The Women’s Interest Network is hosting this year’s presentation of “The Vagina Monologues” Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center auditorium. The proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center.
This event has a long history at SMU working to empower women and create a sense of community among the female students. “The Vagina Monologues,” written by Eve Ensler, has been performed since 1996 and has since been the cornerstone for the V-Day campaign. This campaign works to educate people on the realities of violence against women and girls, according to the V-Day website.
“It’s the only night we really get to talk about sexual assault in a broader scope of all women,” Co-Chair Angela Uno said. “I think that is so important to the SMU community.”
But “The Vagina Monologues” doesn’t just tell stories of assault and rape, it also explores a woman’s feelings during her first period, what childbirth is like, losing one’s virginity and a long list of other vagina-related topics that any woman could relate to.
Uno describes the monologues as being the first time that women had been asked about vaginas in general, how they felt and their experiences as women.
“It’s a way to just get people to start talking,” Uno said.
Performing “The Vagina Monologues” give students the opportunity to find community support if they have been assaulted. The benefits are not exclusive to women, however; it also gives male students the chance to step into the mind of a woman for one night.
“I think it’s important for men to go,” said Heidi Brandenburg, the graduate assistant at the SMU Women’s Center and the advisor to the Women’s Interest Network. “They can see things from our perspective, what we go through as women.”
The Women’s Interest Network has been fighting for gender equality at SMU, and “The Vagina Monologues” is just another stepping stone on the path to a more equal campus.
“It’s so acceptable for people to talk about men and penises and sex in general,” Uno said. “But when a woman tries to talk about it, it’s so taboo.”
The Women’s Interest Network hopes to open up the door to remove that feeling of ‘taboo.’
“I’m hoping that this year will see more student involvement because it represents liberation,” last year’s chair Asia Rodgers said.