This Friday I will be attending The Vagina Monoloques at my school, Southern Oregon University. The Monologues are the part of "Vday," an annual non-profit event that is part of a nationwide campaign to stop violence against women. The Monologues themselves have been performed internationally. Monologists share stories of heartbreak and healing. Every monologue has to do with the vagina, as a symbol of womanhood and women's issues. The topics dealt with range from intercourse, orgasm, rape, menstruation, birth, masturbation, mutilation, etc. Every year, a new monologue is added to highlight a current issue that affects women or is important to women's issues, globally. For example, in 2003, a monologue entitled "Under the Burqa" highlighted the plight of women living under Taliban rule.
The Vagina Monologues began as a play, written by Eve Ensler in 1996. Ensler wrote the work after interviewing nearly 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. What resulted inspired her to write the episodic play, constructed of several monologues which Ensler, when the play was produced, performed herself. The play went from the HERE Arts Center, to the Off Broadway Westside Theatre in New York the same year. Later productions of the play were performed by celebrities, such as Melissa Etheridge and Whoopi Goldberg, and a Television show based on the Monologues was aired on HBO for some time.
Since then, the Monologues have included several "trans-gender" monologues, and have been performed in several, more liberal Muslim countries, including Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Pakistan, as well as in non-Muslim countries.
"I was drawn to vaginas because of my own personal history, because of sexuality, because women's empowerment is deeply connected to their sexuality." -Eve EnslerParticipation
The Vagina Monologues are held annually, and over 500 colleges and universities worldwide participate. Find a center near you! Tickets range from $10-12 for general admission and $7-8 for students. Group discounts are usually available. Visit Vday's page HERE for more info.