From Testimony to Seximony, from Script to Scripture: Revealing Mormon Women’s Sexuality through the Mormon Vagina Monologues
In 2001, a group of Mormon women scripted and performed the Mormon Vagina Monologues and presented their monologues at the annual Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Using the Mormon rhetorical mode of performed testimony, the monologists critiqued the facets of their patriarchal church that prohibit women from speaking publicly about sex and sexual experiences; simultaneously, the Monologues created a “sacred space” in which those testimonies—or seximonies—were valid and celebrated. This article argues that the Mormon Vagina Monologues captured the concept of the “utopian performative,” a category within performance studies that describes work filled with promise, potential, and possibility. A number of monologues are examined here, divided into two groups: first, the voices of heterosexual women trying to navigate patriarchal authority while seeking sexual self-expression, and second, the voices of lesbian and transsexual male-to-female Latter-day Saints striving for acceptance and the right to enjoy intimate relationship.
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