1998: The Vagina Monologues
Author/Editor: Eve Ensler
The Vagina Monologues was drafted in 1996, and in 1998 published as a book. On February 14, 1998, the first V-Day was held. Since then, V-Day and celebratory performances have been happening yearly around the word, raising awareness of and sometimes funds to stop violence against women.
Vagina Monologues, too, was a first step in our slow cultural movement to be able to (somewhat) more easily talk accurately about women’s bodies today. When the book was under development, one publisher actually told Ensler to keep the advance and find a new publisher—they weren’t sure they could do the v-word. Now, while a double standard about naming men’s and women’s bodies remains (see, for example the Michigan state representative who was censured for saying vagina on the floor), we are somewhat closer to being able to use plain, accurate language than we were in 1998.