The Vagina Monologues, a performance about abuse in relationships, really hits home with several of its performers.
Kate Schwartz, fifth year business administration student and co-coordinator for the show, knows firsthand the effects of disrespect toward women.
“I myself have been mentally and emotionally abused in a relationship,” said Schwartz. “I’ve been put in so many different situations in my past, and this really opens people’s eyes to what goes on. It’s easier for me to bring it out through performance.”
Pat Kurylowicz, senior in psychology and co-coordinator, has had similar experiences to Schwartz.
“I have been the victim of abuse in a relationship and so have friends of mine,” said Kurylowicz. “Most college age women, as far as I can tell, don’t expect any kind of relationship violence to happen to them. I hope the stories told in the show will empower my fellow classmates and community members to get out of an abusive relationship and never put up with a man trying to control you.”
Kurylowicz explained that one in five college age women have submitted to unwanted sex, and one in six American women have been the victim of rape. The show uses creative arts to promote awareness about violence against women, and also raises money to help victims in the community and internationally.
“I don’t believe ignorance is bliss; ignorance is ignorance,” said Kurylowicz. “We need to spread the word about women who are the victims of violence and mistreatment. People need to understand what is happening and live their lives in a way to end the violence.”
“The Vagina Monologues is all about giving women self-confidence and strength, but it also highlights the insecurities and disrespectful ways women are sometimes treated,” said Jessica Femminineo, first-time performer in the show and sophomore in hotel and restaurant management. “It helps women address issues and topics they normally try to avoid talking about.”
All proceeds from the performance will be donated to Women’s Information Service, Inc. and will hopefully help women trying to better their lives and move past being abused.
“Women are in many different situations around the world, and those situations are reflected in their relationship with their vagina,” said Kurylowicz.
The performers in the show are expecting a mixed reaction from the audience.
“I’m anticipating the audience will be a little shocked when they see The Vagina Monologues, but hopefully they will come away with a new understanding and respect for women,” said Femminineo.
“I have heard in the past men have left the show less than empowered, feeling that they were blamed for the deeds of other men,” said Kurylowicz. “I think all of the men in the audience should be proud that they respect and love women, and I hope they know that we appreciate all of the men in our lives who support us.”
Participants of The Vagina Monologues feel it’s important for everyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve been abused, to attend the show.
“For those who have never been abused, it’s still important to attend the show because it betters yourself for the future,” said Schwartz. “After seeing what one little error can lead to, it really makes you take a better look at yourself.”
The Vagina Monologues will take place at Williams Auditorium on Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for students and $10 for all others. For more information about the show, contact Kate Schwartz at email@example.com. n