Supporters of Landmark Play Seek "Maximum Exposure" for Its Vital Message of Vagina Empowerment
"The vaginas are already there. We're just bringing the monologues."
"The biggest danger for really provocative art is for it to be pigeonholed," says Rebecca Exley, director of Really Provocative Art for San Diego County College. "When I hear Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues described as 'a feminist play,' my heart just sinks, because it's the kiss of death to get labeled like that. Suddenly, the only people interested in attending are feminists and guys who hope to get lucky by taking their dates to a feminist play."
Those people, says Exley, are "not the people Ensler is trying to reach. Those are not the people who need to hear the play's message about the sexual violence done to women, about a woman's right to control her sexuality, about, finally, female empowerment through a woman's reclamation of her own vaginal territory.
"All too often, men want that territory so badly we can forget that it's ours. Ours to withhold, ours to share, and ours to display on a stage for money if we so choose."
That last claim is part of the reason Exley has chosen to abandon her plans to stage The Vagina Monologues at County College later this month. Instead, she will "honor V-Day in the way Ensler intended - by taking the message to people who need to hear it. People who are willing to pay attention to vaginas, though maybe not in exactly the way they had anticipated. In short, people who are patronizing Goldfingers totally nude Gentleman's Club in Mira Mesa tonight, Valentine's Day 2012."
Exley is quick to assure any concerned parties that the performance will not affect the other performances scheduled for that evening. "The girls will still be doing their thing. It's just that our actors will be up there on stage alongside them, delivering the monologues. We think the juxtaposition will be provocative, and that's what we're really all about."
Goldfingers' management has announced that all proceeds from the play will go to the Goldfingers Charitable Relief Fund.