By Emily Haney
What do you know about your vagina? Eve Ensler set out to figure out just that from various women two decades ago. Through her sequence of interviews, asking women questions that typically aren’t talked about, The Vagina Monologues was born. Each monologue represents a different experience or response from all the answers women gave. The tone from the monologues range from funny to angry based on the topic, but each one signifies the fact that maybe we should have conversations about vaginas more often.
The Vagina Monologues arrived on UGA’s campus 17 years ago. The past couple of years the performance has been housed at the Chapel. Although all the rows haven’t necessarily been filled, the performance has drawn in a wide variety of women. Sitting in on a performance one could find veterans or newbies of the show, mothers and daughters and those of all different backgrounds. The performance this year began with “The Flood,” which was an accidental start. However, the skipping around of monologues worked.
“The Flood” opens with an older speaker talking about a kiss she had with a boy and how this one occurrence for her set the tone for the rest of her love life and how she viewed herself. In the middle of this particular monologue a younger version of the speaker walks out to join in on the story. At times the older and younger version speak together sharing their experience for all. The parallel between the two selves created a somber dynamic. The woman was never able to move on.
“The Flood” introduced the audience to what this performance was going to be all about— women talking about real life experiences of other women. “I like that they can joke about something but make a point at the same time about how important women’s pleasures are. They’re taking that even further,” says Elizabeth Callaway, a sophomore finance major from Atlanta. “The Flood” led into the introduction where the twenty-one women taking part in the show walked up onto the stage.
Each woman wore the color purple in some form. Some women had purple shoes, others purple scarves, and there was a meaning behind this fashion choice. “Purple is an awareness color for domestic violence. Since this was being put on by Project Safe, they’re doing it to keep in mind and remind people all proceeds go to this charity,” says Kristen Demonbreun a senior social work major from Atlanta. Project Safe works to end domestic violence through programs, advocacy, and support for survivors.
While The Vagina Monologues are meant to make most people a little uncomfortable, they really are all about women’s empowerment. “I’ve been re-energized to fight for the rights of women,” says Vivian Sellers a retired schoolteacher age 64 from Tifton. It really makes you think about where you stand and what you can do to make a difference. The best part of the night was that you got to enjoy a performance and donate to charity at the same time.