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For my artistic event I attended a performance of “The Vagina Monologues� on Saturday, February 24, 2007 at Luther College in Decorah Iowa. My sister just graduated from Luther College and was involved in the production of the show and she encouraged me to see it. I went with my mom, dad, and brother and I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t think I was mentally prepared for what the show entailed because I can admit that even at 19 years old, the word “vagina� still makes me a little squeamish, especially hearing it over and over in front of my dad and brother. The show didn’t shy into words like vagina and “taboo� subjects. One of the first monologues was about hair and shaving, which definitely shocked me. I can also admit however, that by the end of the play, the word didn’t bother me quite as much.

There were two monologues (among many) that really stuck with me. The first was the “Women of Juarez�. It was a monologue about how women in Juarez, Mexico are disappearing, being raped, and being murdered everyday on their way to and from work at Americanized factories. The women must travel far distances to find work and then are paid only around four dollars a day! Above the stress of the distance and the labor, they must also worry about their safety as well. The worse part of this is that there has been very little progress to protect these women or find and prosecute their killers. A few summers ago I spent ten days in Juarez helping to build a house for a family in need and I think that is why this particular monologue struck me as much as it did. This place where women were being raped and murdered by the hundreds to the countries knowledge was a place where I have been, stayed, and served and I had no idea.

The other segment that stuck with me was “My Short Skirt�. In this monologue, a woman discussed that fact that just because she wears a short skirt, it is not an invitation for anyone. Her short skirt doesn’t mean that she wants sex and it is definitely not an invitation for rape. I think that this is important because it seems unfair that a woman is labeled a certain way, thought of a certain way, or puts herself in any kind of danger by what she wears. It discusses that in the legal system, the excuse that a women “wanted it� by what she wears will not hold up anymore. I thought this short, somewhat humorous, monologue was important in the cause of women and violence.

After the play, I was interested in why the show has to be within a certain time and what exactly the “V�, in V-Day, stands for, besides vagina. I discovered that the whole idea behind “V-Day� is not only a play on the abbreviation for Valentine’s Day, but also an idea about taking back Valentine’s Day in the name of women. It stands for ending violence towards women, it stands for “taking back the night�, for the safety of women. It is an organization that not only sponsors “The Vagina Monologues� but other artistic events that promote women creating art instead of being afraid. It also raises money for women, like the women in Juarez that need help. I really am glad I went to “The Vagina Monologues� because it really made me aware of what kind of things are going on around me that I’m unaware of. It connected me personally to issues that are facing women everyday and gave me an organization to connect with. It also was a humorous and heart-felt play that I enjoyed going to and will probably go to next year two weeks before or after February 14!