V for Vagina Monologue

In 1996, The Vagina Monologues was a bold new episodic play by Eve Enslar to openly talk about feminine experiences related to vagina – as a part of body, sex, love, menstruation or just the common names to refer to vagina. Since 1996, this play has been narrated all over world through various versions relevant to the country where it is narrated with the aim to give women a platform to listen to stories about vagina along with an audience who is open to hear and cheer.

The play has been used over Women’s Day celebrations and even college events around the world. While I would leave it up to you to watch an hour-long play – original version or Indian, know that it is a piece of art and you may or may not like it. I value intentions and my point today is different that what is said in the play. I object to how we refer to vagina colloquially in various abuses and how we choose to ignore it as a part of body.

Like me you must have heard the C-word scratched on walls, behind seat covers and how people on the streets keep on hurling abuses at each other using the same C-word. My question is why? Can we challenge those around us and ask them to not use the word? My point being, it is just a part of body and if we don’t use a hand, leg, mouth or head as an abuse, why the vagina?

As Indians, we are progressing for I see people talking openly about sexuality, LGBT rights and preferences, marital rapes, freedom to live life on own terms but I feel uttering such words pulls you back many more steps than you take forward. so, for today, the thought I want you to leave with is nothing too big. Just that spark to think through it. If you are reading this post till this point, don’t use the word and ask others not to for it is unfair. For you to know, I have never used the word and I also openly object it’s usage.


I am blogging from A to Z during April (#409 on the list) and the theme I have chosen is set on women. Some of the posts will be here for you to know and some will be to reflect and accept. Share your thoughts and let me know how things are going. There is always a room for improvement.

46 Responses

  1. Shilpa Garg says:

    I wish I get to the see The Vagina Monologues sometimes! Regarding the abusive language, I was in for a surprise, last week, when we were conducting a training program for the senior sales team of a reputed company. The entire team used the abusive words (C-centric) in EVERY sentence. It was so shocking and weird and we came to know later that it was part of organizational culture. Can you believe that??

    • I’m not surprised. Large MNCs that are India based have ppl in senior leadership teams who take a lot of pride in using the C word. I have seen that personally. It’s such is sad thing. Where is respect and professionalism??

  2. Vineeta Srivastava says:

    bravo Parul ! Great post. needs courage to write . I too hate such abuse related C. When ever I hear this word I wish to slap that man and ask him why only for mother and sister ? Shame to such men .

  3. I swear a lot but I refuse to use the c-word. Once again, a male dominated society has taken something woman-centric to mean something bad.

  4. Katha says:

    It’s been high time for the patriarchal section of the society to start considering the fact that we belong to the human race as well(keeping into consideration the fact that the matriarchal section of the society is still objectified quite often)! Plus as for the abusive addressing towards female parts; I guess a little more sense of understanding the meaning would help. I believe most of the people use it just for the sake of expressing their frustration coz it has been a part of the ‘trend’! So people use it without giving a second thought about the meaning or the usage per se; which makes it even more sad for the entire society!
    I really liked the way you expressed your thoughts on the topic! I wish more people could understand coz perhaps, our understanding towards our respect is the need before we could expect it from others.
    Keep writing!
    Best,
    Katha

    • Thank you Katha for your kind words! I am glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts. Coming to your thoughts, I agree – half of the people using the C word don’t even know why should it be used and what it means. It has just become the new normal which is again so wrong.

  5. shanayatales says:

    This was a fantastic write up, Parul. This needed to be addressed and you did a great job of it. Cheers!
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

  6. Debbie D. says:

    I’m going against the grain here, but these are my honest thoughts on the matter. The C word, as you put it is ONLY a bunch of letters strewn together. There are also vulgar words for penis and many other things, but so what? It’s all just language. Words are only bad if YOU give them that power. All women have vaginas (and all men have penises). I don’t get what the mystique is. Sorry, but I grew up in a (European) society where sexual education was pragmatic and administered at a young age.

  7. Hi Parul, I wanted to watch the show in Mumbai but couldn’t. Hope if they play it next time I am there, I’ll watch it. We need to have an open mind and not restrict ourselves behind close doors.

  8. Hi Parul, I wanted to watch the show in Mumbai but couldn’t. Hope if they play it next time I am there, I’ll watch it. We need to have an open mind and not restrict ourselves behind close doors.

  9. Vinitha says:

    Yes, a very important body part which people find talking about like any other body part as a taboo. Even I wasn’t aware of the significance of vagina until a lot later into puberty. That shouldn’t be the case. I will watch Vagina Monologues. A very significant post, Parul.

  10. I have heard live the Hindi version of Vagina Monologues and the topic was handled very sensitively by the narrator. People need to understand it is just a normal part of the body.

  11. eli says:

    I salute all natural talks about sexouology and women! And men for that sake. Sometimes i feel in the west it has gone a bit far the other way, to make it sleezy and too much .. Never uses words like the c word either

  12. Suzy says:

    I agree, I’ve never used the word, find it offensive and degrading to women, and like you object to it’s usage.

  13. The C word is derogatory to women so yes, why use it? It is like self-flagellation! 😉 People may refuse or pretend to forget that the very initial part of birthing occurs here! 😉 <3

  14. I LOVE the Vagina Monologues!! I directed and performed in it four years ago, with a bunch of hispanic women in Miami. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my career. A lot of healing happened for the women in our cast, and the bravery they exhibited was.. well, I’m getting shivers writing about it. I highly encourage everyone to see it, even if (especially if!) you think you’re uncomfortable with the word.
    So happy to see a post about it 🙂

    ~AJ Lauer
    an A-Z Cohost
    @ayjaylauer on Twitter

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and I am super thrilled to know you directed and performed! That’s so cool cos though this post, I got to meet you! Could be happier 🙂 Yes, people who are uncomfortable with the word should certainly watch it. Thanks for the recommendation to readers of this post!!

  15. Prajakta says:

    I have always missed it whenever I have been to Mumbai. Excellent stuff!

  16. Rajlakshmi says:

    I haven’t watched Vagina Monologues yet. Will check if it’s there on Youtube. I feel talks about about sexuality and sex should be handled in a more sophisticated and sensitive way. I don’t like the viral videos that I see these days, the way they talk about women and sexuality is a too dramatic or too aggressive. Maybe that that helps them to get their point straight, but I just can’t digest the way the whole thing is presented. As for abuses, I belong to the old school of thinking, abusing is never dignified.

  17. Robyn says:

    Well said! Nothing I love more than an intelligent and well versed posts; this was both of those things! Thoroughly enjoyed this read!

  18. Alex Hurst says:

    I’ve never watched this… I thought I might be turned off by it. But it’s interesting, and I think it’s great that it has been adapted so many times. I agree… I have never used that word in my life. I find it ugly and hateful.

    • Really? Why Ugly? It’s a part of our body and such an important one..I don’t find it hateful and when I watched the play – it was a very different experience. The openness with which the actors were talking was remarkable.

      • Alex Hurst says:

        I just don’t like the word “c**t”. For me, it’s the equivalent of trying to change the connotation of the word n****r for African Americans. There are some words that have power over the psyche, and I think it’s one of them. (Sort of like how being a Nazi can never really be considered a good thing again, even if the ideology changes…) I can respect women trying to “take it back” and make it their own. That’s fine. But for me, it is always heard as a hurtled insult. I don’t mind other words for vagina, really, just that one. 😛

  19. In India, where anything related to sex is spoken only behind the closed doors and though slowly the mindset is changing, there is still a long way to go for people to start openly discussing about vagina. I hate when people use abuses that are related to women or body parts.

  20. Maybe that’s cos no one has accepted Vagina as a normal human part… and it is seen as something bad.

  21. I will comment on this later as I have to write my V post; however, I auditioned – my first time – for this and had a small role…it was empowering to be part of a team of women in this… 🙂 <3

  1. April 30, 2015

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