A Mile In Her Shoes
The Vagina Monologues Returns to Old Dominion
A woman once confessed in an interview that she was embarrassed by the “flood” in her vagina, while another yelled her excitement about a certain “c-word” that most people refuse to say over a whisper. A six-year-old girl opened up about what her vagina would wear or what it would say, whereas another woman expressed her grief over a brutal sexual assault.
These were just a few of the skits displayed at the Vagina Monologues presented by ODU’s Women’s Center Feb. 8 through Feb. 10.
The Vagina Monologues is an annual series of skits by the “Vagina Warriors” that act out the positive and negative aspects of womanhood. The performance is a combination of interviews and stories from women ranging from fear of uttering the word “vagina,” to first intimate encounters with another woman.
There were stories of sexual oppression, self-hatred and of women who loved to be dominated and some who have never explored their own bodies. The purpose of these skits is to exhibit the culture of the vagina and get rid of the fear of sexual expression, curiosity and womanhood.
Feb. 14 is the fifteenth anniversary of the annual “V-Day,” which increases awareness and raises money for groups of women around the globe that have experienced and are currently experiencing violence in their communities. This year’s V-Day spotlights on campaign “One Billion Rising,” which is a global strike against women who are beaten and raped and to “call men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends,” according to the group’s website. Ten percent of the proceeds from this year’s V-Day will be directed to “One Billion Rising.”
“One in three women will be raped, beaten or mutilated in her lifetime,” according to a statistic handed out on a flier to audience members. On this day, men and women are asked to stand together to fight violence against women.
All of the proceeds raised at the Vagina Monologues will be donated to the Response Sexual Assault Support Services of the YWCA, which offers free services to survivors of sexual violence.
All monologue actresses were ODU students who channeled the women whose stories they were telling. ODU student Katrina Tripp, from the “A-Six-Year-Old-Girl Was Asked…” skit, said “the most exciting part [of participating] was getting to know the women.” When asked what she found was the most inspiring thing about this cause and the show, she said the “more intense” stories were inspiring and actually “having the confidence to talk about the topics.”
For Tripp, the Vagina Monologues would be explained as the everyday lives of women. She said the lives of women everywhere are “up and down, just like the monologues” and the skits are about “rising above traumatizing memories.”
Other actress, Elizabeth Warren, preformed “Vagina Happy Fact” where she talked about tips, tricks and facts about the vagina. “Who needs a hand gun when you have a semi automatic?” she said after stating the vagina had twice as many nerves as a penis. Warren used words such as “powerful” and “touching” to describe the cause the Vagina Monologues supports and explains the skits are a way to “raise awareness about things we don’t talk about.” She said it’s “not feeling bad for women” but it is a way to change “victims to survivors.”
By: Alexis Carlisle