A Review of the Vagina Monologues

Tyler Alexander
J.D. Candidate 2016, UCI Law

Last year, for our anniversary, my wife Sarah and I attended UCI Law’s production of the Vagina Monologues. I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me. I don’t think Sarah believed me when I first told her that I had bought us tickets. But it really did happen. I got all dressed up and everything. And as I sat in my seat with the playbill, and examined the names of the monologues contained therein, I started to wonder if this had been a good idea.

I was uncomfortable for large portions of the show. Sometimes it was clear that discomfort was what the monologue was designed to evoke. I can appreciate that in art. Life isn’t always pleasant; art need not always be so either. Sometimes the discomfort was more likely caused by my own personal hang-ups. That can be a valuable function of art as well. I laughed more than I thought I would, but I tried not to let anyone see. I sat in silence for a few moments after the lights came back up. I wasn’t sure exactly what I thought about what I had just witnessed. A year later I’m still not entirely sure.

On the car ride back home, Sarah and I couldn’t stop talking about the play. Sarah explained that the Angry Vagina monologue was something that only a woman could truly appreciate. I mentioned that the lack of positive examples of male-female relationships had made me feel that the show wanted to exclude me from the conversation. I don’t think I’ve said the word “vagina” more times in a single evening before or since. With as busy as 1L had been, Sarah and I both enjoyed the chance to have a conversation that wasn’t about work or school or family obligations. That was a pretty great anniversary present.

I do not know if I would recommend the Vagina Monologues as a date night, at least not early in a relationship. I would, however, recommend that men go see it. Everyone should be a part of this conversation. We all have women in our lives that we care about: mothers, sisters, aunts, wives, girlfriends, teachers, and coworkers. And the unfortunate reality is that many of those women will be or have been the victims of sexual violence. The women of UCI Law who put on the Vagina Monologues each year are not willing to accept that reality quietly. You shouldn’t be willing to either. Go support the Vagina Monologues. Go support the fight to end violence against women. You owe it to the women that you love. At the very least, it will give you something to talk about.