Restaging Women's Sexual Politics: Receptivity and Resistance to The Vagina Monologues Movement

Selina Gallo-Cruz, Hannah Tulinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Vagina Monologues has been running for more than twenty years. It has debuted in more than 200 countries and has raised billions for the global “V-Day” movement to end domestic violence. But in a clash of ideologies of women’s sexual politics, the play attracts strong criticism from conservatives, radical feminists, marginalized women of color, and a spectrum of lesbian and queer activists. In this article, we explore the immediate success and contentious diffusion of The Vagina Monologues as we trace the play from its billing as a feminist rite of passage to its condemnation, alternately, as offending morality and as a relic of white, heterosexual, cisgender liberation. We elucidate how this movement and the dynamics of its variable reception exemplifies all that is at stake in a “restaging” of women’s private sexual troubles into a public realm—defined as the collective strategic movement of relational politics from one social sphere to another—as an explicit effort to resist and reformulate those politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-234
Number of pages28
JournalFeminist Formations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Vagina Monologues
  • avowal
  • disavowal
  • region behavior
  • restaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Philosophy
  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies


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