Stand for change: Purposeful performance in “The Vagina Monologues”

By: Jessica Ricks, Staff Writer

“The Vagina Monologues” provides an opportunity for people to come together to stand up for women’s rights through a series of monologues, highlighting issues women of all ages, across the world, face every day.

“We believe in ending violence, and women shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these things and men shouldn’t be afraid to listen,” co-director Claire Fremuth said.

“The Vagina Monologues” took place on March 3-4 in the Potomac Lounge. The Feminist Collective and the Center for Student Diversity hosted the event, and young women eager to support the cause behind the show performed the monologues.

Originally written by Eve Ensler, “The Vagina Monologues” was first performed in 1996.

It consists of monologues about female experiences like sex and childbirth, and issues such as female genital mutilation and sexual assault.

Several monologues also consisted of facts such as how one in four women have been victim of rape on a college campus, 1.3 million girls in 23 countries are victims of genital mutilation and the clitoris has twice the amount of nerve endings of a penis.

“There’s an alarming amount of sexual assault today and female genital mutilation is horrible,” president of The Feminist Collective and co-director Emily Walsh said. “The purpose of the vagina monologues is to demystify it.”

In society, it’s almost taboo to talk about these topics so openly, and “The Vagina Monologues” takes what might be uncomfortable to talk about and translates it in a relatable and sometimes funny way.

“I think in today’s society, women don’t have a voice and Vagina Monologues is an opportunity for that,” performer Vanessa Egbe said. “It gives us the ability to talk about things like this.”

All of the proceeds from “The Vagina Monologues” go to charity, most toward women’s shelters in Baltimore such as House of Ruth and Turn Around, and a small portion will also go to the V-Day Movement.

At the end of the show, everyone who was either a survivor of sexual assault or knew a victim of sexual assault was asked to stand. Most people in the audience stood, proving that these are problems that affect many people.

“No one really talks about women’s issues a lot, so I think this was a step in the right direction,” senior and international studies major Aly Leathery said.

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