The Vagina Monologues gives platform for stories, conflicts of all gender identities

Marlen Cardenas, Reporter

From a rant about tampons and pelvic exams to an eye-opening description of childbirth, The Vagina Monologues had its audience erupting in laughter one second and in stunned silence the next.

The Vagina Monologues is a play made up of various personal monologues told by women of diverse backgrounds, presented by the Women’s Center from Feb. 12-14 in Parkway Ballroom in Plemmons Student Union.

Senior studio art major Emily Nunez was inspired to try out for The Vagina Monologues after watching it last year.

“Vagina Monologues is allowing women to be themselves and talk about things they do not talk about on a daily basis,” Nunez said. “Here, there are people talking about how they do not like to shave their vagina, or things they did not know about their vagina. It gives them a place to talk about what they like and what they do not like.”

“Hair” was a monologue about a woman realizing that pubic hair is normal and she should not have to feel forced to remove it after her husband continued cheated on her even after she shaved for him. 

Nunez said she never thought she would feel comfortable talking about this type of subject, but The Vagina Monologues gave her a space to talk about her body freely.

 “It normalizes being a woman and having other women to talk to,” Nunez said. “I don’t know where else you can talk about vaginas without people looking at you like, ‘What in the world?’”

This year, there was a monologue titled “They Beat The Boy Out Of My Girl…Or So They Tried” about a transgender woman who was beaten for being feminine until she started living life as a man. Eventually, she moved away, transitioned and got to live the life she always dreamed of. Later on, her boyfriend was killed for being in love with a transgender woman.

The spotlight monologue was titled “Raise The Vibrations,” which focused on the conflict and frustrations of all gender identities. 

There were statistics on sexual assault in the transgender and non-binary communities read out loud and a chilling recount of a sexual encounter with someone they loved, but that person only slept with them to be able to say he slept with someone who was transgender.  

It gave me so much empowerment and love and self finding, and it helped me a lot through stuff that I was going through.”

— Roxana Sanchez

 

Alumna Esther Killius has attended The Vagina Monologues three times in a row.

“It is just timeless, so none of them ever get old,” Killius said. “I like how even though I cannot relate to all of them, they spark some kind of energy and passion, like the same way with a work of art. When you look at it, you cannot always relate to all of it, but it can be inspiring.”

Killius felt herself relating to “Because He Liked to Look At It,” a monologue about a woman being embarrassed of her vagina until a sexual encounter with a man who liked to spend hours looking at it.

“I never really thought about my vagina as a part of me, and I kind of thought it was gross. I never thought of it, and it made me uncomfortable to even say the word out loud,” Killius said. 

Junior child development major Roxana Sanchez served as co-director for The Vagina Monologues for a second year because she felt a connection with the play.

“It gave me so much empowerment and love and self finding, and it helped me a lot through stuff that I was going through,” Sanchez said. “I really appreciated that, so I wanted to be able to embrace that in a different way.”

Sanchez encourages people to come out to see the play next year.

“If you want to be empowered by brave, amazing women, definitely come,” Sanchez said. “I think these are things that need to be talked about and need to be shared more, and these experiences are real experiences of real women, and that is very important to have your voice heard.”

Sanchez insists that men come see The Vagina Monologues, too.

“I believe a lot of people put in their heads, “Oh, it’s about vaginas, why is a male going to go?’” Sanchez said. “I believe it is important for anyone of any gender to come, just because it is very eye-opening and realistic.”

All proceeds from The Vagina Monologues went to OASIS, a nonprofit in Boone that helps survivors of domestic and sexual violence.