The Value in “The Vagina Monologues”January 20, 2012
“If your vagina could talk, what would it say?”
If you’ve never seen The Vagina Monologues, you may be wondering what exactly it is you are getting into when you buy your ticket. They talk about vaginas, but how much? Is it sad? Is it funny? What is The Vagina Monologues?
I thought the exact same things when I first saw the play during my freshman year of college. I was skeptical initially, but after seeing the show I practically vowed never to miss another performance. The Vagina Monologues talks about real concerns that real women have about their vaginas, their relationships, their attitudes, violence, homelessness, birth, sexual assault, femininity, disaster, life, and everything in between. The stories you hear have a very strong impact, and it makes for one hell of a show.
Now I get to experience the show from behind the scenes — I am producing this year’s performance along with two other amazing women at my school, Pacific Lutheran University. I also have the opportunity to perform in a monologue with them. Having this kind of leadership position allows me to be a part of something I love and to see how being a part of the show can be extremely valuable to those involved. Some of the issues addressed in monologues are emotionally heavy, and some cast members may have dealt with some of the same problems. Being on stage and performing is a way to tell a story that may not necessarily be yours, but it could be very close. It is therapeutic in a unique way.
Not only does this show benefit those who get to see it and the women performing, it also benefits one local and one international organization that address violence against women. The Vagina Monologues is a nonprofit production, and all proceeds from tickets and merchandise go toward beneficiaries picked by the performers as well as the V-Day campaign. This year’s production will benefit the women and girls in Haiti who were affected by the rise in sexual assault and violence since the earthquake in 2010 (picked by the V-Day campaign) and the YWCA in Tacoma, Washington (picked by me and my wonderful directors).
There is endless value in attending, participating in, and supporting a production of The Vagina Monologues, whether it is on a college campus or in a local theater. I encourage everyone to see a local performance of The Vagina Monologues this February to support the women in the show and those who benefit from the proceeds. Check out events.vday.org/ to find a performance near you.