Date of Award
Master of Arts
Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues presents a means integrating discussion of the vagina into public discourse for the purpose of ending violence against women. From across the globe, local grassroots activists participate together in V-Day, an activist movement that I frame as a transnational ecology--a term I use to characterize the context of the performance, including fellow activists, feminists, the public, time, place, performance space, and sociocultural attitudes across geopolitical borders. While the play has engaged the activist spirit of women in more than 140 countries, I call for more discourse on the racial and national tensions in the text. By putting the more recent script of the production beneath intersectional feminist and pedagogical lenses, I assert the importance of dialogical listening across social and geopolitical boundaries. I also argue for equitable representation of women both as individuals and in relation to one another, their immediate context, and the global sphere. I offer feminist modes of rhetoric and ethics as a point of entry for unpacking the privilege underpinning V-Day discourse--specifically the play's representations of colonialism and white First World privilege. Overall, I argue that V-Day activists can, and should, question what it means to practice feminism within the context of globalization, by integrating attention to "nation" into existing feminist readings.
Rebecca Christine Lee
Lee, Rebecca Christine, "Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues as Feminist Activist Ecology" (2012). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12763.