The following is an interview with an actual man on his impression of the play, The Vagina Monologues. One only hopes that others have walked away from the production with more than what our interviewee–appearing under a pseu-donym–unfortunately retained. Something that can best be described as the stereotypical male response.
Ruth Davenport: What were your thoughts heading into The Vagina Monologues?
Gunner Calhoon: I was expecting the absolute worst. I knew it was two hours of my time I wouldn’t be getting back, so I just grinned and bore it.
RD: So you got there and the lights went down. During the opening monologue, what were your thoughts?
GC: I don’t have a pussy. I don’t understand what the big deal is about it. Yes, I can understand that you have to go through yearly physicals and yes, I understand that you have to go through that time of the month, but I don’t fully appreciate the stressors that females have to go through over it.
RD: So you didn’t gain any kind of enlightenment from the monologues? Not from the pieces on tampons, douches and rapes?
GC: I can figure out on my own that tampons are uncomfortable.
RD: What would be the forum or medium you would suggest for accomplishing the purpose of The Vagina Monologues?
GC: I find that the feminist movement is preaching for equity across all disciplines. A proper approach to this would be something that males would be comfortable doing in public and in society. You will never see a forum as public as "The Cock Monologues," because society doesn’t accept that.
RD: So given that the stated purpose of The Vagina Monologues is to promote dialogue about women’s sexuality by talking about the central organ of their sexuality, don’t you think it would defeat the purpose of The Vagina Monologues to choose a forum that made men comfortable and could be discussed "openly?"
GC: I think one of the purposes of The Vagina Monologues is to encourage the feminist movement within North America. The way they approach it is inappropriate. Females who are raped and brutally tormented in the Balkans and then laughing about the word "cunt."
RD: But don’t you think it’s your own discomfort that’s making you say we shouldn’t talk about the bad things involved with genitalia? Women through the centuries have had their sexuality repressed and their vaginas are at the center of that. Doesn’t it follow that if we discuss the good, we should also discuss the bad?
GC: That’s true, but the taboos with respect to women are fewer and far between than what males experience.
RD: So your opposition to The Vagina Monologues is that there’s nothing equivalent in the male field, and it wouldn’t be accepted if there was.
GC: I feel a forum could have been chosen that was better. My last reason for not liking The Vagina Monologues is that society won’t accept a comparable argument from men.
RD: Alright. So your overall impression of Vagina Monologues?
GC: It caters to the audience that it needs to, which is middle-aged women who are menopausal and out of touch–looking to relive some of the things that they did when they were younger.
RD: So women your own age who have enjoyed it, why do they enjoy it? And what about men who have enjoyed it?Are they middle-aged and menopausal too?
GC: The men that I saw in the audience didn’t enjoy it as much as the women did. And yes, there’s a niche market for younger women because they’re trying to promote their feminist ideals, which is fair. But the medium of the format exploits and unfairly represents and puts the volunteers in an awkward position, talking about the female reproductive organs.
RD: Why is it unfair to volunteer information and be told what will be done with it? Why is that an awkward position if it’s something you agree to?
GC: You don’t know that they were wholly in control. So we’re both not 100 per cent accurate. The Vagina Monologues doesn’t appeal to a male audience because that’s not who Eve Ensler wrote it for.