Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy V-Day!

I've been waiting and waiting to write this post! Happy Valentine's Day!! I woke up happy this morning, it must be all the love in the air.

I went to the Vagina Monologues for the first time on Wednesday. It was so good I wanted to go back again on Friday! My best friend where I live is a boy, so I was surprised and reminded of girl energy at the show. In college I often had one main male in my life and was surrounded, inbounded with lots of women. I loved all that female energy. I helped to start a feminist group at my small town college, where it was a pretty radical group to be in.

The show was just a montage of women's real life interviews about their Vaginas! Pretty simple format and unusual topic. When I told my guy friend about it, he assumed it was about sex. No, it was about vaginas, front and center, with all vagina activities and interests, including sex, on the periphery. The thing I realized after the show is that there is a lot of talk about penises. There are many shared cultural images and there is shared knowledge. Just think of all the urinal scenes in movies, all the ball bashing scenes that inspire a collective ”ooohh!” Some men think of their penis as their other head, some name their penis. We know a lot of about the life and times of the penis. The vagina? Not so much.

That is what made the show so interesting. Because there isn’t a lot of shared cultural metaphors about vaginas, all the women’s vagina metaphors and images were soooo unique. How they thought about their vaginas was unique and surprising, but their experiences elicited understanding nods, laughs and groans from the audience. It was a great, interesting, entertaining show. But the most amazing part is how I felt when I left. It brings tears to my eyes just typing it. And again I’m surprised and bemused by my strong reaction. I felt so good, and happy and proud. And yes, I did have to have my own mirror episode a few days later when I got home. Yep, just like I remembered it! :)

I had a confusing and often painful childhood. And yet, somehow I came into adulthood with healthy and wholesome attitudes about my body, vagina included. My mom, along with all her bad mothering, did do some positive things. I’ve been remembering with gratitude that my mother taught me how to clean myself, and answered my questions honestly and always seemed to revel in her own body. As if it was good to be a woman!

Wow, this a pretty darn honest post. I hope you find healing from other people’s stories, like I do. If so, check out the Vagina Monologues which is really a fund raiser to promote kindness (stop violence) towards women. Start with yourself. A related site is Men against Rape, which again I’d like to rename in the positive, Men promoting REAL masculinity and respect towards women.

Happy V-Day all ya’ll!


Anonymous said...

Happy V-Day Braidwood - The art is beautiful, as usual, and its relationship to the topic was not missed by me ;-)

Braidwood said...

Thanks, Anonymous! In your short sentence you said three things that made me smile. Happiest of V-Day's to you, too.