Female Power Personified: “The Vagina Monologues”

Sponsored by UMD V-Day, "The Vagina Monologues" was performed at the Stamp Student Union for three consecutive nights. Photo courtesy of diskordchicago.com

By Shannon Mooney

Staff Writer

Three women dressed in shades of red and pink stood on the bare stage with nothing but the spotlight and the microphones they faced. In a speedy banter, they began to explain their purpose, “I was worried about vaginas,” one said. “I was worried about my own vagina,” added another. “It needed a context, a community, a culture of other vaginas.”

A culture of vaginas. Not the topic you would expect a sold-out show to be, a show which left numerous students standing at the front doors begging for tickets Thursday. But the “The Vagina Monologues” filled every seat in Stamp Student Union’s Colony Ballroom.

One by one, University of Maryland actresses walked across the stage and performed narrations about, you guessed it, vaginas. Some were fictional, others were inspired by true stories. And while the subject matter might seem vulgar, the dialogues delivered messages about female empowerment that were both thought-provoking and encouraging.

“Women love to talk about their vaginas,” was one quirky line in the opening act.

This statement proved to be very true. During the first few monologues, actress Tuesday Barnes explained how she learned to love her vagina. Shortly after, actress Mercedes Katis said how furious hers was because it wanted society to be more “vagina-friendly.”

With titles such as “The Vagina Workshop” and “Because He Liked to Look at It,” the monologues kept the audience curious and entertained. The performances evoked cheers, roars of laughter and the occasional and pleasantly amused “Ew.”

The show took a solemn turn when its focus changed to sexual abuse, rape and genital mutilation. The actresses stood under the spotlight and very convincingly revealed grueling, scarring experiences, causing a few audience members to cry.

The performers received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the show, and women in the audience were left feeling proud and empowered. The show taught women to embrace their femininity by using the vagina as a metaphor for their insecurities.

By discussing the vagina scene after scene, women learned that they need to overcome their embarrassment and shamefulness. “The Vagina Monologues” taught women to ignore society’s labels and understand that they are independent individuals who have much to be proud of.

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