinayla ilgili yazılmış bir şey ne kadar ilginç ol
...more
Natalie
Mar 14, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 y
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Our Shared Shelf: VAGINA MONOLOGUES will be playing at the Cupcake Theater in North Hollywood, CA, USA 5 127 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! 110 1027 Feb 17, 2017 08:02AM  
Our Shared Shelf ...: January/Februray Brunch Meetup 1 7 Jan 24, 2017 09:17AM  
Banging Book Club: General discussion of the monologues 39 167 Feb 28, 2016 07:45AM  
What's with the hate? 15 87 Mar 01, 2013 08:55AM  
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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 activis ...more
More about Eve Ensler...

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“When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet.” 106 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.” 78 likes
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