Your body is a wonderland’ and you deserve the respect

I am responding to Monday’s BG News article, ‘Vagina Monologues returns to University for sixth year,’ in order to take a look at how this production represents a bigger societal issue. There are numerous distorted ideas about women’s sexuality in our world today and this set of monologues attempts to serve as a sort of ‘mouthpiece’ to allow women to share their thoughts and feelings about their bodies. Having seen the show myself, it is obvious that many of the ideas and opinions the show represents come from women who have suffered deep sexual wounds inflicted by others. Sadly, these wounds often cause a sense of shame of the body or one’s sexuality. The Vagina Monologues attempts to overcome that shame, but unfortunately, does not get to the heart of the matter. Often in a crude and coarse manner, the women portrayed in The Vagina Monologues openly discuss the vagina and their own life experiences dealing with the vagina. Consistently, these stories involve men, women or family members who somehow made them feel as though their vaginas were somehow bad or that the vagina was simply something to be used so that others may have their own sexual pleasure. These perspectives represent a hurt; a hurt inflicted by the extremes of puritanical prudishness and erotic lust. These perspectives dis-integrate the person from the body, rather than integrate them. Where is the integration? Where is the balance? Where is there rationality? There is a better way to understand the female body. A woman’s vagina speaks very much to her feminine personhood. Again, integration is the key here. A woman’s physical body reflects who she is as a woman all the way through- down to her soul.’ She is the master of her own mystery. She is the one who decides to open her self, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically, quite literally. But again, going back to integration, a woman is most fulfilled and ‘herself’ when all of these dimensions are integrated in her decision. So what’s the main point here? Well, ladies, your body is good and it deserves to be treated with the utmost respect, not in a puritanical way and not in a lustful way, but in a respectful, integrated way. Gentlemen, this applies to you, too. It’s not bad to talk about the body, and I can understand where The Vagina Monologues is coming from on that. But, The Vagina Monologues doesn’t truly empower women to love their bodies more. It perpetuates a confused, distorted perspective, not one that seeks to integrate the person with the body. Women, you deserve more. Do not give up the gift of your body, the gift of yourself if a man is not willing to lay down his own life for you. That is what you deserve. So rather than fall for those men who manipulate or even sometimes hurt you enough to give them a gift they don’t deserve, wait for the right man who will love you selflessly and will never take advantage of you and your body. That is a real man. (And men, I know women can be just as manipulative toward you. In may not always be in an outright sexual way, but in other ways. And for that, I am sorry.) Rather than cause division between the sexes, let’s work to unify men and women. We’re all in this together. The Vagina Monologues writer and actors may have good intentions, but empowering women does not come from being crude or proclaiming the distorted ideas of women’s sexuality. It comes from seeking a solid integration of a woman’s personhood with her body. It should challenge people to respect women for who they are, not perpetuate the confusion about women’s sexuality in our culture. The Vagina Monologues writer would do well to scrap her script and begin again. It’s time for all of us, both men and women, to seek integration of the person and the body and experience the fulfillment it brings.