Vaginas, Vaginas, Vaginas!

Ah, got you to click right? Thought so.

“Lets start with the word “vagina.” It sounds like an infection at best, maybe a medical instrument: “Hurry nurse, bring me the vagina.” “Vagina.” “Vagina.” Doesn’t matter how many times you say it, it never sounds like a word you want to say. It’s a totally ridiculous, completely unsexy word…

When it comes down to it. Vagina is such a taboo word, it is typically not classy for women to speak of it in public. Kind of similar to the way a person would never speak of “Voldemort” in the Harry Potter series… Penis, however, never seemed like a big deal to say in public back in the earlier days.  Many people feel that it is more socially acceptable for a boy to talk about masturbation, pornography and his sexual endeavors. Women are usually more guarded about this information, often feeling embarrassed or even ashamed to talk about it. Possibly because they fear being judged, scrutinized or appearing “unlady-like.” It’s usually viewed as “cool” by society for a guy to get action, and sleep around. Many girls say they’d be viewed as “easy” or as a “whore” for simply enjoying the same activities. Flashblack to the earlier days of Middle School, you’d notice male reproductive organs, penises, drawn on desks, chalkboards, even walls! Pictures of vaginas, or even a pair of breasts? Unlikely. This may be an example of what is socially acceptable and what is not…or maybe it’s just simply expected. Maybe it’s the widespread idea that boys are more immature, specifically by two years in comparison to their same-aged female counterparts, which has been proven scientifically. Whatever the reason, one thing is trying to be expressed in Bloomsburg now.  That message is that women should be proud of who they are, embrace having vaginas, and more importantly love themselves, regardless.

This week, two productions will be performed in relation to uplifting feminism. “The Vagina Monologues” and “A Memory, a Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer” are being tied together in an event called “V-Day.”

What is V-Day?

V-day is a global movement to end violence against girls/women by raising awareness, as well as funds through Eve Ensler’s award winning “The Vagina Monologues,” as well as through other artistic works. In the past, the V-day moment has raised over $70 million and educated millions of people about the issues of violence against women, as well as ways to end it. They have crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns,  the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, opened safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq and funded over 5000 community-based anti-violence programs.

The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world, in 130 countries from Europe to Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and all of North America. V-Day, a non-profit corporation, distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women/girls.

What’s the difference between the two shows associated with V-Day?

“The Vagina Monologues” are the more humorous, witty, and light-hearted of the two productions. They’re a collection of pieces that were originally “vagina interviews.” They were later made into monologues. Eva Ensler is the author of the Vagina Monologues, and is the one who started V-Day.

“A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer” deals with issues that women around the world face such as incest, rape, abuse etc. They’re the stories of real women, who speak of many complex and interesting experiences they’ve faced in life. These experiences regard masturbation, sexual relations, friendships, heart-breaks etc.

Where and when are the shows? How much does it cost?

Both productions are located in the Theatre Lab behind the University Store. “The Vagina Monologues” take place February 22nd, 25th, and 26th.  “A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer” performances are February 23rd and 24th. Tickets for each show cost $5.00 for students, and $7.00 for adults. The proceeds will go to The Women’s Center Inc., Beyond Violence, Columbia Montour Family Health, Women of the Democratic Republic, and Women of Haiti.

Who should see the show, and why?

Due to the material talked about in the performances, and a lot of foul language, this production be is rated around PG-13, possibly pushing an R-rating. It would be more suitable for an older audience, and viewer discretion is advised.

Dee Kremer, one of the administrators regarding V-Day says, “The shows are geared towards women because each monologue was written by a woman, but we have a good amount of guys that attend every year. They always seem to enjoy it, sometimes they’re the ones laughing more. The shows are really for everyone, there is something that everyone can relate to.”

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