The Power of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues
When Obie award-winning author and playwright, Eve Ensler, began collecting testimonials from women across the country regarding their experiences with sexuality, she had no idea what would eventually occur as a result of her innovative ideas. Ensler gathered 200 monologues from women, and wove them into a play that represents the strength and vitality of female sexuality. The Vagina Monologues were first performed in the basement of New York City’s Cornelia Street Café in 1996. Since that time, the play has become a symbol of awareness and advocacy about violence against women, and has been translated into 24 different languages, making it an international success (2005, randomhouse.com).
After their inception, the Vagina Monologues became an edgy, provocative show that pushed the limits of what was then considered acceptable when speaking publicly about female sexuality. Some of the testimonials included in the production were humorous; others graceful and classy, and a few were brutally honest and deeply emotional. These monologues represented the hearts and souls of all women, and expressed, as had never been done before on the stage, an entire social, political, and economic movement based on a reproductive organ. The Vagina Monologues uncovered the vital role that female sexuality played in human life. Not only was this unearthed sexuality something to celebrate, but it was also an indicator of hidden tragedies taking place around the world.
The accomplishments of the Vagina Monologues can be attributed to the creation of V-Day in 1998. As a result of Ensler’s production spreading across the United States through small, intimate venues, stories of women who had been victims of rape, incest, domestic battery, and genital mutilation, began to surface. Ensler noticed this trend, and decided to start a movement to end the violence. The plan was...