Has anyone noticed Slippery Rock doesn’t like the word vagina? This is peculiar to me. I guess I didn’t used to like it, until I started saying it. Come on say it with me, v-a-g-i-n-a! Don’t you feel better now? It’s like it’s repressed in our culture here and we need to do something about that.
This week Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance is holding auditions for Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” Now, I know I said two bad words in that sentence, feminist and vagina. But, you should be ok with the “F-Word” from my last article, right?
Now, some may think that “The Vagina Monologues” is a play that is held once a year where women get on stage and yell about their vagina problems. Wrong! This is not just a comedy and it is not just for women. This show is a beneficial reading of real women’s stories. These women are from all over the globe. The monologues can be about rape, genital mutilation, incest, empowerment or pleasure.
Did you know according to the United Nations, one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime? That is just crazy to me! In this country alone, one of every five women will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime. On top of that, for those of you who think this is only a women’s issue, one of every six men will be physically or sexually abused in his lifetime.
V-Day college and community activists raise an annual average of over $4 million for local groups such as domestic violence shelters and rape crises centers. Also, ten percent of each event’s proceeds are channeled back to V-Day’s Spotlight Campaign. Last year alone, there were 5,800 V-Day benefit events performed around the globe. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $90 million and reached over 300 million people and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it.
This will be my fifth time being a part of this life-changing event. Yes, I was one of those leery, squeamish people at first when I heard of this show. But, I learned that I can’t be afraid of something just because I don’t know about it. So I became educated on it. I have met the most interesting, inviting, invigorating people through doing this show. Everyone who auditions has a story to tell, even if they don’t know it when they walk through the doors. It is a topic that brings people together of all “stereotypes.” Everyone is “normal” in our cast.
OK, enough of my story and statistics. This is where your part comes in. Do you want to put an end to gender violence worldwide, or even just in our small community of Slippery Rock? Even if you don’t want to audition for the show this week, bring your friends to the actual event on February 20, 21 or 22 in Swope Auditorium. So, it’s ok to say the word because the war against vaginas isn’t over. We will continue to put on this production and screaming the word vagina until the violence ends.