Vagina Monologues gives voice to silenced

Raising awareness about violence against women

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Vagina Monologues table display in the UCC

Sarah Scanlon

CROTCHES TAKE CENTRE STAGE. The Vagina Monologues run this weekend in the McKellar Room in the University Community Centre.

“More than any other experience, [The Vagina Monologues] will make you proud to be a woman,” says Sarah Scanlon, a Vagina Monologues co-ordinator and actress.

Scanlon says the play is about more than just female empowerment.

The monologues were written by Eve Ensler, also known as the “ultimate vagina warrior.” They’re an amalgamation of over 200 interviews Ensler conducted with various women about their sexual experiences.

Performed at Madison Square Garden in New York and in colleges and universities across North America, The Vagina Monologues has become an inspirational beacon for women.

Western’s production targets varying viewers.

“You don’t need to be a hardcore feminist to enjoy it,” Scanlon says. “However, it’s evident they truly seek to inspire people with the production.”

“We hope people will find at least one thing that is poignant from the experience,” says Danielle Tegart, the show’s producer.

According to Scanlon, the first step for increasing female empowerment is changing at least one woman’s perspective and making her feel comfortable about her sexuality. The play redefines what it means to be a woman.

The Vagina Monologues lets females of all ethnicities and classes bond through its universal stories. It aims to make females realize why they should love themselves.

What started as a play has now become a global movement fighting violence against women and girls. Known as V-Day, the campaign takes place every Feb. 14 and aims to create awareness surrounding issues like rape as a weapon of war and domestic violence.

“Essentially, awareness is the only way we can make a change,” Scanlon says.

“Silence equals violence,” Tegart says.

Every year a cause is chosen to receive a portion of V-Day and The Vagina Monologue’s profits. This year, women in conflict zones will benefit; the remainder will go to local charities raising awareness about violence against women.

Scanlon says the event isn’t just for women; all men are welcome. The three performances have all-male ushers and an entirely male-run bake sale.

The Vagina Monologues runs Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the McKellar Room 240 of the University Community Centre. Tickets are $15 at InfoSource.

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