Today: May 22, 2024

The Vagina Monologues make another return trip to Southern

Katelyn Peterson, Special to Southern News-

The lights dimmed and the crowded theater silenced as three women entered on stage and assumed their roles for the presentation of “The Vagina Monologues,” an award-winning play based on V-Day founder and playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews conducted with over 200 different women.

“V-Day is a worldwide initiative,” said Erica Greco, a Southern graduate student in the history department and one of the performers in “The Vagina Monologues.” “It’s performed in colleges and communities all over the world.” Greco said the monologues recognize women who have been a victim of sexual assault.

“The Vagina Monologues” was performed on Monday, Feb.14 and Tuesday, Feb.15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Adanti Student Center theater.

There were a total of 13 monologues performed and in between, additional information was given, such as facts and statistics on sexual assault. For instance, it was said that in the 28 states where female mutilation is practiced, approximately 130 million women and young girls are afflicted by it.

Each monologue examined different levels of abuse toward women. This could include verbal abuse, physical violence, and sexual assault. 

For instance, one monologue told the story of a woman who lived in Bosnia during the war and was repeatedly raped and beaten by several soldiers who used rifles as their weapons of abuse.

Another monologue captured the experience of a woman who was continually chastised and verbally abused by her husband. At one point during the story, he made his wife attend a business function with him and throughout the event, kept kicking her from underneath the table and accusing her of flirting with other men.

Heather Walton, a Southern sophomore majoring in social work, was one of the performers who participated in the show.

“I learned that a lot of people could come together for the same cause that most people normally don’t talk about, and that something so private and personal could become a topic of discussion that everyone feels the same about,” said Walton.

Walton also said she thought the stories behind the monologues captured the attention of everyone in the theater and opened their eyes to the shocking reality of physical violence and sexual assault among women. 

“I think that’s why they all showed up,” said Walton. “They were very intrigued to see what everybody had to say and to see if they could find that connection with some of the stories of the women that were portrayed in the play.”

At the end of the show, all of the performers gathered on stage and gave each woman in the theater a chance to come forward if they had ever been a victim of sexual assault or if they knew someone who was; about 15 people took that chance.

Some people who attended “The Vagina Monologues,” like Cynthia Aguilar, a Southern freshman majoring in social work, found this part of the performance to be a particular point of interest. Aguilar said she thought it was good that the performers acknowledged the women of the audience and gave them that opportunity.

All proceeds from “The Vagina Monologues” benefited the women in Haiti and the Village of Power, a program of the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center in New Haven. Moira Duffy, a graduate intern at the Wellness Center and co-producer of “The Vagina Monologues,” said the total amount made between Monday and Tuesday’s shows was over $700.

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