Here’s an idea my boyfriend and I have for a show we’d like to do next year. I posted the original document in a Facebook note, so here I’ll post the document along with the responses the note received.
null

Eve Ensler, collater and prophet of “The Vagina Monologues” has brought us such verbage as: “I love being a girl. I can feel what you’re feeling as you’re feeling it inside the feeling before.”

Yeah, I think we can write at least as well.

For too long, many men have chafed. Also, we have chafed at being excluded from this yearly celebration of the Vag. I think one could argue, that Vagina Monologues has disenfranchised the one group most likely to be pro-woman, pro-sexual empowerment, and deeply committed to the well-being of vaginas everywhere: dudes.

We’ve all done it — sat thru a production of that show [maybe multiple times], and fought the urge to roll our eyes at least 15 times. I know we are all woman-destroying ogres – but hey, why you gotta monologue about it?

The time has come, or will come — if we dare. Dare to dream. Dare to speak our thoughts, our secret fears, and irreverent attitude towards that most holy of female genitalia.

And now a woman, bearer of the Sacred Vagina:


Those of you that thought Derek was joking, you were wrong.

The boy and I were tossing about ideas last night, and we’re pretty dead-set on doing this.

For those of you that don’t know we’d like to do a play written, produced, and directed by T&Gers that would compete with The Vagina Monologues on Valentines Day weekend 2011. Ideally, our show would be run the same way (a portion of the profits going toward Project Safe, a cast/crew of volunteers, ect.) with one major difference—the cast would be all male. Sorry ladies, this means not even cross-dressing ladies need apply. Women are invited to be involved in the technical aspects of the show, and take part in the creative process, they just can’t be on stage.

Ideally, the show would still revolve around vaginas, it would just be men speaking on the subject, rather than women. A lot of the show would be satire, but we would like to have some serious elements, as well. The Vaginauts we gather would each create some contribution to the show—a monologue, a song, a sculpture, whatever it is we will find a way to put it in the show, and then we will create the script using these contributions.

We realize some of you may be a bit squeamish about going on stage and speaking about this subject, so acting is not required in order to be a part of “Waiting for Vagina.” We will take and consider all contributions even if you want nothing else to do with us. Above all, we just want this to be fun and a good experience for everyone involved.

If you were tagged in this note it either means you’re a T&G guy that we’re hoping is interested or you responded to Derek’s status and we’re wondering if you’re interested. Additionally, if you are reading this note and are interested in participating, drop a response.


RESPONSES:

Charles, Mitch and 2 others like this.

Raleigh: Why don’t you do this during March (Womens’ history month) or some other time not at the same time as VM. I think this is a great idea BUT having it at the same time creates a battle of the sexes that is just completely counterproductive to gender equality. And I’m pretty sure the women who put together VM might have a problem with the shows being at the same time. The point of VM is not to put down men. There are a significant number of women that are victims of domestic violence that enjoy the opportunity at come together and feel empowered and I’m afraid this kind of thing competing on the same wknd is not fair to them. Please, please, please consider having this on a different date. It’s really just not in good taste.

Dirk: Why assume that the thoughts of men on vaginas, would be in bad taste? Why assume that it would be counterproductive, when two shows makin’ the moneys for Project Safe is a good thing?

I know that VM is a vehicle for all the social goods that you mention, however — there is an undercurrent of anti-male sentiment by the very nature of the piece. Most domestic violence is perpetrated by males. This is a fact.

I swear, we are not trying to steal their thunder, the impetus of the piece is to honestly voice a male perspective — and poke a little fun at how VM itself has become a stodgy, “sacred” institution.

Of course, we recognize that this would be a valid concern of many women upon hearing about the project — and we hope to alleviate these fears by honest dialogue and earnest presentation.

This is why we have sought the input of strong, opinionated vaginas…such as yourself.

Raleigh: If you are not trying to steal their thunder, why not have it another weekend? When you decide to do this, you should speak with Joan Prittie. She’s the executive director of Project Safe. I think she might like the idea better if they were on separate weekends. You could raise even more money that way, yes? Project Safe uses 100% of the profits. Could Town and Gown promise to do this? I wouldn’t use the phrase “steal their thunder,” but I still stand by my opinion that this is just (same time/competing idea) is not the best decision for our community.

Amanda: I would much rather see a group of men talking about how they feel about cocks than hear what any of them have to say about vaginas. Unless you are telling me what you’re going to do to mine then I really have no use for it. Even if, like Dave Foley you are a man with a good attitude towards menstruation, as you said above, waxing poetic about pussy is frequently eye rolling or nauseating.

Carina: Raleigh, we haven’t decided on a weekend. In fact, we haven’t even decided on a show. There’s no script, no timeslot…nothing yet, actually.

Fineas: Ummm. . . . I think all of us have strong feelings about domestic violence and that has nothing to do with what equipment we’re sporting. I don’t like the idea of competition, but I do like the idea of men speaking out about (1) why they don’t like creeps (put stronger word here) who kill the people they live with and (2) why vaginas render guys inarticulate (which was the original premise of VM actually: why women couldn’t talk about their own bodies). All that said, the thing that does make VM work is that the overall tone is pretty amusing with interspersed poetry/drama. Guy chuckles aren’t gonna be the same, are they?

Dirk: Amanda- We don’t really know what the dudes will write. And you haven’t lived until you’ve heard me wax poetic about pussy.

Dirk: Fran- We really don’t know. At this point, it’s just an idea. A beautiful, shining idea. It can’t be impossible for men to speak on this grand topic in an interesting or meaningful way. Ultimately, we’ll have the same message/purpose as VM.

1.Be nice to vaginas.
2.Don’t hurt women.

Dirk: Oh yeah, and like you said — women were often terrified to talk about their vaginas — just as we are strongly encouraged not to.

Zack: People will disagree with you for doing this no matter what. Other people will like you for doing this no matter what. So long as you are doing it for a good cause, do whatever you want! Can’t make everyone happy.

Some people don’t like the VM, but does it mean they stop doing the production? Of course not. It has a great cause behind it.

Inevitably, people will both love and hate it, so just keep on rockin your style!

Ephiny: Well, as a woman and a thespian, I think this is a wonderful idea, Carina, and I wish you the best of luck with this project. Want me to toss the idea out there to some of my male acting friends? I think I might know a couple who could do this.

If I was closer, I’d join in. =(

Again, best of luck, and if you guys do get a date, please let me know!

Joanna: You could workshop it first, to determine how/whether/when to move on with the final product. A T&G lock-in one weekend to workshop WFV could be a lot of fun in itself.

Mitch: Would it be a celebration of the V? Not much interested in a denigration… We are (heterosexual men) drawn to the V like a bug zapper…can’t…resist…which is a beautiful thing nature has done to us in order to continue our species. It would be important to include domestic violence as well. The vast majority of us are not physically abusive, however, I have never been as volcanically angry at a man as I have been at a woman. Topically delicious…

Carson: Of course I’m down! Funny side note: I was in the “male”version of VM last year, “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer”. But I would love to be involved with this!

Carson: Oh and the monogloue I did was by Howard Zinn, talking about his memory of domestic abuse and how it affected him. powerful stuff.

John: I’m out. But I agree with Ms. Knisely.

Oh yeah… Shut up, CARSON.

Dina: You could do it as complimentary, not competing with, the Vagina Monologues that weekend — maybe a discount for buying the tickets as a package since they’d both be supporting the same cause. And count me in for stage crew. 🙂

Marisa: Derek -I think that if your approach to the subject matter etc. is along the lines of: “Ultimately, we’ll have the same message/purpose as VM.
1.Be nice to vaginas.
2.Don’t hurt women.”

that’s awesome. Male answers to the VM have been done. This isn’t a new idea. But I’m certain D can bring a new and interesting approach to it.

I also think that discussing the male perspective on domestic abuse and sexual assault – men ARE also victims of those types of crimes – and the difficulties and complexities of being male in our society would make sense. And FATHERHOOD – how about birth from a male point of view! The VM addresses things like transgender issues, medical procedures and products produced for the female reproductive system, childbirth, social norms about grooming requirements AND words for the vagina… all topics easily and logically translated to a male perspective.

Personally, I think that scheduling at the same time as the annual Project Safe VM production is a bad choice. Often a non-profit org like Project Safe is more flush at the time of their big annual fund raiser and struggles at other times of the year – scheduling roughly 6 months out from the annual VM production, at the opposite end of the year, would probably be more beneficial to the organization AND would reinforce that instead of being AGAINST the message the Vagina Monologues has to share (anti-domestic violence, raising awareness about sexual assault, etc.) – you think it’s time to share a Male perspective on this issue.

Joan’s awesome. It’s worth asking her opinion. I have an email addy for her somewheres…

Carson: Oh John, I love and respect you more than you’ll ever know

Katie: you know there are the “penis monologues” too, right? they’re just less popular– but the play is out there!

Eric: A) You know I’m all about being the Eve Ensler in drag
B) Soft shoe tap number
C) Vagizzles are fucking terrifying.
D) Katie, we don’t want your facts here.

Robb: vagina

Carina: Amanda & John- Why don’t you write a monologue and submit it?
Fran-We want you on staff.
Zack-Would you be interested in writing one? I’ve seen your scripts and I would *LOVE* it if you wrote something for us.
Bonnie-Please pass this along, that would be great! Anyone interested can FB message me. And of course we’ll let you know when we get a date.
Joanna-The entire process is going to be one big workshop with everyone involved. We haven’t decided how it’s exactly going to work, yet, but the first half of the rehearsals are going to be dedicated to the cast/crew discussing and editing the submissions we’ve received. This will continue until we have a script that everyone agrees on. As far as cast bonding, we were thinking of manly activities like camping, but I’m sure a lock-in could be arranged.
Mitch-That’s the idea we had in mind, but we’re not going to give out themes or restrictions, yet. Right now we’re thinking “Write what you want. Period. [Just avoid pro-rape sentiment.]” and we don’t think that’s going to be a problem.
Robb-You should write something, as should your wife. I feel you two would get a kick out of all this.

ALL: I think it’s both surprising and funny that everyone got up in arms about the prospect of us competing with VM, instead of, um, anything else. Let me clear the air, even if we were able to have the show on V-day, it would be no competition, whatsoever. The Vagina Monologues has been able to attract an audience that consists of far more than the normal Athens Theatre-goers. More power to them, but we can’t hope to do that. In addition to this, we don’t think we’d be trying to attract even remotely the same audience. Even if, somehow, we were able to pull from the same pool of people, going to two shows in one weekend is no unheard of.
To be realistic, the chances of us showing that weekend are slim. When’s the last time you remember T&G having a second stage slot on Valentines day weekend? And as far as overwhelming Project Safe, I hope they’re not too busy to agree to accept a donation, or allow give us information to put out, ect. If they are, then we’ll just have to find another organization to work with.

Matt: If I’m in town then I’m in. And if not, I’ll try to submit something and will be happy to help/opine from afar.

Thomas: I can give a perspective as a male who dresses as a woman on occasion who still loves vagina as well..hard to find…haha…but also there are a lot of subjects I could cover…and I could do my monologue in drag…just a thought…:-)

Michael:s: Ive always wanted to sing on stage…my voice isnt that great but i would be willing to write and perform a song

Marisa: Honestly, I think the reason that there is no iconic male version (while this sort of thing has been attempted many times) is because no one has put in the years of interviewing and research that went into the VM. THAT would be amazing. If someone actually did that kind of footwork instead of just asking a few guys to write a monologue. Ensler interviewed over 200 women from different cultures and backgrounds. Each group’s interviews came together to become different pieces. Like the survivors of warfare in Bosnia – their interviews became “My Vagina Was My Village” covering rape as a tactic used in war.

Carina: You’re right, Marisa. You should totally do that.

Marisa.: It’s already been done for the perspective I would have anything to say about. I’m just saying that it’s a fascinating idea for an all male group to do a comparable project.

Joe: EEEEEENTERESTING. . . . What do I have to say about the vag. . . .

Advertisements