Please talk about your penis some more.
A conversation I just had:
Boys: “Let’s talk about our penises for 15 minutes straight!”
Me: “You’re always talking about your penises.”
Boy: “Well you’re going to talk about your vagina for like, THREE HOURS STRAIGHT when you’re in The Vagina Monologues next month!”
He’s kind of right. At least to some degree, I am going to be talking about vaginas for a while. Actually, I’ll only be on stage for like, five minutes (I can’t act and got a really tiny part with several other girls). But other girls will be talking about vaginas for a while.
Boy: There’s no Penis Monologues!
Actually, there is. Here’s a whole bunch of Penis Monologues for you to moon over. While you’re all busy talking about your penises. And making fun of women.
Here’s the thing, though – you’re going to talk about your penises. You’re going to do it. You’re proud of them. And why shouldn’t you be? Great. Yours are SO BIG or something. Whatever. I know, masculinity means you all have to fight over WHO HAS THE BIGGEST ONE. That’s why I think you should all go into the bathroom, have a measuring contest, and shut up.
No, that’s not what I really want, even though it would be great sometimes. What I really want is for everyone to get over the I HAVE THE BIGGEST PENIS SYNDROME and just be proud of whatever genitals you happen to have an then MOVE ON.
I’d like that for women, too. But that’s not going to happen – at least, not yet. That’s why The Vagina Monologues exist: because women don’t normally talk about their vaginas – and not only do we not talk about them, it’s like we’re not allowed to talk about them. It’s awkward. Someone made a joke tonight about women bleeding every 28 days and all the men got awkward except for him. Because talking about female reproduction? GROSS.
We’re ashamed of our vaginas. We’re told they smell weird and they’re gross because there’s blood sometimes. We’re told birth is nasty. Whatever goes on down there? No one wants to know, so we also start acting like they’re gross and it becomes awkward to discuss.
And it IS awkward, the first time you go in there, for the show, because you’re like “OH MY GOD THEY’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT VAGINAS.” And guess what? They talk about vaginas. And female orgasm and masturbation and birth and sexual assault and rape.
But you guys talk about your dicks all the time. A show about penises wouldn’t be anything interesting because you discuss it while playing beer pong on a regular basis. That’s why no Penis Monologues has made it big.
And I’m not saying there aren’t issues associated with penises and masculinity. There are. Prison rape is still a huge issue; erectile dysfunction is discussed in the context of Bob Dole, old men and laughable Viagra and Cialis television commercials. There’s a whole universe of equality in sex to sort through, how to experience equal sex as enjoyable instead of simply a loss of privilege. But to act like talking about penises is unique, or that there’s a need to normalize it, is just irritating.
Our first read-through of The Vagina Monologues was a fascinating exercise in getting used to talking about vaginas. Some people had to say the word a lot – and some of those people were uncomfortable. Well, yeah you were uncomfortable. We NEVER talk about vaginas. We never say the word. We’re barely allowed to say the word.
Bonus: Apple thinks “vaginas” isn’t a word.
But, I mean, whatever. Go write a show about your penises. I’m sure lots of people will go see it, since we’re totally not bored yet.