Rising for vaginas everywhere

Often, when the word “vagina” is written or said aloud, a giggle here and there may follow.

Is it the lack of discussion over the word to blame for the giggles? Or is it the superficial knowledge of the subject matter that causes discomfort?

Every year, “Feminism Is…” at California Lutheran University features “The Vagina Monologues” on campus.

Written by playwright and feminist Eve Ensler, the “Monologues” consists of various personal stories that address issues of women and discusses different feminine situations, such as birth, menstruation and love.

“Some monologues can be funny, but then there are others that are about more serious issues,” said treasurer of “Feminism Is…” senior Kacy Cashatt.

According to randomhouse.com, the play has been active since 1996. The “Monologues” started in New York in a small underground basement and is now an internationally known show.

CLU has had the privilege of presenting its own adaptation of the play for about six years, according to Cashatt. Anyone who identifies as female is welcome to participate.

Not only does the presentation of the play benefit the students and faculty on campus by informing and educating people, but through the non-profit movement founded by Ensler, V Day, the donations from the play go to charity.

“This year, the theme is One Billion Rising,” Cashatt said. “The theme is where the donations go. 90 percent will go to a beneficiary we have chosen and the rest will go to the spotlight organization, One Billion Rising.”

This year’s beneficiary is Interface Children and Family services, which provides help and support to families of abuse.

The message of “The Vagina Monologues” and the impact it has on the community is clearly understood by those who have heard about the play and people who have seen it.

“It’s good to have [“The Vagina Monologues”] on campus because it empowers women and we come together as a community,” sophomore Kelsey Reed said. “It is a safe place for women to come together and share their stories. It will give women more of a voice on campus.”

For some students, the “Monologues” are a bit of a new concept.

“It’s something different that I have never heard about before going to this school,” sophomore Christine Trunick said.

“The Vagina Monologues”  is a different way of helping women and men to be more comfortable with the female body.

“It can open minds and it can help people know that they are not alone,” sophomore Annika Bastanchury said. “Those who like to express themselves have the opportunity to do so through this program.”

While it may bring awareness to the community, others may find the “Monologues” uncomfortable.

“One of my friend’s ex-boyfriends went to see [“The Vagina Monologues”] one year, and he had to get up and leave,” Cashatt said. “It was too much for him.”

Whether it causes discomfort or sparks an active attitude, the “Monologues” are designed to have an impact on their audience.

“Its purpose is to bring awareness about women in general and build activism,” Cashatt said. “People can view it so differently. It changes a lot of perspective.”

Cashatt said this change in perspective will help people become more comfortable with educating themselves.

“People are so uncomfortable with that, you have to let your walls down and embrace it,” Cashatt said. “As attendance increases, they will become more comfortable with talking about women body parts in a non-degrading way.”

“The Vagina Monologues” will take place on March 6 at 8 p.m. in Richter Hall. There is no entrance fee, but donations are encouraged.

 

Alexa Dautin
Staff Writer
Published Feb. 26, 2014