My criticism of The Vagina Monologues is not meant to undermine or to dismiss the
positive impacts that it has brought to many Americans, including me, or the concerns and issues that have been raised by the project. What I find troubling about The Vagina
Monologues is the ways in which non-Western women are appropriated in this purportedly universal, but particularly Western, story of ‘female sexuality’ and ‘vaginas’ that intends to cut across racial, cultural, national, and geographical locations unproblematically. Under the global heading of ‘sisterhood’, Ensler justifies the need to represent the ‘problems and pains’ of her non-Western ‘sisters’, separated from Ensler by geographical and social space, but whose pains are still felt given their presumed biological bond. While this assumption of global sisterhood is a worthy ideal, there remain realities of power relations among women along lines of racial, cultural and economic status; sexuality; kinship; and nationality.
‘ONE VAGINA TO GO’ - Eve Ensler’s Universal Vagina and its Implications for African Women
By Wairimu˜ Ngaru˜ iya Njambi