This year, students at Connecticut College are trying for a new angle raising awareness for their February 2014 production of the Vagina Monologues: men telling the world why they think vaginas are important.
You can watch nearly 7 minutes of video with 100 Conn College men sharing their responses to the question, “why do you think vaginas are important?” They said things like…
Because without them, I wouldn’t be here.
They look good in cartoons but better in real life.
They are key in the process of consensual love.
Vaginas make the world go round.
They give women a power that no one else can have.
Vaginas are all different and beautiful and wonderful.
Vaginas are all about peace and love and happiness.
They are the original honeycomb hideout.
I care about people, and quite a few people have vaginas.
Vaginas are powerful.
Balls are weak, vaginas are strong
Vagina is the best thing ever made. Everyone should cherish vaginas.
Vaginas have stories to tell.
They’ve helped me to become an advocate, an ally, and a better man.
Thank you to all the vaginas!
And it’s working! The video has shown up in several places on the web, including Huffington Post, Jezebel, and Dailylife.com. Much of the commentary points out that the young men in the video often appear awkward and uncomfortable, however, by the end of the video it’s clear that they all became a lot more comfortable simply saying the word vagina- one big step forward for them, I bet. The exercise in and of itself helps normalize the use of female anatomical terms that are often considered taboo. (Although, I wonder if these young men know the difference between the vagina and the vulva.)
However, this video deserves a good freak out. Not because vaginas are something to freak out about (don’t get me wrong, we should FREAK OUT about a lot of body parts in lots of ways-good and bad), but because this video demonstrates that many young men value women. A lot of men get a bad rap for disrespecting women (especially college boys), and a lot of women are the ones hatin’ on men. It’s always a pleasure to see and hear men articulating the importance of women in their lives. I applaud efforts to recognize the importance of both men and women working to end violence, and respect each other. Violence is a societal problem, not a women’s problem. And until we can honor and respect anyone and everyone no matter their sex organs and gender identity, we will likely continue to face gender-based violence. It’s time for men to respect women, and women to respect men. Now, do you think there’s a group of students willing to make a video about the importance of a certain male body part?