Women Share Intimate Stories at The Vagina Monologues

*Contains sensitive material

V-Day was far from over at the College’s annual performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” held in Mayo Concert Hall this past Saturday.

The Monologues brought a diverse group of women together to share stories of self-discovery, love, and loss, all while enlightening the audience on the beauty that is the vagina. After all, according to the monologue, “The Vagina Workshop,” it is, “a shell, a flower, and better than the Grand Canyon: ancient and full of grace.”

The Vagina Monologues were born on Valentine’s Day in 1998, the creation of Eve Ensler, playwright and activist from New York City. Ensler interviewed dozens of women and after hearing their stories of violence, rape, and sexual abuse, decided something needed to be done. Ensler, alongside a group of New York City women, established V-Day: a movement to end violence against women and girls, and wrote the Monologues to open up the conversation surrounding women’s health, rights and self-love.

“The show is crucial right now,” said performer and one of the directors of The Vagina Monologues, Lexi Marta, a sophomore communications major, “And to me, this was really empowering on so many levels. To say ‘vagina’ on stage in front of people, and being able to feel comfortable enough to just say it for what it is, was great for us.”

 

In the Monologues’ “Introduction,” performers Gabbi Petrone, Ariel Steinsaltz and Najah Newton spoke to the audience about the stigma surrounding vagina-talk. “Though secrecy surrounds them, like the Bermuda Triangle, women secretly love to talk about their vaginas,” according to the performers.

 

Some stories focused on breaking away from the chains that bind women and their choices. In, “Hair,” performer Tyler K. Hubbert told a story of heartbreak, dealing with a cheating husband simply because she wouldn’t shave. “You cannot love a vagina unless you love hair,” Hubbert proclaimed, “It is the leaf around the flower.”

 

In, “Because He Liked to Look at It,” Katherine MacQueen told the audience the story of, “how I came to love my vagina.” She hated everything about herself and thought her vagina was ugly, unworthy of attention. Until she met Bob. “Bob was the most ordinary man I had ever met,” she said, “No interest in sexy lingerie...he didn’t share his inner feelings and he wasn’t even an alcoholic!” But, turns out, Bob loved her more than she understood, and he, “wanted to really see me. I began to feel beautiful and delicious, like a great painting or a waterfall.”

Some monologues dove deep into the thoughts of the vagina. As told in, “The Wear/Say Lists,” if vaginas got dressed in the morning, they would sport, “a tuxedo...a pink feather boa...emeralds and an evening gown,” as they are nothing short of deserving and fabulous.

 

“My Angry Vagina,” began with performer Molly Hurst rising from the crowd and yelling, “My vagina is angry! It is pissed off, and it needs to talk.” What followed was a relatable rant about tampons, vaginal washes, thongs and gynecologist exams. The vagina deserves better, according to Hurst, “My vagina wants to read and know things and get out more,” she proclaimed, “It wants chocolate, and it wants to stop being angry. It wants everything.”

 

Other monologues shared the heartbreaking stories of victims of sexual assault and violence. In, “My Vagina Was My Village,” performer Mary DiRienzo described a violent recollection of rape and how her vagina hasn’t felt anything since. “They invaded and butchered it,” she said.

“My Short Skirt,” performed by Ine’a Smith, had a powerful message for women moving forward, “My short skirt is not a legal reasoning for raping me,” she stated. “My short skirt, believe it or not, has nothing to do with you. My short skirt and everything under it is mine.”

 

The Monologues have never been more topical and important, according to sophomore English major Ambar Grullón. “I think in light of the #MeToo movement, I believe that this performance is an opportunity to learn, to share, and to find people who have stories just like us,” she said, “We have the opportunity to represent people who don’t get a voice. And that is more than important today.”

All photos courtesy of Denise Ingui.