email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
1000 Families2 ¼32 Stories365 Days51 Months5x7A Child's Life and Other StoriesA Couple of Ways of Doing SomethingA Lifetime of SecretsA Storybook LifeA Treasury of Victorian MurderActing OutAddiction and ArtAEIOUAfter PhotographyAliveAlive with Alzheimer'sAlone Together POCAltered StatesAmazing WomenAmelia's WorldAmerica at HomeAmerican AlphabetsAmnesiaAn American LensAn Exact MindAngel's WorldAngry Youth Comix #2Anjos ProibidosAnthony GoicoleaArchitecture of AuthorityArt After Conceptual ArtArt and HomosexualityArt and PhotographyArt in Three DimensionsArt Photography NowArt, Self and KnowledgeArt/PornAs We AreAsylumAttitudeAutoportraitBecoming Edvard MunchBeg the QuestionBelugaBerkoBig Rabbit's Bad MoodBill HensonBlab!Blab! 13BLAB! Vol. 14BLAB! Vol. 15BlanketsBoneyardBoneyardBoy StoriesBreakdownsBright EarthBrüselBurn, Bitchy, BurnBus OdysseyBut Is It Art?CanvasCaricatureChildrenChris VereneChristy ReportCinema PanopticumClass PicturesClick DoubleclickCloserClumsyClyde Fans CoincidencesComing of AgeComing of Age in Ancient GreeceConceptual Art and PaintingConfessions of a Cereal EaterConsider LoveCouch FictionCrumpleCzech EdenCzech Photographic Avant-Garde, 1918-1948Dan & LarryDargerDays With My FatherDead EndDear MomDeus Ex MachinaDigital DiariesDirty StoriesDisasters of WarDixie RoadDomestic VacationsDon't Go Where I Can't FollowDon't You Feel BetterDr. Jekyll & Mr. HydeDrawingsDriftlessEarly ExposuresEcstasyEdouard VuillardEnduring CreationEngland, My EnglandEntering GermanyEpilepticErwin OlafEscape from "Special"EVAEverything Will DisappearEvidenceExploring the Self through PhotographyExposureExpressionism Exquisite CorpseFamilyFamilyFamily LifeFandomaniaFaster than a Speeding BulletFictionsFigure and GroundFragile DVDFred the ClownFreud at WorkFridaFrom Girls to GrrlzFun HomeGeneration DadaGirl CultureGirls, Some Boys and Other CookiesGoing Into TownGood-ByeGraphic WomenGrave MattersGreat Hiking Trails of the WorldH R GigerHans BellmerHappy Halloween, Li'L SantaHauntedHere Is New YorkHey, Wait...High Art LiteHollywood CowboyHouse of JavaHow Art WorksI Am Not This BodyI Love You But I've Chosen RockI Thought I Could FlyI'll Be Your MirrorI'm CrazyIllumineIn My Darkest HourIn Search Of DignityIn the Floyd ArchivesIn the Line of DutyInformation ArtsIntenseInvisible No MoreIt Was A Dark And Silly NightJack Cole and Plastic ManJimmy CorriganJock SturgesJock SturgesJust Between UsKafkaKatharina SieverdingLacan at the SceneLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLife's a BitchLight in the Dark RoomLine of Beauty and GraceListening to CementLittle LitLi’l SantaLoadsLooking For MayaLost GirlLouis FaurerLouise BourgeoisLove and DesireLove Lust DesireLuckyManufactured LandscapesMass ObservationMaster BreastsMetacreationMisty DawnMnemosyneMomeMona KuhnMy Brain is Hanging Upside DownMy DepressionMy Family AlbumNatural BeautiesNatural BeautyNerveNerveNew and Used BLAB!New York September 11Night FisherNightswimmingNo More ShavesNot My ShameNotes from a DefeatistNothing ObviousNothing to HideNudes and PortraitsOliviaOlivia Saves the CircusOn City StreetsOne EyeOnly a Promise of HappinessOptic NerveOptic Nerve #11Optic Nerve #9Outlaws, Rebels, Freethinkers & PiratesOutsider ArtOutsider Art and Art TherapyPanic at Toad HallPatrolPaul M. SmithPeculiaPeekPeople Love PhotosPerfect ExamplePersepolisPhilosophersPhonesexPhoto ArtPhoto Icons I (1827-1926)Photographers, Writers, and the American ScenePhotography and LiteraturePhotography and PhilosophyPhotography and SciencePhotography and the USA Photography RebornPicturing DisabilityPlaytimePOPismPortraits of ResiliencePostmodernismPsychedelicQuestions without answersRaptors Raw YouthRay's a LaughRazmatazReclining NudeRed SnowRemembering GeorgyRequisite DistanceRineke DijkstraRippleRobert Doisneau 1912-1994Robert MaxwellRoom to PlayRXSame Difference & Other StoriesSanctumSatan's Sex BookSatellitesSchizophreniaSee Me Feel MeSelf-Taught and Outsider ArtSexSexual ArtSexyBookShadow ChamberSidewalk StoriesSkin DeepSleepwalkSmall FavorsSmile of the BuddhaSpectral EvidenceSpentSshhhh!Stranded in CantonStrange Stories for Strange Kids Stranger PassingStripped BareSummer BlondeSurrealismSymbols in ArtTestimonyThe Aesthetics of DisengagementThe AlcoholicThe Art InstinctThe Art of Adolf WolfliThe Art of MedicineThe BabiesThe Birthday RiotsThe Blue Day BookThe Blue NotebookThe BodyThe Body as ProtestThe Boulevard of Broken DreamsThe Breast BookThe Breathing FieldThe Bristol Board JungleThe Clouds AboveThe Devil and Daniel JohnstonThe Diary of a Teenage GirlThe Education of SophieThe Erotic Lives of WomenThe Face in the LensThe Illustrated Story of OThe Incantations of Daniel JohnstonThe Madonna of the FutureThe Mirror of LoveThe New Erotic PhotographyThe New LifeThe Other PlaceThe PervertThe Philosophy of Andy WarholThe Places We LiveThe Psychology of Art and the Evolution of the Conscious BrainThe Push Man and Other StoriesThe Scar of VisibilityThe September 11 Photo ProjectThe Shiniest JewelThe Speed AbaterThe Steerage and Alfred StieglitzThe Story of Frog Belly Rat BoneThe Story of SexThe Stuff of LifeThe Three ParadoxesThe Transformations of GwenThe Transformations of GwenThe Transparent CityThe TravelersThe ValleyThe Van Gogh BluesThe Wolves in the WallsThe Yellow HouseThinThings as They AreThinking of YouTierney GearonTime and SilenceTina's MouthTits, Ass, and Real EstateTransitionTrauma and Documentary Photography of the FSATravelersTropical BlendTwentieth Century EightballTwilightUnlikelyVagina WarriorsVernacular VisionariesVietnam At PeaceVisual CultureVitamin PhWar Is Only Half the StoryWhat Are You Looking At?What Art IsWhat Good Are the Arts?What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally MannWho Am I, What Am I, Where Am I?Why Comics?William KentridgeWillie DohertyWithWriters on ArtistsYoung PhotographerZip Zip My Brain Harts
From the publisher's description of the book:
"VAGINA WARRIORS is a unique
collaboration between playwright/activist/V-Day founder Eve Ensler, creator of
the international hit The Vagina Monologues, and world-renowned
photographer Joyce Tenneson, whose Wise Women changed the way people look at
women and aging. The book features Ensler's essay alongside Tenneson's
portraits of V-Day activists, many of them well-known celebrities, with
powerful statements and quotations from the subjects. Ensler has dubbed these
women and men, who are committed to ending violence against women and girls
throughout the world, Vagina Warriors. The celebrities featured include
Glenn Close, Salma Hayek, Gloria Steinem, Isabella Rossellini, Jane Fonda, and
Vagina Warriors are at the very
heart of V-Day, the global movement founded by Ensler. Every February to March,
local activists raise awareness and funds through V-Day benefit productions of
The Vagina Monologues and other events. The movement is growing rapidly
throughout the world. V-Day has so far raised more than $20 million and was named
one of Worth magazine's 100 Best Charities." (Copyright 2005 by Time Warner Bookmark)
"Eve Essler's proceeds from
the sale of Vagina Warriors will benefit V-Day." (Publication page)
All of them? A portion? A 2002 San
Francisco V-Day "raised $500,000" (p. 115) and the "money was
distributed among twenty-four anti-violence organizations." All of it? The
theater donated their services? Finally, near the end (p. 137), some reality:
"The Vagina Monologues donated a portion of each ticket sold to
V-Day. . . ." Full disclosure promotes a cause and free use above costs to
organizations forwarding the work underscores sincerity. Ultimately, all such
movements, such as those using the "lost-child-on-milk-carton"
approach (p. 67) must face Marx's charge of "utopian socialism" (painfully
close to his own program) or even "ideological domination." (My
social-worker first wife used to toss back by the tail horseshoe crabs that
seemed compelled by the "structure"
["basis"/"nature"] of things to continue beaching themselves.)
Culturally, someone has to begin a new practice, as a man in Egypt some 3000
years ago seems to have done, mutilating women genitally. [I wish I knew who
started mutilating males.] Study of societies back millennia, even though
mostly reported by male social scientists, has shown me, not surprisingly, a
gross imbalance in gender-role power. I don't expect the "pendulum"
to "swing back" soon. (Nelson Mandela is a person who, if anyone had
"the right," could have swung a pendulum back with a vengeance.)
Leafing through smilingly fulfilled
faces in the book, sometimes hauntingly edged with pain, I was pleased to see
friends (and sisters) on pages 22 (encouraging Palestinian-Israeli
togetherness), 28 (endearing student friends), 25, and loving sisters, pages 68
and 89, crowned, finally, by heartwarming mothers and daughters (as on page
17). Of the mostly single photos, it is the seemingly barely transcended pain
of Esther Chavez Cano (p. 132) that stays with me. Most impressive is Kenyan
Winifridah Anyango's help empowering 150,000 women and girls to resist abuses
The few men in the book are
relegated to the status of "co-women" as if men were not fathers in
positive ways to sons and daughters as well and many do not suffer from
enculturated insecurities expressing themselves in the will to power and
ownership nicely phrased by sociologist Kingsley Davis as the "jealousy
and sexual property" theme. "Fe-," "wo-," and the
"-(s)hah" of Genesis implies the "female" is derived from
male, the detritus of that which is not "male," rather than that
expressed in Ashley-Montagu's view that
XY is a more illness-prone, "broken," XX. This underscores a
"we are all (biologically) one" balanced view that would place
mother-son, father-daughter, brother-sister together in communities of damaged
"cadres" for action. "V-Day exists for no other reason than to
stop violence against women." (Publication page) [If, if fact, there is no
difference between "males/men" and "females/women" not
manufactured in the cultural process, would not V-Day be held for all human
beings rather than that "supportive" men be seen as ancillary to a
one-sidedly framed movement?] After so many centuries of abuse directed against
what ostensibly seems the "distaff" "other," balance may be
too much to hope for. And a final note
on "balance" acknowledging the (culturally) "in-between" is
the book's recognition of "transgendered" "women" whose
choice of role (p. 11, Calpernia and Andrea; p. 142, "they beat the girl
out of my boy. . .") shows some of the social-psychological flexibility
cultural forms provide.
Speaking of culture, a woman
running a safe house in Kenya (p. 140) seeks to provide "alternative
rituals" to genital mutilation and early marriage. "Sedimented"
rituals and cultural lies, like the winked-at Santa, maim us as children,
mentally and "spiritually."
On the negative side contradictions
and gross strategic misconceptions appear in the book: violence is
"indiscriminate of class, age, neighborhood, and race" (p. 136). (The
six American class levels vary tremendously in size; finding just one victim in
each class would qualify as "indiscriminate of class.") Three
sentences later the authors have "patterns" "change across
cultural lines" (thus not "indiscriminate" as to cultural category).
Class is culture, as are regional differences, "age" versus
the passage of years, and gender-role, such as assaults on Garrett's
hypostatized "femininity" (p. 61). Structurally recasting social
practices works better than merely "[changing] social attitudes"
programmatically. Little need be said about this final bit of naiveté:
"They [V-Day women] are directed by vision, not ruled by ideology."
(pp. 5, 134) There is no one not directed by ideology or Weltanschauung.
What a loss should this book lie as
a shibboleth gatekeeper on chichi coffee tables, now waned the
"(after)glow and gush" of necessarily encounter-like V-Day events.
Even worse should it become the latest "little red book."
Link: The Vagina
Monologues: Read by the author, by Eve Ensler
Link: Publisher's gallery of photographs from Vagina Warriors
© 2005 A. P. Bober
A. P. Bober has
studied a psychology spanning Skinner and a humanistic-clinical view based on
existential phenomenology and had been a PhD candidate in a substantive yet
philosophic European-based sociology including the "critical"
view. His teaching augmented courses in group theory/"small-group
developmental dynamics" (lab) while introducing "sociology of
knowledge" and "issues in biological anthropology," with
publications in the first two fields. Currently he is writing a book on
mystical experience as metaphorically tied to neurophysiology.