This Sunday may be Valentine’s Day, but what’s more important is that Elon is hosting its annual Vagina Monologues! For those who don’t know, the Vagina Monologues is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler that first premiered in 1996. The play celebrates women empowerment, women sexuality, and self-love. Valentine’s Day is often criticized for being a made-up holiday to create profits for Hallmark, and to reinforce the idea that women need to be validated by men to feel important. Having the performance on Valentine’s Day emphasizes the ideas that are being portrayed by the episodic play. The play has also become a movement to stop abuse against women, and proceeds from the Elon production of this play is going to CrossRoads, a sexual assault response and resource center. Lisa Shulman, a senior at Elon, shares her experience as she prepares to perform in the production on Sunday:
“I’ve never performed in the Vagina Monologues, let alone even seen the show. I lived with Maddy Keith (who’s producing the play this year), and she introduced me to the idea of performing in it. I’m a senior now and I’ve never done anything that’s made me feel uncomfortable, so I thought, ‘why not,’ but I didn’t expect so many of my friends, especially my guy friends, to be interested and want to see me perform. The monologues are important to our community by being a way for women to feel less inferior. Being in college is a critical time for women to feel empowered, especially since the college-age is when a woman is old enough to be alone, but young enough to be vulnerable. Walking around, I slowly started to notice how I felt inferior safety-wise, but nothing has happened to me because everyone I’ve met has chosen to not hurt me … It’s like that saying, ‘A man in a room full of women is ecstatic. A woman in a room full of men is terrified.’ It’s also about de-stigmatizing the taboo surrounding women talking about their sexuality and embracing female sexuality.”
You can see the Vagina Monologues at either 6:30 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. at Whitley Auditorium this Sunday, February 14th.