By: Alex Spindler ~Staff Writer~
The active push to end violence against women of all ages continues with Xavier University’s performance of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.”
This episodic play, originally performed in 1996, chronicles the lives of women and their various perspectives on female reproduction, orgasms, menstruation, sexual intercourse, childbirth and even genital mutilation.
A performance of this wellknown piece of theater often falls in line with a national event to celebrate female sexuality entitled “V-Day.” V-Day is celebrated by various college campuses across the country. Traditionally held in the late weeks of February to early weeks of March, the event is meant to raise awareness of stigmas women face in the sex culture.
Sophomore Amelia Ryczek, organizer for Xavier University’s performance, describes her process for selecting women to perform these extremely invasive, highly personal and yet all-tooimportant soliloquies. “During our first meeting I would like to do a read-through of all the different pieces and talk to everyone about their own connections with some of the issues, situations and experiences discussed in the monologues,”
Ryczek said. Much like last year’s performance, a group of eight to 10 women come together for one evening under the tutelage of a moderator and perform each monologue one-by-one. Some monologues spark hilarity while others bring tears. Surprisingly enough, “The Vagina Monologues” inspired a pervasive movement to discuss rape culture and sexual mistreatment of women due to its controversial content. Throughout its 18-year run, many have not been wildly receptive to an opus using vocabulary like “coochie snorcher.”
Many prominent feminists and even university officials across the country have stated that “The Vagina Monologues” and its pending discussions only perpetuate domestic violence and further sexual promiscuity among women. Many politically and religiously conservative locales have gone so far as to ban any performance of the play for fear of riots ensuing.
However, those who have witnessed the play and its compelling messages would beg to differ. “‘The Vagina Monologues’ are (sic) so important because too often the stories and perspectives of women are overlooked in favor of those of men,” Ryczek said. “I think that ‘The Vagina Monologues’ give women an opportunity to talk about how they feel about these topics in relation to their own experiences.”
“The Vagina Monologues” will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 14 in the Cintas Center Atrium. Tickets are selling for $3, and all proceeds will go to Women Helping Women, an organization that gives support to abused women.