Almost everyone entered the world through one. It has nothing to do with race, class, culture, society, or gender. Each human being came into the world through a vagina.Even if this is the only contact a person has ever had with a vagina, it should be enough to evoke respect for the female anatomy that gave one access to the world. No other body part – not the heart, not the lungs, not the brain, and not the penis – is as vital as the vagina when it comes to bringing life into the world.
“Vagina” is a word that isn’t heard often enough. The avoidance of the word and subject, cause many people to be uncomfortable when it is spoken.
For the fourth consecutive year West Chester University is producing “The Vagina Monologues,” a production originally performed off-Broadway by Eve Ensler. The show gets to the root of the word “vagina” and courageously explores questions often pondered.
“The Vagina Monologues” dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage, and excitement buried in women’s experiences.
The lack of respect for females and their vaginas is a serious problem, and in 1998, a worldwide movement known as V-Day was created in an effort to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day was inspired by the world premiere of “The Vagina Monologues” and proclaims Valentine’s Day as the day to celebrate women and demand an end to sexual violence. The original cast of “The Vagina Monologues” included such prominent actresses as Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder, Lily Tomlin, and Calista Flockhart.
Aimee Kerrigan, a WCU student, has been performing in “The Vagina Monologues” since it began at WCU. This year she will read “I was there in the room,” the final monologue. Kerrigan said that the students tried something different this year with the performance; instead of performing the monologues alone on stage, every performer will be present on stage throughout the duration of the production. Those who are not performing will listen to whomever is speaking at the time and react as their character would.
Women’s Center President Robin Garrett is thrilled that “The Vagina Monologues” has continued to be a success at WCU. “It’s so exciting to see the enthusiasm and commitment from the students, men and women, to make this happen for four years in a row,” she said.
The New York Times has described “The Vagina Monologues” as “funny” and “poignant.” The performances have the capacity to stir audiences in unforgettable and rewarding ways, provoking thought and change. “The impact for those involved and those attending has in the past been immense,” Garrett said. “I know of one recent alum who believes that the consciousness raising she got from being involved in “The Vagina Monologues” enabled her to reach out and save the life of a woman in an abusive relationship.”
“The Vagina Monologues” will take the stage in Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 14 to 15 at 1 p.m. in Sykes Union Theater. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for the general public and may be purchased by phoning 610-436-2266. Further information on V-Day and violence against women can be found at www.vday.org.