31 January 2012

Book Review No. 51

So I've decided to make a bucket list of sorts and one of the things I want to do with my life, beginning now, is read at least 12 books a year. So here we go with number 1 of 2012.

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (yeah...I went there)

Summary: A poignant and hilarious tour of the last frontier, the ultimate forbidden zone, The Vagina Monologues is a celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. In this stunning phenomenon that has swept the nation, Eve Ensler gives us real women's stories of intimacy, vulnerability, and sexual self-discovery. Celebrated as the bible for a new generation of women, The Vagina Monologues has been performed in cities all across America and at hundreds of college campuses. It has inspired a dynamic grassroots movement--V-Day--to stop violence against women. Witty and irreverent, compassionate and wise, Even Ensler's Obie Award-winning masterpiece gives voice to women's deepest fantasies and fears, guaranteeing that no on who reads it will ever look at a woman's body, or think of sex, in quite the same way again. (taken from book jacket)

First line: "I bet you're worried."

My Critique: I'm not usually a big fan of non-fiction but a week ago I was working the Circulation desk at the library when this book came through the return box. It caught my eye because I remember hearing all about the performances of this on Broadway but I didn't really know anything about it. I'll admit that sometimes I want to read books simply because I'm curious...I have an intellectual interest in them...discovering what they're all about. That was the case with this book. I checked it out not knowing anything about it (and to be honest, I didn't even realize until then that it was a work of non-fiction). I had judged this book to be silly, absurd, even vulgar and obscene...and that's without ever having read a word. Why do we tend to do that? Human nature I suppose. Anyway, I checked it out and began to read. It's a very quick read. I will say I was pleasently surprised. Does it talk about sex? Sure...it's a book about vagina stories after all. But it also talks about other stuff--female casturation, rape, shame... These are powerful stories and I must say that I am glad I read this book--from an intellectual point-of-view if for nothing else. I will say though, that this book has a very overt tone of feminism which to me gets old but the stories behind the book--the stories that inspired the whole project--are what kept me reading. I love studying people--societies and culture--and this book offers a glimpse into a subject that is still taboo in today's liberated world. Definitely recommend you read it but just be forewarned if you're easily offended you probably won't like it.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Vagina Monologues, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

23 January 2012

The Myth...The Legend...

A woman in her 30s who isn’t a mother is somewhat of an urban legend…along the lines of Sasquatch, the Abominable Snowman, and the perfect shade of lipstick…they don’t exist. That has been my experience anyway. As a nearly 33-year-old woman who doesn’t have kids I seem to be the huge minority in my circle. In fact, I can only count off the top of my head 2 other friends who are my age and remain without child. Whether we choose to be childless or not, the fact remains that it can be difficult to find our place sometimes in our group of cohorts. I have a couple of really close tell-your-deepest-darkest-secrets to girl friends and an overflowing handful of girl friends whom I consider close friends. When we get together to hang out sometimes it can be difficult to contribute to the conversation when they are sharing their “war stories” from battlefield mom-zone – or when they’re sharing their triumphs or the hilarious antics of their kids. Or even when they’re swapping advice on this or that mom-related issue. It can be lonely over here on this side of the road but at the end of the day I know I am blessed. And besides…it’s not all bad over here…I can be spontaneous, I can stay up late, I can leave/come home any time I want, I don’t have to worry about my screaming kid in public places, I don’t feel guilty spending money on myself because I have no little kiddo to provide for, I can buy that lime green Camaro and not have to worry about carseats, I can leave the house in a split second without packing up my entire apartment, I can leave stuff out without worrying I’m going to poison my child with some sort of horrible mutant disease…. So like I said, it’s not all bad over here. Honestly, and this may make me sound like a horrible person but you know I’m bluntly honest if nothing else, sometimes I’m glad I don’t have kids because I worry I would lose myself—I’d become Mandi, mom of so-and-so instead of the Mandi I have always been—and I’m kinda partial to her. I enjoy the lack of responsibility that is being a parent and I think that’s ok…doesn’t make me selfish or a horrible person. I enjoy not having to worry about molding the entire character of another human being. I enjoy not having to worry about setting good examples with my every single word and action…because let’s be honest…that’s impossible. I enjoy just relaxing when I get home from work. I enjoy not having to worry about making a nutritious dinner every night to feed a growing child (hey, popcorn for dinner is perfectly acceptable as far as I’m concerned). But most of all, I enjoy knowing that my life is not meaningless simply because I’m not a mom…my life is not empty. I have 2 sweet nephews and 2 beautiful nieces (both of whom possess a tiny bit of me in them I believe) who make my life full. So I guess what I’m saying is…yes I’m a 32 year-old-woman…no I don’t have kids…and I’m ok with that.

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