Tampons, Pap smears, giving birth, periods…the female reproductive organs endure many hardships and sufferings.
But what about other distresses that are less frequently talked about? Like rape or abuse?
The Vagina Monologues, an annual production put on at Ferris, is a collection of interviews from women about various experiences, usually sexual, ranging from comedic rants about all a woman has to endure to deeply poignant confessions of abuse.
“A lot that is talked about are rough subjects,” Kate Schwartz, FSU senior in business administration and theater minor, said. “Lots of people don’t like to come out about being raped or abused, so to be able to be part of this production and let people know they can come out and that others will support them is a very close message to me.”
Schwartz will be involved for her fourth year in this year’s The Vagina Monologues, acting as the narrator. When Schwartz saw the show for her first time during her freshman year, she thought the show was funny and decided to audition two years later.
Though the comedic value was what initially drew her in, the deeper meaning of the show was what kept her involved over the long run.
“The show now holds a tighter meaning than just being funny to me,” Schwartz said. “It made me become more aware of abuse against women and sort of an activist against it. The show touches me and makes me want to share its meaning with other people.”
Schwartz’s favorite monologue is entitled “My Angry Vagina” and is a woman venting about the different issues vaginas to through. She enjoys it for its comedy and sarcasm.
Val Ferrera, FSU junior in criminal justice law enforcement, is participating for her second time.
“Historically, women have had a limited range of socially acceptable conversational topics; the show says we exist and are allowed to be who we are,” Ferrera said.
Ferrera will be acting in a monologue entitled “They Beat the Boy Out of Me, Or So They Tried.” It’s about five transgendered women who even though they looked like boys, they always knew they were girls. After sex-change operations, the women talk about how much happier they are.
“There are a lot of funny ones [monologues] and semi-serious ones, but I think this one is really important, especially after being in The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later,” Ferrera said. “Transgendered individuals are often forgotten about or feared and there’s a huge stigma that goes with that. Awareness is growing and I’m glad I can be part of that.”
The Vagina Monologues will be performed at Williams Auditorium on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 for students and $10 for all others. For more information about the event, contact Jamie Burkle at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 2606.
“Go vaginas!” Ferrera added.