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03:04 AM on 12/04/2010
This article is exactly why people in other countries - particularly developing countries - are weary of Westerners. You cannot simply demand that an entire culture change because you want women to be able to be able to celebrate their vaginas. This is not to say that I don't agree with you that it's a tragedy that sex is enjoyed by only one partner and often feared by the other. But what will your precious rally do for the women you sympathize with? Perhaps you should cease your patronizing, as speaking for women who are able to speak for themselves is a far greater violation than sexual violence.

"Frankly, nothing short of a worldwide sexual revolution will stop the spread of AIDS. We need to dissemble the shame, reclaim pleasure, celebrate desire, human connection, skin and touch. We need to release the shackles of oppression, one-way enjoyment and narrow-minded education."

WE need. WE must. Nonsense. If you truly care about the plight of women find themselves at risk of receiving the HIV virus, use models that have proven to be effective. That is, develop a community-based organization so that women may speak with their peers about HIV, masturbation, greater enjoyment during intercourse. Finally, don't waste your time "convincing" people that already agree with you. The work that needs to be done is in the field, educating both women and men.
I strongly encourage a community-based approach to begin to address this very serious issue.
03:19 AM on 12/04/2010
I stand corrected! I did not realize Ms. Ensler had already started an NGO. I understand that Ms. Ensler has teamed up with a Congolese OBGYN who built a hospital that serves the special needs of women who have been the victims of sexual violence.

Here's an extremely illuminating segment on Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/9/playwright_v_day_founder_eve_ensler
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08:35 AM on 12/05/2010
Kinda funny lecturing Eve Ensler about community organizing, or anything else. And righteous of you to recant with emphasis -- fanned for that. Ms. Ensler has spent her life walking through her and other people's hells, in order to show us love and hope and honesty and mind-body-spirit-action integrity, to show the privileged how the ravaged live, and to show us all ways to heal ... everything. Until women can be free of violence, autonomous, and hold equal status with men in all things, nothing is going to get better anywhere.

She's bettered the lives of every woman on this planet, and every man by extension if they are human enough to see higher truth. She's got to be the single most outspoken, devoted and successful advocate for women, for our sacred sexuality, on the planet. She has displayed Greatness.

Vagina, vagina, vagina. The gateway through which ALL humanity passes. That alone should demand reverence from all, and for the People who carry this ability, this responsibility, not the millenia of degradation to which women have been and are -- to horrifying degrees -- subjected.

(btw, what could be confusing about that?)
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realitytrumpsbull
Two 'alves of coconut!
06:23 AM on 12/05/2010
This isn't a matter of women wanting to celebrate their vaginas, it's a matter of public safety for women in some countries where in past times, it was perfectly OK to use your wife for a sex toy, or a punching bag, or a dishwasher, object of general derision, or whatever springs to mind, there. In other words, it's about women's rights. 

And, the days when women didn't really have rights aren't THAT far behind us. In the 50's in this country, the woman's place was still largely in the home. In this century, though, you're as liable to have a woman as a manager as not, because the doors are wide open for women to pursue a career. Some men aren't super-happy about that, but that's the modern world we live in. And, you figure that in places like Afghanistan, where women are seen, but not heard, and not allowed to walk around without the equivalent of a burlap bag over their heads, where women are injured or even killed, there's something of a cultural clash between modern westernism and traditional rural asian culture. Two different worlds, for all intents and purposes.
10:17 AM on 12/05/2010
"...it's a matter of public safety for women in some countries where in past times, it was perfectly OK to use your wife for a sex toy, or a punching bag, or a dishwasher­, object of general derision, or whatever springs to mind, there."

Substitute "laborer" for "dishwasher" and that description applies to many men today, right here in the US. Perhaps we're in need of a competing "Penis Chronicles" to set the record straight.
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theblueAmerican
Proudly voting for President Obama in 2012
02:50 AM on 12/04/2010
And here I thought Cheney or Palin were more terrifying words.
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JaneaneTheAcerbicGoblin
Where's Mr. Darcy?
08:51 PM on 12/05/2010
President Palin are two pretty terrifying words.
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12:32 AM on 12/04/2010
Yea, the V word, that's an ugly crack to call someone that, and that's why there are so many euphemisms as substitute, like, you know, I could name a couple of dozen but the sensors here won't have it so why even try...
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Sister Bluebird
11:49 PM on 12/03/2010
So many people cannot understand or connect the Freedom to be an independent sexual being, with Freedom of Choice. Otherwise what are you but an incubator for the state, or the Church? And if so, then you don't own your vagina nor do you own your own pleasure. You are an object to be owned, used, and bred like cattle stock. Cars and favored pets have more status than a woman in that place.
11:06 PM on 12/14/2010
What denomination of church do you refer to? They all have different views on sex + women.
06:37 PM on 12/03/2010
There is no AIDS virus. AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is cause by HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Since the "V" in HIV stands for virus, saying HIV virus is redundant.
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Cuyahoga
I asked Hank Williams, how lonely does it get ....
04:53 PM on 12/03/2010
Eve - You are an amazing woman and your voice is important.

After scrolling thru the responses and seeing how many have been deleted, I think we all need a smile and here's a good one - my sister is very open with her twins. When they were quite young she told her daughter the correct terminology. The little girl ran to her brother's room (other twin) and announced, "YOU have a penis but I have a virus!"

(Now please see the humor there and don't read anything unpleasant into it.)
RealistBC
Micro-bios must pass muster. Mine won't.
04:40 PM on 12/03/2010
I encourage my female partners to own their sexuality, for I find that our mutual enjoyment is enhanced greatly. Truly a win-win situation.
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Americulchie
Unapologetic Liberal
06:13 PM on 12/05/2010
Great comment and great idea well said...At the risk of using a superlative there is noting more sensual than a truly liberated woman.Fanned and favored.
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dapperd72
03:05 PM on 12/03/2010
I'm not sure that "vagina" is the world's most terrifying word, but it's certainly one of the most censored terms on network TV, while only certain cable channels allow their hosts or guests to mention it for fear of an FCC fine. Male and female genitalia alike are equally stigmatized against public discussion. Nevertheless, women ought to be taught the principles of kama sutra, a.k.a. self-love, whereby they're instilled from infancy through adulthood to honor their own bodily dignity and integrity, rather than being socialized to surrender their independence to male superiority. Women obviously don't exist to satisfy male whims any more than anyone else traditionally diempowered by patriarchy exists for the benefit of those who exploit(ed) them. Thank you, Eve, for your eloquent testimony regarding the dire connection between women's alienation from their own anatomy by patriarchal domination and the AIDS epidemic. While GW Bush's financial assistance to 3rd-World countries to minimize the epidemiological severity of HIV was laudable, provision of free AIDS drugs merely scratches the tip of the iceberg by treating symptoms and ignoring or neglecting causality. Female empowerment must be combined with healthful plant-based dietary programs to strengthen immunity and thus reduce the risk of HIV contraction, along with proven prophylactics that have already proven their practical mettle (ie. latex condoms and spermicides) for those who voluntarily choose to be sexually active. Likewise, their governments must give them the choice to have control over their own bodily fates through education.
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artleads
Let's have a national retreat.
11:44 PM on 12/03/2010
"Female empowermen­t must be combined with healthful plant-base­d dietary programs to strengthen immunity and thus reduce the risk of HIV contractio­n, along with proven prophylact­ics that have already proven their practical mettle (ie. latex condoms and spermicide­s) for those who voluntaril­y choose to be sexually active.

I've read two contradictory reports about spermicides. One says use it. The other says don't. Are you aware of really convincing arguments for their use?
12:08 AM on 12/04/2010
"healthful plant based diet"?

1. There is no evidence that ANY plant based diet strengthens immunity to an extent of disease prevention in a patient with a normal immune system
2. Africans eat more vegetables than meat. It is the cheaper and more predominant option.
3. In general, especially when the stakes are as high as contracting HIV, it is best (not to mention, less dangerous) to talk about unproven pseudo science lest someone takes you at your word and goes around thinking that their "healthful plant based diet" is going to prevent them from getting infected by the virus
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Titanshanks
Back for more
02:23 AM on 12/05/2010
Agreed.
02:46 PM on 12/03/2010
Somewhere deep in the genome, we are evolving some aspects of your answer. Unfortunately not all at the same time and not in human time. Let's face it, at least in the West we've stopped 'bagging' our women. Virus's are part of the living landscape. STS's have been with us from the beginning and will be with us to the end. As with all species, we are subject to the rules of nature except in cases where we can manage to bend the rules using technology........without breaking the system. If your passion is driven by a religious drive, you must know that these problems have been left out of religious texts..........if you like you can imagine that it's because the Gods thought it better that we discover them on our own.
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emh
05:34 PM on 12/05/2010
what does "bagging" women mean?
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liveinhope23
My unauthorized autobiography
12:25 PM on 12/03/2010
For a sensible, practical and consciousness raising article, this certainly engendered a lot of downright creepy responses. Seriously. Self-conscious, smutty jokes and wordplay on the word vagina? That's it?
Most of these responses just prove the point of the article. I agree with the author completely and to the extent that these practices are virtually world-wide, I think that most of the blame can be placed squarely at the feet of religion. It promulgates most of the hideous belief systems surrounding women - including those of sexuality. Until this changes I do not expect to see any type of world-wide transformation of sexual politics. The message is still being sent, the clergy have a profound and cynical investment in it's survival and the population of most of the world unfortunately provides a perfect receptor for ignorance, superstition and willing opression. The mythologies surrounding women and their sexuality cannot be rectified until the world can be separated from the over-arching mythologies in general.
Good article.
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gayleg
07:01 PM on 12/03/2010
I know! Did they miss the entire point? Those commenters are either completely oblivious or they are purposelessly demeaning women's bodies here. Either way, not a great way to represent dudes! Makes you look juvenile and, as the previous poster said, creepy too. .
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emh
05:36 PM on 12/05/2010
precisely. it's no wonder women's rights are so slow to advance. even in an "enlightened" country, people seem unable to discuss serious - life and death - women's issues without resorting to denigrating and/or adolescent comments. it's so disheartening...
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Ron Broxted
12:12 PM on 12/03/2010
Vagina is the most terrifying word in the world? Sharp intake of breath. I guess you never spent much time in the army.
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Rockerbabe
06:44 PM on 12/03/2010
Yeah, the most terrifying words are: Ladies, as in calling men ladies and being outed at "gay".
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Ron Broxted
05:22 AM on 12/04/2010
You missed my point, perhaps that is my fault. I meant which is more obscene, swearing at wimmin or tearing another man apart because he calls God by another name?
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gayleg
07:02 PM on 12/03/2010
She also said reviled. I'd say that one is pretty damn true.
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Ron Broxted
05:22 AM on 12/04/2010
You may have a point.
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iskra
Natural enemy of sharks and tro//s
11:55 AM on 12/03/2010
Religion will never allow it. 
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heroine addict
habitual goddess worship
11:48 AM on 12/03/2010
I respect Eve tremendously, but the sexual revolution will only occur when we celebrate both male and female sexuality.
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rougebaisers
11:17 AM on 12/03/2010
Love every vagina as you would have them love you.
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