Feminism's Dead End:
The Vagina Monologues

By Henry Makow Ph.D.
October 24, 2001

       While bombs rain down on Afghanistan this week, theatergoers in Washington D.C. are paying $50-70 at the National Theatre to see Eve Ensler's play "The Vagina Monologues". This play partly exemplifies why radical Islam has declared war on America. The play pretends to be about women's rights. In fact, it is little more than a public reading of explicit lesbian pornography. "The Vagina Monologues" is a celebration of lesbianism that is being produced in 25 countries, including Turkey and China. We are exporting homosexuality and the social disintegration that goes with it.

Muslim fundamentalists believe their culture is threatened. They are fighting to preserve their wives and children who are the future. If their wives are infected by our homosexuality, they will insist on becoming "independent" like men. Their birth rate will plummet like ours has, and their families and culture will disintegrate. In countries with minimal government social safety nets, families and children are also essential for survival.

I don't wish to imply that culture is the only reason for this conflict. Nevertheless, Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington, in "The Clash of Civilizations" (1996), argues that future world conflicts will reflect cultural differences and ways of worshipping God: "The forces of integration in the world are real and are precisely what are generating counter forces of cultural assertion and civilizational consciousness."

"The Vagina Monologues" presents a sad picture of life at the dead-end of feminism. It is an anguished cry for male love by a generation of women deceived by feminism, who now have no choice but to become lesbians. For women who are literally starved for love, the play provides a steamy experience of sexual intimacy. For young women who don't know any better, it is an initiation into lesbianism.

Based on interviews with women, who talk about their vaginas, the play purports to rescue the female genitals from "cultural neglect." For example, the play describes a workshop in which women examine themselves with hand-mirrors. "It reminded me of how early astronomers must have felt with their primitive telescopes," says Ensler. They give their vagina nicknames, dress it up in imaginary outfits, and imagine what it would say if it could talk (e.g. "Where's Brian?"). At one performance at the Madison Square Gardens, 18,000 women were whipped into a frenzy of shouting "cunt" over and over.

They should have been shouting "penis" because this is really about the loss of male love. Having lost their femininity and their youth, having rejected or emasculated men, millions of women are now left sexually high and dry.

Both sexes need validation. Men these days don't like feminists and feminists know it. Every time we turn on TV, a man is being beat-up or berated by a woman. Men resent that women have usurped the male role and deserted the feminine one. I believe this is what Ensler is actually experiencing when she says: "Our self-hatred is only the internalized repression and hatred of the patriarchal culture."

Women are justified in feeling unloved and unfulfilled. Ensler says that women want to be used for babies: "My vagina helped release a giant baby. It thought it would be used more than that. It's not." The result is a profound sense of emptiness and need. "My vagina wants to go deeper. It's hungry for depth. It's hungry for kisses, kindness. It wants to stop being angry. It wants everything. It wants to want. It wants."

It appears that only a man can staunch this wound. Ensler describes a boyfriend, Bob, who loved to gaze at her genitals for hours and made her feel good about herself for the first time. She doesn't say what happened to Bob. The only other men in the play are Ensler's first husband, a philanderer, and some rapists in Bosnia.

Thus, "The Vagina Monologues" quickly becomes a steamy chronicle of lesbian sex. In the first place, a fixation on female genitals by women is pure homosexuality. Forgive me for what follows but I am trying to convey the pornographic flavor of this so-called play. The author interviews a former tax lawyer who has become wealthy as a lesbian gigolo. "There are so many unfulfilled women," she says. "Women pay me to dress up like a man and dominate them." She follows with a precise description of her art ("there are four fingers inside me, two are hers and two are mine") that turns Ensler on: "Come on," I said. "Come in."

A 12-year-old girl describes how her mother entrusted her to the care of a beautiful, worldly 24-year-old woman who then betrayed this trust by having sex with her: "She transformed my sorry-assed coochie-snorcher into a kind of heaven." Ensler regresses with children stories of the "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" variety. She asks a six-year-old girl to say what her vagina smells like (snowflakes). She informs us that the clitoris has twice the number of nerve fibers as the penis: "Who needs a handgun when you've got a semiautomatic?" She describes finding her clitoris for the first time: "It was all warm and pulsing and ready and young and alive." I could go into more detail but you get the idea.

A measure of our cultural timidity, depravity and self-delusion is that no major media critic has named this play for what it is. "Ensler is an impassioned wit," says the Los Angeles Times. "A compelling rhapsody of the female essence," says The Chicago Tribune. "Spellbinding, funny and almost unbearably moving," says Variety. The play has been performed in hundreds of American cities and universities, and in countries from Rumania to Zaire. Celebrity guest performers include Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Calista Frockhart, and Angelica Huston. It was performed in Sarajevo by Marisa Tomei and Glenn Close who said Ensler is "giving women their souls back." Gillian Anderson (of the X-Files) says: "Eve Ensler is the Pied Piper. She is leading woman and the world to a different consciousness of women."

Ensler and her entourage try to position this pitiable lesbian primer in the mainstream. Gloria Steinem writes "men as well as women will emerge from these pages feeling more free within themselves and about each other." It is typical of feminists to portray lesbianism as emancipation. Ensler has "come out" as yet another survivor of sexual abuse by her father. She has tied the play to the politicized cause of violence against women. Her hatred of heterosexuality is evident by her choice of Valentine's Day, as "V-Day" or anti-violence day, when her play will be performed. She told Molly Ivens in TIME that the patriarchal (i.e. nuclear) family is "a deadly institution."

The nuclear family is the primary institution of heterosexuality. Before the "sexual revolution," women insisted on marriage and family, which is heterosexual behavior. This satisfied the profoundest psychological needs of both sexes and provided a safe context for raising healthy children. After the sexual revolution, men and women engaged in promiscuous sex, which had been more typical of homosexuals. Women, increasingly independent and self-righteous, were unable to form permanent marriages. Taught that they could "have it all", they are now frustrated and bitter.

The irony of "The Vagina Monologues" is that feminists who regularly complain about sexual objectification embrace the play. There is no mention of love. This tendency to view sex as recreation and physical release reflects a self-destructive trend in society. Normally heterosexuals find sexual fulfillment in marriage and are able to turn their energies to more important things. Instead we suffer from cultural arrested development manifested as a lewd adolescent obsession with sex.

Another irony is that feminists apparently think that, when lesbians do it, an adult having sex with a 12-year-old child is OK. They also think that they can violate the natural innocence of a 6-year-old girl with invasive questions. Finally, need I mention that the play outrages and destroys the mystery, modesty and reserve that is the essence of mature femininity? Like feminism itself, "The Vagina Monologues" masquerades as an affirmation of women. In fact, it is a sickening assault on women.

We must face the fact that feminism is a homosexual movement in deadly competition with heterosexuality. Especially in time of war, we cannot afford to encourage a movement dedicated to social divisiveness and disintegration. In addition, we are exporting our homosexuality and depravity to the world. Muslim fundamentalists are fighting back.

We cannot fully claim the moral high ground on the basis of being the victim of terrorism. We must represent a better vision of life to the world by healing our sexual sickness. We must reaffirm the nuclear family and the masculine and feminine values that made America great.


Articles by Henry Makow Ph.D.