The Vagina Monologues starts conversation

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Over 70 people, both students and members of the Dallas community, came to the Women’s Interest Network‘s performance of The Vagina Monologues Friday night in the Hughes-Trigg Auditorium.

Fifteen women of different ages took the stage to present monologues on topics such as childbirth, vaginal hair, the many words for vagina, rape and wonderful sex. Each of the monologues explored a woman’s feelings and caused the audience to laugh or gasp in horror experiencing a hundred different emotions. The purpose of the show is to start a conversation about women’s experiences.

Two representatives from Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC) attended the performance.

“We love to see young student’s seeing it for the first time and performing it for the first time,” said Bobbie Villareal from DARCC. “Many students have never seen this production before.”

The audience began the night by laughing nervously every time that someone on stage said the word ‘vagina’ or talked about the sights and smells that come along with being the proud owner of one. By the end of the night every face in the crowd was rapt with attention, and the pain and sorrows of the actors on stage could be seen echoed in the faces of those watching.

At the end of the monologues Villareal came on stage to explain the services offered by the center.

“We are there to tell you that sexual violence is perpetrated on you not by you,” Villareal said, “Not because you drank to much or went to a party… it is never ever a victim’s fault.”

While the support from the audience was overwhelming, WIN faced a variety of obstacles. Not only was their poster defaced with a hand drawn penis, but they encountered difficulties with the original design of their poster. The poster, which features Perunas of different sizes an colors stitched together to create a large uterus, invited scrutiny from staff.

Melissa Maguire, co-chair of the event, expressed her outrage at the situation.

“SMU: Where even our banners get raped,” Maguire said.

Nonetheless the students who attended the event clapped and cheered loudly after the finale and as people were exiting the auditorium you could hear the conversations starting.

People were excitedly talking about how they had never heard the word “vagina” so many times in one night, and they were marveling at all of the people who had stood when asked if they had a friend who was sexually assaulted.

The Vagina Monologues had served it’s purpose. A conversation had been started.

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