‘Vagina Monologues’ celebrates female body, reproductive health
“They’re cumming,” read the advertisement for this year’s production of The Vagina Monologues, a play based off a series of interviews done by Eve Ensler in the 1990s.
“The Vagina Monologues,” held in Holmes Lounge, exposed audiences to a range of different topics surrounding the vagina—from stories of sexual pleasure and masturbation to heart-wrenching stories of abuse and violence.
Alexa Beeson, a freshman who saw the show, said that she thought the show helps to open a discussion regarding the wide range of issues faced by people with vaginas.
“‘The Vagina Monologues’ was a great way to open a healthy dialogue about what experiencing life as a woman is like, especially in a climate where discussing reproductive health and rights can be very taboo,” Beeson said. “It was important not only to hear about the stories of struggle, which every human with a vagina can face, but to also hear about the times when it is an amazing part of life. [The wide range of monologues] was the perfect way to describe how everyone’s experiences are different and equally valuable.”
Although the night was very much focused on celebrating the female body, the performance was not only relevant to women, and many men attended the event as well. One student, freshman Aubrey King, explained that he felt impacted by many of the stories, despite his gender.
“I think it’s important for everyone to pay attention to programs like ‘The Vagina Monologues’ because, though we may not directly relate to every piece of it, all of the struggles the monologues touch on are remarkably human, so we kind of owe it to ourselves to see that and learn from it,” he said.
Cast members said that “The Vagina Monologues” was an empowering experience to be a part of. The production itself focuses on opening up conversations about the vagina.
“I think the [show] was important for people to see because it was definitely provocative, but necessarily so. Why is there so much negativity regarding the sexuality of women and the way in which we see our bodies? I think it’s important for women to see because it’s empowering. It makes it feel okay to talk about sex and our bodies,” Sarah Perlin, a cast member who played a transgender woman, said of the production.
During the show, one narrator explained that the chosen monologues were picked to represent a variety of experiences, including those of children, transgender women, older women, lesbian women and sex workers. Perlin said that this was a positive step toward women discussing their bodies more positively.
“I think the Women’s March has definitely been a great first step for helping women talk about their own bodies in a more positive light, but ‘The Vagina Monologues’ takes it a step further by including stories that we aren’t as exposed to,” Perlin said.
All proceeds from the show were donated to Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.