Vagina Monologues promotes important message
March 8, 2007
Issues like rape, incest, sexual slavery and battery aren’t commonly talked about in today’s society.
Ten years ago Eve Ensler began performing the Vagina Monologues, traveling around the country and talking about all of the neglected topics. When the Vagina Monologues first started, the well known V-Day started as well.
The Vagina Monologues official Web site, www.Vday.org, has a lot of information on the history of the movement.
“V-Day’s mission is simple. It demands that the violence must end,” the site said. “It proclaims Valentine’s Day as V-Day until the violence stops. When all women live in safety, no longer fearing violence or the threat of violence, then V-Day will be known as Victory Over Violence Day.”
Now, schools like UW-River Falls continue to raise awareness about the issues surrounding violence against women.
This year will be the fourth year the Vagina Monologues have been performed on campus, and every year they have been growing in popularity.
Senior Lindsey Exworthy is the organizer and director for this year’s shows that were performed at UWRF. She will also be narrating during the performances. This is her second year participating in the Monologues, but her first year organizing.
Exworthy said the Monologues give a very important message to everyone, not just to women. “This year’s theme is Reclaiming Peace,” Exworthy said. “The money raised during this event goes primarily to Turning Point, our local sexual assault and domestic abuse center.” The money for Turning Point is being raised from ticket prices and the silent auction that is held during the event.
Junior Katie Nelson attended the Monologues when she was a freshman and has been helping plan them ever since. This year she will also be performing. Nelson said it isn’t hard to perform since she is a very open individual and she knows how important it is to inform people about the issues facing women today.
“It’s important for people our age, but it’s also important to talk to young women and make sure they’re comfortable with themselves,” Nelson said. Like Nelson, Exworthy also does not get nervous when performing on stage.
“I have a background of stage performances so being on stage doesn’t get to me,” she said. “However, I do get nervous about all of the things surrounding this performance. Things like, will people come, will we raise any money, will the audience get the message?”
Third year student Sarah Michaelson is also involved in this year’s production of the Monologues that were performed on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
While a number of students know the importance of the Monologues, there are still a number of people who don’t have any idea what they’re about.
“It’s not just about vaginas or just about sex,” Michaelson said. “It’s more about violence against women and the overall treatment of women in society.
According to the Web site, “Between February 1 and March 8 (International Women’s Day) 2007, over 2,000 V-Day benefits will take place in over 950 communities and on college campuses. From Nigeria to NYU, China to DePaul University, from New Zealand to University of Puerto Rico, local activists will stage benefit productions of “The Vagina Monologues,” raising funds and awareness for local anti-violence groups in their communities.”
Freshman Daniel Burce said planned to attend the Monologues because his speech teacher was offering extra credit to students who went and answered a few questions about it, but that is not his only reason.
“I think that the program itself will be of value for the people who attend it,” Burce said. “Plus I have a friend who is going to be in it and I want to go support her.”
The Vagina Monologues sponsored by Student Senate were performed Wednesday and Thursday evening in the Falcons Nest of the University Center.