‘The Vagina Monologues’ aim to empower women, eliminate violence


Jeremy Andrews/Iowa State Daily

Students practice their monologues at the M-Shop. You can see the Vagina Monologues at the M-Shop at 8:30 on Thursday or 6 and 8:30 on Friday. From Left to Right Kylin Kinsey, Katy Leichsenring, Priscilla Rebollozo.

Brittany Morin

Performed more than 5,500 times last year worldwide, “The Vagina Monologues” is sweeping the nation to raise awareness and profits to benefit the national V-Day campaign and Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support, or ACCESS, which is a local agency serving Story County that provides free, confidential and 24-hour service.

According to the V-Day website, “The Vagina Monologues” was written in 1994 by a playwright and activist Eve Ensler. The play addresses women’s sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse, creating a conversation about and with women.

“There is no excuse for violence. No one deserves to be abused. Victims are not alone; there are supporters who believe that it is not the victim’s fault. Everyone plays a role in eliminating violence, from the actresses, volunteers, to audience members,” said Som Mongtin, interim director for the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center and adviser for the Society for the Advancement for Gender Equality.

Melanie Pope, senior in elementary education, participated in “The Vagina Monologues” last year in her role as a six-year old girl.

“It’s about empowering women and giving voices to them,” Pope said. “The show has so many diverse monologues that really show all women that they aren’t alone nor should they ever feel ashamed to be a woman.”

This year’s production of “The Vagina Monologues” will take place Feb. 13 and 14. Tickets are available at the Women’s Center. They went on sale Jan. 13. Tickets cost $10 for students and $12 for non-students. T-shirts and chocolates will also be sold to help with the cost of the production of the show and to allow for additional funds to be donated to ACCESS.

“The Vagina Monologues” is only one of five events that are part of V-Day, which, according to the V-Day website, is “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls” and is “a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations.”

According to the V-Day website, the other events besides “The Vagina Monologues” that V-Day offers include another production called “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer,” two documentaries called “Any One of Us: Words from Prison” and “What I Want My Words To Do To You,” and a campaign called “V-Men,” to get men involved in activism for women.

V-Day launches a campaign every year and this year’s campaign is called “One Billion Rising for Justice.”

According to the One Billion Rising campaign’s website, “one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is one billion women.”

Jenifer Roberts, graduate assistant and an equity and social justice educator at the Women’s Center, explained the idea of One Billion Rising.

“What if instead of them being violated, they danced instead? And what if we got one billion people to rise at the same time?” Roberts said.