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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Angry Vagina

March 27, 2008.

I stood before a hushed crowd, watching my subtle movements. The flick of my wrist, the tugging of my hair, the scratching of the manuscript within my damp palms.

The room had been silenced by the “NOT-SO-HAPPY FACT” that spoke of gender mutilation of girls and women. The females in the room squirmed with the notion. The men lowered their heads in shame. All were affected by the “NOT-SO-HAPPY FACT” that by April of 1996, female genital mutilation had been inflicted on approximately 130 million girls and young women.

It was a sobering moment. A reflective moment. A small fragment of time that emotions swelled for the men and women present for those words.

It was powerful. Perspectives were altered. Men and women both felt violated. The unity between the sexes was brought on by a not so happy fact.

I approached the stage. The stillness was unbearable. Many looked towards me, some filled with sorrow in their eyes others with the hope that I will brush away their discomfort. No one knew what to expect.

I paused, took a deep breath, and exclaimed, “My Vagina’s angry!”

Some were shocked. Others were amused. People laughed, while others looked around confused.

“It is. It’s pissed off. My vagina’s furious and it needs to talk. It needs to talk about all this shit.”

The crowd roared with laughter. My confidence began to grow as everyone began to warm up and respond to me. All I could hear was the roaring in my head and the beat of my heart. The adrenaline and exhilaration soared within me and spilled from my lips. I saw the faces of loved ones. My father’s face burning. My fifteen year old sister’s confusion. My mother’s uncertainty. I refused to let that deter me. With renewed strength and confidence, I delivered my lines with all the sauciness and anger I could muster.

I felt alive at my first public performance. I had avoided Public Speaking my whole life. Never took an active role in a play. I barely would speak for group projects. I never felt a strong compulsion to speak my thoughts to the world. I felt my writing was sufficient enough. When I appeared to the first audition for the Vagina Monologues, I was nervous and uncomfortable. I was given a stack of monologues to sift through. I was told to choose one to audition for and I was going next. The first monologue I picked up was “My Angry Vagina” and I immediately knew it was the right one for me. The boldness, the directness, the sassiness. This was meant to happen. I was meant to speak out against the injustices and oppression that women have experienced. I felt the words of the monologue draw from me my inner woman. I hesitantly approached the room for my audition, put my heart and soul into the moment…and walked out with the part.

When I entered the stage, this back a new high for me. The rush, the excitement, the warm reciprocation from the crowd that quenched the thirst within my soul. All of it compelled me to give my best performance.

I strolled off the stage, basking in the applauses and whistles that followed me like a shadow. My fellow performers exclaimed, “Great Job!” Others gave me a pat on the back. I smiled, thanked everyone, and felt my inner intensity slowly drain from my body. I watched as the next performer entered the stage.

I looked out towards the crowd and knew I had made a lasting impression.

“It wants to stop being angry. It wants to come. It wants to want. My vagina, my vagina. Well…It wants everything.”

Jennifer Ellspermann

Picture Credit: Angry Cat


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