UCLA’s V-Day Coalition is Changing the Game with “Lips”

“Lips” is an event to be held on February 16-18th by UCLA’s V-Day Coalition. It is a play put on by students in response to "The Vagina Monologues." It is an hour-and-a-half production, and we encourage everyone to attend! Tickets are free for UCLA students and only $3.00 for non-students!

We sat down with Tabetha Van Heest, one of 11 womxn who sit on the executive board of the group, who is working hard to create an event that is inclusive and supportive to all.

Her Campus: First of all, what is your role with the organization?

Tabetha Van Heest: I’m on the executive board, which puts together everything behind the scenes for “Lips.” We do all of the marketing and promoting, funding and logistics to make the show happen.

HC: What does the V-Day Coalition do?

TVH: V-Day is an organized response against violence towards womxn. It is a vision: we see a world where womxn live safely and freely; It is a demand: rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation and sexual slavery must end now. V-Day is a spirit: we believe womxn should spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from terrible atrocities. It is a catalyst: by raising money and consciousness, it will unify and strengthen existing anti-violence efforts. Triggering far-reaching awareness, it will lay the groundwork for new educational, protective and legislative endeavors throughout the world. V-Day is a process: we will work as long as it takes; we will not stop until the violence stops. The V-Day Coalition brought "The Vagina Monologues" to UCLA for four years, but it has turned to producing and creating "Lips."

HC: What is “Lips”?

TVH: “Lips” is a student written, produced and performed play. It is a response to "The Vagina Monologues." The V-Day Coalition at UCLA has historically performed "Vagina Monologues" with a disclaimer that VagMon leaves out important narratives, but its mission as a whole is good. After deciding that a disclaimer was no longer enough, we decided to address the issues presented by VagMon. “Lips” is written by UCLA students, for UCLA students.

HC: Why is it important?

TVH: “Lips” is important because it shares inclusive, personal and riveting stories about the marvel that is being a womxn. As a UCLA student, learning about the events presented in “Lips” are things that my peers endure, celebrate and identify with, which is empowering and inspires me to always stand with my fellow womxn. Everyone should have an opportunity to experience that. Outside of that, it is a truly beautiful expression of the creativity of those around me.

HC: How is this event different than "The Vagina Monologues"?

TVH: "The Vagina Monologues" is a great representation of feminism in the ‘90’s. Feminism, and even the definition of what it means to be a womxn, is constantly changing, and it is now a very different picture than what VagMon presented back then. Since these monologues are written and performed by UCLA students, they are a good representation of our community and are very personal to UCLA students, focusing more on intersectionality and identity.

HC: And finally, why should people go to the play?

TVH: It’s free for students! And it’s a great way to identify with and understand what the womxn around you are going through. It is a very moving production and a great artistic expression of what womxnhood is.

Check out their Facebook page here and RSVP for the event here

Photos courtesy of Tabetha Van Heest