At what point do you have to admit that your little girl is all grown up? Is it when they start to drive and begin to be so independent, or when they have their first broken heart? Is it when they pack up and go away to college for the first time? Or maybe it’s when they win a part, or maybe 2, in their university’s production of The Vagina Monologues.
Yes, on February 14th I will be watching my daughter and several other young women talking about vaginas. Okay, I know there is a lot more to it than that but just today Dani was in the student union selling chocolate vagina pops to passersby. All kinds of chocolate too, from milk to dark to some kind of raspberry mousse. I think that’s what she said. Which of course prompted my son to call out in his best imitation of a newsboy - “come try my vagina, get your vaginas here…”
Wikipedia says “The Vagina Monologues are the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, whose participants stage benefit performances of the show worldwide each year between February 1st and March 8th (International Women's Day. The first V-Day benefit took place on Valentine's Day 1998 and many of the local benefits are held on Valentine's Day. The "V" in V-Day stands for Valentine, Vagina, and Victory, linking love and respect for women to ending violence against women and girls. The proceeds from these performances go to programs that work to end violence against women and girls, including crisis centers and women's shelters.
So that’s good.
It’s all so in your face, and it’s meant to be. I understand that. Still, I don’t know how I will feel sitting in the audience accompanied by my son listening to vagina this, vagina that, vagina everything. And while it sounds funny it’s actually not. It’s about violence and brutality against women, as well as how powerful women are and how it is all tied into her sexuality.
So while I know it is serious and thought provoking and socially relevant, there’s still that part of me that’s a little bit squeamish about having all those references to vaginas and everything you could possibly associate with them flying around an auditorium. There’s still a little bit of the urge to say to my daughter, “sh-h-h, it’s not nice to talk like that Honey, keep your voice down!”
But maybe that’s the point.