By: Lydia Rogers ~Staff Writer~
“The Vagina Monologues” took place in correspondence with Women’s Appreciation Month. “The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play traditionally composed of multiple monologues performed by a number of women, and in this case, female Xavier students.
The monologues touch on different aspects of the female experience, such as love, sex, rape, orgasms and the meaning of the vagina itself. Students for Women’s Progress co-founders and co-presidents Baily Drexler and Kelsey Witzgall felt the need to organize the performance of the play on campus after taking a women’s history course.
During the course, they learned about the sexual assault coverups that happened at Xavier and continue to happen at universities around the country. “It also exposes that though there have been advances in the movement towards equality between the sexes, there is still much more to do,” Witzgall said. Some of the monologues address the issues that arise from sexual assault.
“Since one in four women will be sexually assaulted during their academic career, it is extremely important that we provide spaces at Xavier to address the issue of sexual assault,” Witzgall said. Because sexual assault is a sensitive subject, there were two sexual assault advocates present at the performance for viewers to consult if necessary.
“It is rare to hear women talk so openly about their experiences with their bodies, especially their vagina. I know people who have trouble even saying the word, ‘vagina.’” The performance was followed by a panel discussion to create a space for students to reflect on the play and ask questions.
The panel included the Director of Theatre Stephen Skiles, Xavier’s Title IX Coordinator Kate Lawson and Dr. Christine Anderson the advisor of Students for Women’s Progress. “Our panel members helped to shed light on the important themes of the play and why it is important that ‘The Vagina Monologues’ are performed on a Jesuit/Catholic campus,” Witzgall said.
The event took place March 15 in Albers Hall. All ticket proceeds for the performance were donated to the organization Women Helping Women.