Theater of Cruelty

Viva la vagina!

Regissør: Barbara Miller Sveits
( Tyskland, Østerrike)

The #FEMALE PLEASURE documentary unveils the demonization of the female body and breaks the silence of female sexuality.


#FEMALE PLEASURE reveals women's oppression in five different cultures, portrayed throughout the lives of five different women. We meet Jewish Deborah Feldman, who breaks from the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community in Brooklyn, New York; Somali Leyla Hussein, who is sexually assaulted at the age of seven; Rokudenashiko (Megumi Iga-rashi), who faces two years in prison in Japan for his vagina art; Doris Wagner, who is sexually abused in the Catholic Church in Germany; and Vithika Yadav, who is fighting against sexual harassment and abuse of women in India.

Director Barbara Miller (b. 1970) unveils the demonization of the female body with this film, breaking the silence of female sexuality. The film confirms how over the years men have abused their own power by exploiting, dominating and oppressing women through hierarchical societal structures.

Yes to penis, no to vagina

In porn culture, women are usually portrayed as an object at the disposal of men's enjoyment. As Rokudenashiko says, "Women are portrayed to satisfy men's fantasies." Not only is the camera angle, also the dramaturgy of a porn movie is reserved for the man's orgasm.

"It's about controlling women's sexuality, and it's a global problem." Leyla Hussein

I do not know if I speak for most women when I say that I do not achieve orgasm by fast and hard penetration, as is the case in porn movies where the man dominates. On the contrary, I get an orgasm of slow movements around the clitoris, and not with a penis, but a hand. Sorry to disappoint you, penises!

Japanese artist Rokudenashiko risks two years in prison because of her two-meter-long 3D-printed vaginal canoe, which she July 2014 rowed through Tokyo with. As a result of this stunt, Rokudenashiko was arrested and charged with "obscenity". Ironically, the male penis is celebrated annually in Japan during the Kanamara Matsuri Penis Festival, where heavy phalluses are honored with illustrations, sweets, vegetables and decorations. Why should the penis be shelved and not the vagina?

A global problem

In public and private life, women's sexuality and desires are ignored, and the clitoris – the woman's key to orgasm – is non-existent. Still, I read articles online about women's mysterious orgasm, secret recipes for how women can achieve orgasm, and so on. In reality, there is no mystery surrounding either the female orgasm or the vagina.

female PLEASURE. Director Barbara Miller

When the Somali psychotherapist and activist Leyla Hussein tells how she, as a seven-year-old, got the clitoris cut off in the name of religion (although this practice is never mentioned in the Quran), she mentions genital mutilation, both physically and psychologically, as a global problem: "It's about To control women's sexuality is a global problem. ”Today, women in Africa and Europe are being sexually assaulted, and all over the world women are being trained by society to believe that the vagina is taboo, shameful and for the benefit of men only. As a freshly baked mother in the 21. century, in austria, i am overrun in the name of equality and law by being forced to share the care of my child with the father.
Equality in child distribution cases has gone beyond control. Biologically speaking, there is a difference between a man and a woman; this also makes a difference between motherhood and paternity. Equal rights for father and mother are degrading to the woman, primarily because it ignores the fact that she has become pregnant and gives birth to the child, and therefore has a greater attachment to the child at birth. My experience is that the vagina, even pregnancy and childbirth, which is really the woman's biological gift, belongs to the man of our day. Of course, since the laws are governed by patriarchy, father should be given equal rights as mother, and that equality has come a long way.

Patriarchy: a universal religion

But what about the global equality struggle for sexuality? It lets you wait. As long as the patriarchy lives, the woman always comes in a different way. Leyla Hussein says of countries that still practice genital mutilation: "They practice patriarchy, which is a universal religion."

All over the world, women tell society that the vagina is taboo, shameful, and only to the man

#FEMALE PLEASURE moving from the personal plane to the universal plane – both in terms of content and visually – with the camera first aimed at the individual woman, and then displaying images of landscape and sea. Finally, the film speaks directly to the individual viewer with the text: "This film is dedicated to empower women worldwide." The message is crystal clear: We are all under patriarchy control, and this is a global problem.


Duchess Kate Middleton stands in front of the press, dressed in high heels, right after the birth of all three of her children. That's the way men want it, and we accept it completely blindly.

Self-determined female sexuality, liberation of the female body and openness around women's sexual pleasures will be an incredible step forward for both women and men. I feel provoked, uplifted and angry after watching this movie, but most of all I feel empowered to take on my own women's struggle in everyday life – Viva la vagina!

2. and 3. March under HUMAN IDFF
at the Vega Scene

Pinar Ciftci
Pinar Ciftci
Ciftci is a journalist and actor.

You may also like