Tuesday, November 26, 2002

How many times can one hear the word vagina and its derivatives in under two hours? I lost count when my friends and I went to see Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues at the Music Museum one friday night early this month. Since i've heard the radio ad of the stageplay i've been asking around friends if they've seen it and telling them that they shouldn't miss it. I've gathered only four and yes four is a fairly good number. Although this is the second time i've seen the english version, I was enthusiastic about seeing it again when I heard who they casted (Shiela Francisco, Belinda Panelo, and Angel Aquino). They all did well and just as I have guessed it Belinda was a crowd favorite. The audience laughter was almost endless.

Though a critically acclaimed hit since it was first staged in New York, TVM has also received a number of negative criticisms from conservative groups or individuals around America and other parts of the world where it has been staged. I've come across words like overrated, tasteless and vulgar to name a few, and I am also humored at how I think that some of these critics are actually women who downplay their own femininity or sexuality like it is more of fiction than fact. To me, it's not merely about sexuality. It's about identity. Who turned our gender into second class citizens under our noses? Without our permission? TVM is fighting for women's rights worldwide and most of all its greatest cause is the fight against sexual violence on women. And when it goes out to talk about sexual violence, it doesn't at all mean that these women are celebrating or promoting sexual violence.

Through the centuries we women have been stereotyped and treated unfairly. We were battered like ragdolls, hidden under burkas, mutilated, peddled, and sold. Although a lot has changed now since women made some noise in order to be heard, some things remain the same. It is flattering to be a woman, and it is flattering that a woman's beauty is in itself an art. We are one of many objets d'art of nature, but what worries me sometimes is that even among a significant number of fellow artists for instance, men notwithstanding, has unprofoundly exploited the feminine beauty like we were merely objects. sad but true. I am no radical feminist who wishes one day we can walk half naked in public like men, but we have specific rights that I will fight for. I share TVM's cause against sexual violence and exploitation.

we're not just all sugar and spice and everything nice. we're more than that.

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