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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Our Vaginas, Our Voices: A recap of the Vagina Monologues at Bucknell

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bucknell chapter.

“Saying the word I was not supposed to say is the thing that gave me a voice in the world.”

The word being referred to in this quote is “vagina,” and this past Friday, a group of Bucknell women said it. Over and over and over. V (formerly Eve Ensler), the playwright of The Vagina Monologues, opens the show with this striking comment on the suppression of language, thought, and ultimately identity.  

Objectively, a vagina is a “muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus,” just another part of female anatomy. However, there are cultural assumptions and stigmas associated with the word that call into question its appropriateness in everyday jargon. For years, women have not been able to fully accept and express themselves due to this hush-hush mentality. 

At Bucknell, a liberal arts college supposedly seeking to provide students with a well-rounded education that will allow them to be effective citizens of the world, there was a call to further censor women’s voices. A poster depicting a partially peeled peach that was, granted, suggestive of women’s genitalia was reported as offensive. Without much discussion, the administration granted the request to rid the university of the image, prohibiting the internationally recognizable poster’s presence on campus or social media accounts affiliated with Bucknell.

Against the publicity odds, the cast of The Vagina Monologues performed for a packed auditorium on Feb. 17. Anyone who did not arrive well before the 7:30 start time struggled to find seating. At intermission, there was a mad dash to obtain one of 70 colorful vulva-shaped chocolate pops available for spectators. All in all, the event was a massive success.

Bucknell women of all ages performed the uncomfortably heart-wrenching stories of real people. Firsthand experiences of abuse were staggered between uplifting tales of womanhood. Each presented a new way of considering the vagina and the life behind it.

The vagina was not portrayed as a sexual object; in fact, she became her own entity. The divine essence and soul of an individual. Moments of hilarity (the free spirited sex guru who explained the clitoris was not something that could be lost) and moments of pure honesty (the person who lost herself after an assault on her vagina) surrounded this idea. 

Sure, the content may be considered raunchy to some and is almost undoubtedly unfit for sheltered children’s ears. But should college students be treated as sheltered children? Or, are conversations centered around women’s empowerment vital to the growth of a university’s student body? 
Bucknell’s unapologetic presentation of The Vagina Monologues serves as a reminder that there is still movement to be made towards gender equity, particularly for future generations. Every human and every vagina deserves to have their voice heard.

Grace Woodhouse

Bucknell '25

Grace is an intended Sociology and Theatre double major from upstate New York. Her two favorite things are Starbucks and sushi.