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A Brief History of The Vagina Monologues

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Simmons chapter.


The Vagina Monologues began as an off broadway play in 1996 and today is still shown across the country and revered as one of the most important and insightful pieces of its time. Written by Eve Ensler, the play is shown in several monologues where women discuss sexual experiences both consensual and non consensual. The topics covered are varied and the monologues are written from the perspectives of women with varying races, sexualities and ages.


Eve Ensler said in 1998 that the play was written to “celebrate the vagina” and femininity, but in her mind it has since evolved to bring awareness to violence against women. This sparked “V Day”, a non-profit that raises money to stop violence against women. Every year there are events held by V Day that raise money for this, lead by Eve Ensler.


In 2004, Ensler along with Jane Fonda staged the first production of The Transgender Monologues where an all transgender cast read both the original monologues as well as new ones to depict the transgender experience. This was a huge step for V Day, and an important one for The Vagina Monologues, since their name is problematic to the transgender community.