The vagina is beautiful – it is dressed with brightly colored clothes and Harry Winston diamonds while moaning, “Take me.” It is not solely a woman’s body part; beyond its prescribed reputation it is her identity, her soul and her demeanor.
At least that is what Saturday night’s “Vagina Monologues” displayed as participants of the campaign acted out monologues of various women who were interviewed.
The stories ranged from comical experiences to ones that were moving and devastating. However, each had their own unique story that personified not only a woman’s vagina but the substance of her identity.
“I really learned to view my vagina as a true part of myself – it being equal as an arm or leg,” said Faith Kearns, English and theater major at Mt. San Antonio College, who performed in the show at La Verne. “I am able to see women in a more holistic view now.”
Playwright and activist Eve Ensler wrote “The Vagina Monologues,” a New York play targeting women’s sexuality and the issues regarding rape and violence against women.
What started out as a play transformed into a movement that allowed women around the world to share their stories on some of their most guarded secrets.
In 1988, Ensler and a group of women established V-Day in an effort to demand the end of female violence.
As part of this worldwide movement Ensler endorsed groups to take action everywhere by performing plays between February and April.
“I came in not knowing what to expect,” said Marie Wyatt, the mother of a play performer. “It was very funny and touching at the same time.”
One of the stories was about a 72-year-old woman who never had an orgasm. She remained insecure throughout her life because of an embarrassing experience as a girl.
After being interviewed about the ‘forbidden’ body part she never spoke of, the woman opened up and was able to express relief.
“You’re the first person I ever told about this and I feel a little better,” the 72-year-old woman said.
Saturday’s play displayed other women who came to find that realizing the unfound value of their vagina was purely euphoric.
Even the simple idea of being able to locate the clitoris allowed for one woman to feel empowered and reclaim her essence.
While the play exposed humorous statements such as what the vagina would say regarding tampons and other unwanted devices, not everything remained comical.
There were stories of the women of Bosnia and Kosovo who were raped and mutilated. Many of them felt as if they were robbed of something that could not be restored.
One woman even revealed that a soldier stuck a cold, thick, metal rifle inside of her.
Despite mutilation, many of these women found each other. They are looking to make a comeback and reclaim what is theirs.
It is a movement of self-exploration and coming to terms with who they are amidst all the anguish and pain.
“I am a feminist and I strongly believe in women’s rights,” Kearns said.
This empowering experience allowed for many of the women to feel a greater self-awareness. What was enlightening also turned out to be a larger effort for these women to spread the word and endorse more communication between mothers and daughters to speak out and share what society deemed a taboo.
“It enlightened me,” alumna Elizabeth Reyes, a performer, said. “It brought me out of the darkness I didn’t know I was in. I went from being a quiet Christian girl to a woman.”
“I feel like I am more accepting of myself,” said Cindy Lopez, a performer and speech communication major. “I’m in charge of my life and I can do what I want. I realize I’m capable of doing more than I thought I could.”
Shelby Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.