I was one of three men in the audience for the Vagina Monologues
I had to talk about my non-existent vagina
When I signed up for my staffing shift at Bedlam Theatre, I knew that I’d have to sit through an hour of amateur student dramatics.
I didn’t, however, expect this to involve me talking about my imaginary vagina to a group of women I’d just met.
It turned out I would be one of only three men to have to sit through an hour long preview of The Vagina Monologues.
Having overheard a few snippets from the rehearsal, I was dreading the excruciating embarrassment of having to sit through an hour of bra-burning militant feminists shouting about pubic hair.
But I went along and tried to welcome this terrifying experience as a valuable learning experience.
And a valuable learning experience it was.
As soon as the introductory speeches had been spoken, I was aware that I had given the Monologues a tough time.
Rachel Bussom, the very talented director, informed the audience that proceeds from the show would also be going to a charity for men who have experienced domestic abuse.
This wasn’t just a show about “girl power”, it was a show which encouraged empowerment for both sexes.
Admittedly, the speeches were awkward, but also quite inspiring.
Hearing about a 72-year-old discovering sexual pleasure, the puffiness which accompanies the shaving of pubic hair and the discomfort of wearing a tampon were quite uncomfortable to listen to.
And having to speak to everyone in the room about what my vagina would say if it could speak and what it would wear wasn’t exactly easy.
But, I thought to myself, I’d have to grow a pair.
Or rather, more aptly, grow a vagina.
In a moment of sheer embarrassment and true to my awkward sense of humour, I responded with: “My vagina would wear an invisibility cloak.”
“And it would say “PLEASE LET ME EXIST”.”
A few chuckles.
But my attempt at a joke had been dwarfed by the hilarious answers from other members of the audience.
One of the other men answered: “‘Ello Dickhead”.
Another member of the audience, seemingly inspired by Iggy Azalea, said: “It would wear a long ball gown because it’s so fancy.”
The Q&A following the show answered all sorts of questions. Gender norms, appreciating the show as a transgender person and whether abbreviating the show to “VagiMon” was a wise idea or sounded too much like a Digimon character.
I left feeling inspired and impressed by how brave, witty and authentic the various speeches about vaginas were, and – despite my male genitalia – included, welcomed and educated.
I intend to go see Vaginas on Valentine’s Day.
And by that, of course, I am referring to their upcoming charity performance.