The Gender Monologues

What are The Gender Monologues?

The Gender Monologues is an on-going, submission-based program by the Margaret Sloss Women's Center and the Writing and Media Center. The Gender Monologues allows participants to share their stories regarding gender oppression, identity, and privilege. Other intersecting identities may also be a focus for participants, but the basis of the monologue should revolve around gender. The MSWC typically coordinates The Vagina Monologues every year, but we are looking to hear the stories from individuals of all genders!

Monologues may be posted online on the website and on social media. Overall, a purpose of this program is for individuals to read the monologues and learn more about people's experiences regarding gender.


Sounds awesome, how can I submit my monologue?

As monologues are submitted to the MSWC and Writing and Media Center Staff, they may be posted online and social media! 

Click here to submit your monologue!


The Gender Monologues

To The Black Girls Who Lost Their Ribbons by Tasha
Based off of Beloved by Toni Morrison

To the black girls who lost their ribbons:
I 
Am sorry.
I am sorry.
I am sorry because
Even though I did not 
take that beautiful
Ribbon from the kinks and curls
Atop your head,
With my own hand
I let it persist. 
We all let it persist.
I silenced your voice because
It made ME too uncomfortable 
To hear your cries.
Your pleads for help
Your cries for justice
Peace, happiness, 
An end to the pain.
To be honest,
I had trouble dealing with my own

To the black girls who lost their ribbons:
When they took you from your
Home, hoarded you onto
Massive floating vessels that
Carried you to lands unknown,
Claiming you as their own
And profiting off the cotton
You hand would pick,
The load your
Backs could carry,
And the life your hips would bear.

To the black girls who lost their ribbons:
They were afraid, I think.
Not to be an excuse for their actions.
But I think they were afraid.
That is why they took your ribbons.
They were jealous too.
Jealous of your melanin and the 
Incredibly, vibrant souls that lay
Underneath it.
They were jealous, yes, 
And afraid.
Because they saw universe of
Knowledge in your afro 
And they had to have it.
But they knew they never could 
Change who they were.
So they said that if we can't
Have it
No one can either.
So they pillaged,
They raped
They burned
They stole
They lynched
They ripped the ribbons of your head
And told you that the ebony skin 
You bore was not enough.
And you believed them.
I know I did.
Tell a lie 10 times and it
Becomes the truth right?
So you bleached
You relaxed
You cursed everything brown.

To the black girls who lost their ribbons:
In the end everything we do
Is a choice.
Some are harder to make 
Then others but
Still, a choice.
And some choices result
In the death of 
Ourselves
While some will result
In the life.
Yesterday the distinction between
These two seemed 
Blurred
Complicated
Full of repercussions
And responsibility.
But now it seems clear.
I have made the choice
To live and love
And most of all to fight.
To fight for myself 
My melanin
And all the other black girls who lost their ribbons.

To the black girls who lost their ribbons:
We are the people of the broken necks
The black and blue skin
The fire cooked blood
The blood soaked clothing
And tears that carry with them the pain
Of a thousand years of systematic 
Oppression
And though our cries may not be words
Of decipherable messages that the masses
Will be able to understand.
This time
They will know who spoke them. 
The people of the broken necks
Of black and blue skin
Of fire cooked blood
Of blood soaked clothing
And of tears that carry the pain of generations.
Of the black girls who lost their ribbons
And what a roaring.


 

My name is Ngoc by Ngoc Doan

My name is Ngoc.
It’s like saying “Now” with a soft “p” at the end.
But that’s not really it.
Because how could I possible capture the intonation of my name?
The constriction and precision of how it’s pronounced?
The love and care my family hold when they utter the words?
I did not choose my name
I do not get to hide being a Vietnamese American
It’s embedded in my skin
If I could rip it apart, sometimes I would
Because I am more than the reflection of my skin, the shape of my eyes, and the color of my hair.
I have dreams, I have aspirations, I have…
Love
I love women.
It’s like loving the anyone loves
But that’s not really it.
Because how could I possibly explain the wave of uneasiness when people ask about my about my
boyfriend?
The way people shift at their feet when I tell them I’m gay?
The complete and absolute acceptance I receive from the close people around me?
This is my sexuality, this is my romance, this is my love.
I did not choose to be gay
I did not choose who I loved
It’s deep within my soul
If I could shout it to the world, I would.
Because I’m sick of feeling like I am hiding a horrible secret of mine when in reality, it’s not a secret, nor
horrible at all.
And there are days where I wonder why do I have to be an Asian American, when this nation caters to
individuals who look of white European descendant?
And there are days where I wonder why do I have to love women, when the world lives and breathes a
hetereoromance?
But why should I turn away who I am for the sake of comfort?
No one inquires about my day,
No one questions what my dreams are,
No one talks about the scars that lie upon my arms.
If comfort means I have to sacrifice who I am
Then maybe I don’t want to be comfortable at all.
My name is Ngoc, and I love women
But I am so much more.

 


Domestic Mad by Anonymous

I remember the tantrum my mother threw when I was five. I was sitting at the dinner table -- my older brother on my right, dad on my left -- in our small farmhouse kitchen. We were waiting to be served. Mom was by the oven, stirring and flipping, flipping and stirring, wielding her spatula. The memory is fuzzy, but I think it's safe to say her hair was frizzy, her face was red, and she was shouting at my dad. She never shouted in front of us kids. She was probably saying "I work all day. Come home, do this stuff, grade papers … "

Something dad said set her off. She flipped the electric burners off, tossed her apron, and stormed up the steps to her bedroom.

My dad looked at me with wide, playful eyes and said something like "What was that all about?" while chuckling. He was always doing that -- laughing when mom was upset. Sometimes he was successful and got her to laugh, too. I shrugged my slim shoulders and smiled up at my dad. After all, he was the head of the household, and if he was laughing, then everything was fine. We stayed seated.

Our chipped plates sat empty in front of us. Forks were on the left. The spoon and butter knife was on the right. I'm sure there were carrot and celery sticks with ranch dip in the middle of the table, along with rinsed grapes and peeled orange slices. The gallon of skim milk would have been there, too, right beside the homemade applesauce and bread and butter pickles mom had canned earlier that fall with grandma.

After some time, mom came downstairs. Without saying anything she switched the burners back on and gave her full attention to the cooking.

I think of this scene often. I think of it most when I'm mad. And not just any kind of mad, but domestic mad. The kind of mad I get when I'm scrubbing the toilet while he watches football, or while picking up his socks in the middle of the living room floor, or when carrying dirty dishes to the kitchen that I gathered from his side of the coffee table, or when I'm sweeping the floors while he sleeps in on the weekends, or while preparing supper because he won't get home until 7 p.m., or while I'm wiping down the counters because he doesn't, or when I'm cleaning out forgotten food from the fridge because he wouldn't ever remember to.

We've talked about sharing household responsibilities more equally since we both work full-time. We acknowledge that he needs to be more helpful, and I need to be more vocal about my to-do lists. We've decided I'll tackle the laundry if he agrees to wrangle the dishes. Yes, I've read "Lean In." Yes, he is a feminist.

But here I stand at the sink on a Saturday morning, stepping on stray Cheerios, while he sleeps in. I just watched "Martha Bakes" and am in a baking mood.

As I scrub dried onion off our chef's knife, thinking back on my mom that night, I lean back a little, trying to relieve my aching back. My growing belly bumps the wet edge of the sink. A rough-looking dinosaur darkens onto my grey sweatshirt. As I move back, our baby moves, trying to get comfortable. Only four more weeks and we'll finally know if it's a girl or boy. The nursery is ready. My mom wants to make a quilt but is waiting until after its here to know which colors to use. Dad's excited to be a grandpa, I think.

At Thanksgiving, while my mom was dishing up pecan pie for everyone, dad sat at the table looking at our ultrasound pictures. Mom set his piece in front of him and then carried over the tub of Cool Whip. She grabbed a spoon from the drawer and handed it to her husband of 42 years. He grabbed it without looking at her and scooped out a big dollop. "That's our new family member, huh?" he asked no one in particular.

"What are you doing, sweetheart?" My husband of two years broke my reverie.

I shrugged and said, "I wanted to bake." Then added, "And I hope it's a boy."