Why The Vagina Monologues Matter at Boston College

I am a fully-fledged product of Catholic school: the maroon plaid jumper in first grade, all-girls school for seventh through senior year, and, most recently, my new life here on the Heights. As a result of this, sexuality was never talked about, and consequently, neither were safe relationships, healthy body image, or the many other important conversation points Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues raises. I thought it was important to know how to navigate these topics as a high school girl; I am only ever more convinced of its importance in college, as boys and girls and alcohol and parties mix and mingle every week.

I think it is commendable that BC casts traditional Catholic discomfort aside in its annual production of The Vagina Monologues. Presented by the Boston College Women’s and Gender Studies Department, both male and female audience members are provided with an entertaining space in which they can learn about the women’s experience. Michaela Chipman and Samuela Nematchoua, co-directors of this year’s performance, stress the relevance The Vagina Monologues holds in today’s society, despite having been written over twenty years ago; women are still being objectified and abused.

However, not all of Ensler’s monologues are devastating topics; rather, some speak of the triumphant reclaim of women’s bodies and sexuality by women themselves. In a recent interview with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Chipman stated, “You will laugh, you will cry, and you will probably feel uncomfortable but you will have learned something, and having provided support to women in the community doing something very difficult: being their most vulnerable selves onstage.” This performance is a powerful and engaging way for all members of the BC community to both consciously educate themselves and show support for one another.

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