Amidst a time where issues of sexual assault and harassment are at the focus of society, women stand united.
The V-Day Vagina Monologues took place Thursday, Feb. 8, in Williams Auditorium and gave women on campus a chance to have a voice and address the hardships they struggle against.
The show was sponsored by The Social Work Association and it featured a series of monologues from women, provided by Spotlight Campaign: The Resistance, who received 10 percent of profits from the event. The additional 90 percent of profits were donated to Women’s Information Service, Inc. (WISE).
Throughout the performances of the 17 monologues, a variety of topics were covered. These included sexual consent, women’s familiarization with their own anatomy and challenges faced by the transgender community.
“I think it’s important for people to be aware of consent and how no means no. I know that’s been a really big issue lately, especially in the news and all the different sexual assaults coming out, so it’s just kind of bringing awareness of women’s perspective going through those experiences,” Ferris social work junior and monologue performer Alyssa Herl said. “I think that it’s really important to see how being sexualized affects women and how it makes us feel powerless and we just want to have a voice and say, ‘Hey you know what? This is not okay.’”
One of the main goals for the participants was helping people become comfortable discussing subjects that can sometimes be difficult to talk about.
“Vaginas aren’t taboo. We should be able to talk about women’s issues without worrying about the backlash we’ll get and the discrimination. This is about trying to fight for equality for women’s rights, so that’s what I hope people get from this,” Ferris social work senior and monologue performer Johanna Vander Ploeg said.
Auditions to be part of The Vagina Monologues were open to all interested women and will continue to be in years to come. Although men cannot read the monologues in the show, it is strongly encouraged that they attend the performance and broaden their perspectives.
“I think guys should be there because they’re part of the main crowd that’s been doing the oppressing of women. We have men in leadership roles—mostly men—in leadership roles in this country, so I think it’s important that we have them seeing the other side,” Ferris social work senior and vice president of The Social Work Association Nicholas Hadley said. “It’s important for people to know that there is issues going on and that they need to be talked about. If you don’t talk about them somewhere, they’re not going to get talked about, and people are going to be uncomfortable but when you’re uncomfortable is when you grow.”
The evening was filled with a strong sense of unity as the performers brought up situations that many women have experienced in their lifetimes. The underlying message reflected a sentiment that women around the globe can relate to: women deserve equal rights and equal respect.
“The vagina is okay. It’s normal. We are not some sub-species just because we do not have a penis,” Ferris criminal justice junior and Student Director Xena Cook said.
Click here for a Torch cartoon focused on the Vagina Monologues.