Women were pissed. Women were celebratory. Women were saying “vagina” (in fact, they were yelling it out) as Eve Ensler’s popular play, “The Vagina Monologues,” was performed at GCC’s auditorium March 5 through March 7 to celebrate women and denounce abuse.
Five gorgeous young women danced as the play began. More and more actresses of all demographics arose from the audience and went onto the stage. All of these women had voices that would tell stories brought forth from Ensler’s interviews in about a dozen all-women skits. Some were humorous, some were moving yet painful, and some were both.
From 200 interviews with women of different ages, sexualities and ethnicities, Ensler wrote “The Vagina Monologues.” In Ensler’s view “vagina” becomes a word women can yell out rather than whisper. ” ‘If your vagina could talk’ what would it say?” women were asked. “Whoa mama,” “bonjour,” “don’t give up” were some of the answers. “Slow down,” the women said in unison. What does a vagina want? “It wants everything,” the women shout.
The interviews range from a 6-year-old girl who said her vagina smells “like snowflakes” to a 72-year-old woman who had never seen her vagina. She says, “I can’t talk about what’s down there,” she says.
Every woman had a story to tell, including a lesbian sex worker who found pleasure in moaning. The performers went through a series of moans including an Irish-Catholic moan, a machine-gun moan and a surprise triple-orgasm moan.
In the monologues the vagina has many names: “pussy cat,” “monkey box” and “coochi snorcher.” In the “Coochi Snorcher” monologue, which was about a girl who was raped by her father’s friend at the age of 10, the actress conveyed the salvation that was found at the age of 16 as an older woman seduced her.
Some were painfully important monologues, such as the haunting story told of a young woman gang-raped by soldiers in a Bosnian camp during the war. The monologue is called “My Vagina Was My Village.” Another devastating monologue involved a woman who was “just eyes” after she was a victim of a bombing in Baghdad. The bombs were dropped, she said from “planes promising freedom.”
“The Vagina Monologues” also dealt with assault, such as in one monologue that describes a married couple in which the man violently abused his wife and smiled. She woke up in a hospital after five brain surgeries. It took her four months to relearn how to fry an egg.
In somewhat controversial, yet truthful portrayals of women interviewed, “The Vagina Monologues” encourage women to find confidence and strength in themselves and to discover empowerment from sexuality that is female-driven rather than male-driven. Bob, an ordinary, dorky guy (played by an actress) loved vaginas. “I have to see you,” Bob says. “It’s who you are.”
The play also presented important information and statistics. For example, about 2 million young girls will go through female genital mutilation a year, and though it is illegal in many states in the U.S. to sell vibrators, it is legal in all states to buy guns.
“Every woman has a warrior inside waiting to be born. In order to guarantee a world without violence, in a time of danger and escalating madness, we urge them to come out,” the female performers said as they recited Ensler’s words to honor Vagina Warriors, women who
“are often willing to face anything for the safety and freedom of others, [who] are citizens of the world [who] cherish humanity over nationhood.”
This event was presented by The United Womyn’s Council of GCC and the GCC Theatre Guild in honor of March’s National Women’s History Month.
It was also in support of the V-Day campaign, a nonprofit organization founded by Eve Ensler in 1997 as a movement to stop violence against women and girls, which has since spread all over the world and raised over $20 million, as stated on www.vday.org.
Proceeds from these performances of “The Vagina Monologues” went to the Glendale YWCA Domestic Violence Project.
“The Vagina Monologues” invites the audience to become a part of a crusade for a world free from violence towards women and girls.