Last Thursday, at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, one of the associates, Christian McEwen presented a reading of her play, “Legal Tender: Women and the Secret Life of Money”. It’s form is similar to the Vagina Monologues. She interviewed over forty women and presented their stories under different themes, including, kindness, generosity, and “abundance”. One of the women interviewed said, “A little can be a lot, if it’s enough.” It is very interesting that for many of the women money is not something they have talked openly about.
The following night, I went to a production of the Vagina Monologues at Mount Holyoke College. I had never seen it before. The acting as very good and some of the stories were very moving. One of the most interesting things to me is that many women do not like the word vagina. I have no problem with it. To me it is just a word. It’s not as if penis is such a sexy or pretty word either.
These two plays are about revealing feelings that are usually hidden. I wonder if there could be a Penis Monologues. My son, Louis, who studied Cultural Studies at Hampshire College said he didn’t think so because “penises aren’t simultaneously valued and abhorred like vaginas”. He also feels that “people already talk about penises a lot so it’s not really taboo.”
Despite that, I think that men obviously have feelings about their sexuality and anatomy that are rarely discussed. Women are sexualized in ways that men are not so there is much more discussion about their beauty and appearance than there is for men.
Of course writing this makes me nervous that I will get a ton of pornographic spam. That’s another story.