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angry vaginas, satisfied vaginas ;), battered and bruised vaginas and almost lost vaginas...all for raising public awareness and for an entertaining evening

The Vagina Monologues was an extremely entertaining way to spend a Thursday evening and to write about for my first event post (I wish I could remember exact lines and section titles because they were both hilarious and powerful). I honestly haven’t laughed so hard and been so serious all in same night. The Vagina Monologues as someone previously mentioned was February 27 at the St. Paul Student Center sponsored by the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG). It was put on by students to raise public awareness and funds for local organizations working to end violence against women and girls.

The show was collection of individual and group performances based on the responses from women on surveys and during interviews. Each segment was related to the vagina, whether it was the positives (sex, love, orgasms) the negatives (rape, mutilation) or the neutrals (menstration, birth). Other monologues focused on the variety of names for the vagina or the physical aspect of the female body. Most of the skits were hilarious because they involved “unspoken about? topics (masturbation) and moments that are generally uncomfortable (the first time you used a tampon or bled through your pants)—but at the same time all women go through and can relate to. They also made fun tools the gynecologist uses, tampons and the items society decides women should wear (and how these ‘anger’ the vagina). On the more serious side, they had powerful presentations about rape, domestic violence and discrimination. These pieces were eye opening and informative as they exposed truths I had no idea existed such as the ‘comfort women’ mentioned in other posts. These women went through horrific things and those that are still alive today are simply asking for an apology that they will never receive. Other education presentations described discrimination of women of different races, prejudge had against women and the equality women fought so hard to gain. Throughout the night a recurring theme was that the vagina is a tool of female empowerment whether it’s for personal pleasure, public education or global awareness. Women need embrace who they are, fight for what they believe in and stand up for one another.
Although the auditorium was filled with mainly women, the guys I saw and sat next to laughed just as hard, if not harder than I did and seemed impacted just as much during the serious parts of the evening. Along with both genders there were people of all ages, all enjoying the monologues in the same way. As the lights came back on the noise level skyrocketed as everyone wanted to discuss the show, the new lessons learned and all the amusing ways to discuss the vagina. I went into the show not really knowing what to expect. I had heard that it was a must see and that I would enjoy the presentation. After the fact I loved the monologues and felt I still had a lot to learn about struggles women had in the past and issues that still face women today. I think it is amazing it was put together 8 years ago and students participate to raise money and awareness. I am curious what else the Vday organization does to promote awareness and protect women and girls from sexual abuse and violence.
In researching that, I found a site of people that criticize the Vagina Monologues stating they had ‘a negative and restrictive view of sexuality and an anti-male bias’. This was found in pro-sex feminist, gender egalitarian, and individualist feminist movements. Some groups are so outraged that they are encouraging parents and students to protest the production of the monologues on college campuses and in some places it has caused the show to be moved to off campus locations. I have by no means what I would consider strong feminist views, ideas or opinions and I walked away from the show feeling that it was a great way to learn about feminist issues without bashing men or putting a negative spin on sexual issues. I never once felt uncomfortable or felt they were out of line for something they said. They do a good job of showing the good and the bad, the happy and sad and all types of relationships. They don't bash men instead they show how men can help women discover her love for herself and her vagina as shown in Because He Liked to Look At It. They also show the power of lesbian relationships on a women’s self image and self esteem as shown in The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could; a story about a rape victim that was finally comforted and felt emotionally supported only by another woman. It also was good mix of humor and education that would greatly benefit anyone open-minded enough to see it. People will always find some way to bash a good thing even feminists that I would assume would be happy about the awareness that is being raised, but it goes to show you never really know and you can never please everyone.

Comments

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