Vagina Monologues: The Voice of the Vagina
During this year’s Vagina Monologues, dozens of empowered women sauntered through the low pink haze of lights onto the bare stage. They delivered inspirational talks recorded from women of all ages, races and origins. Topics ranged from masturbation, being transgender, rape, childbirth and lesbianism.
Many of the patrons had no clue what to anticipate when they walked through the doors of Goode Theater on Valentine’s Day.
“When I first walked into the theater, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was quite pleased. I really did enjoy it. Everything just stuck with me. I learned that the vagina is there for you to love, embrace and respect,” ODU student Raenell King said.
The use of the word “vagina” was jarring. At first it was met with widened eyes, giggles and gasps of surprise. Throughout the play, the words vagina, pussy and cunt became as normal as “money” or “test.”
At the end of one performance, “The Women Who Loved To Make Vaginas Happy,” there were many shocked expressions when actress Abby Wroten began to mimic different types of moans. Panting and rubbing along her body, even the most sexually experienced person in the room likely tugged at their collar and laughed along with the crowd.
With titles like “Hair,” “Because He Liked To Look At It” and “My Angry Vagina,” the audience’s mood traveled from happy, light-hearted laughter to solemn head nods and thunderous applause.
“Some topics, although touchy, need to be brought to light because you never know who’s life you can touch and who can relate,” India Johnson said, performer of “My Angry Vagina.”
The entire play had an air of defiance. With each spoken word, the power of women filled the air. During the performance of “Reclaiming Cunt,” the entire audience joined in and yelled, whispered or at the very least thought the word “cunt” in an attempt to reclaim the word positively.
Even men came out to support and celebrate vaginas during the holiday of love.
“I learned that there is a romantic side to vaginas, and that there’s more to them than just pleasure. The confidence of the women and the stories were really inspirational,” Ross Ciuppa said.
When all the performers and directors came back on the stage with Beyoncé’s “Formation” playing overhead, they were met with a symphony of whistles, applause and shouts of praise. The director of ODU’s Women’s Center, Joann Bautti, closed the show thanking everyone for attending the production.
Bautti also told the audience that all proceeds from their performances were given to domestic violence programs in our community. Her two sons then ran onto the stage and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
Bautti gave thanks to her co-director, Myah Snowden, and lastly, acknowledged all of the amazing actresses in the production who gave women’s vaginas everywhere a voice.