‘Vagina is Not a Dirty Word

In November, I auditioned for “The Vagina Monologues”. The “Are you a Vagina Warrior?” sign in Plant Hall intrigued me.

I had never auditioned for anything before, and the girl in the green shirt assured me, “Don’t be nervous. It’s just us,” as if we were all old friends. The girls who I auditioned for were open and sweet, and unknowingly put me more at ease by asking me about my tattoo.

The silence after the mini-discussion meant it was time for me to start. I read three excerpts from the monologues of my choice from a packet. I said ‘vagina’ eleven, yes, eleven times throughout the audition.

It was hard for me to take myself seriously and not be embarrassed, because it had always been an unspoken understanding that what I had down there wasn’t something to talk or rejoice about. Though, that is the exact point Eve Ensler, the creator of the Vagina Monologues wanted to make.

“I was worried about what we think about vaginas, and even more worried that we don’t think about them,” she starts off with in the production.

These monologues are mistakenly considered anti-men, even though they are anti-violence; especially violence against women.

“Not only is it about stopping violence, but it’s about loving yourself, discovering yourself, and feeling comfortable with your vagina, because it’s something to be proud of and not to hide and be embarrassed of,” added Katrina Vidal, a Vagina Monologue committee member. Women should feel comfortable with their bodies and sexuality. Ensler believes that women and vaginas are not separate things and should not be considered apart from one another.

A Vagina Warrior is a woman or vagina-friendly man who has experienced or witnessed extreme violence, and instead of becoming violent themselves, they channel it into stopping violence against others. Ensler has positively influenced and affected millions of women.

The monologues have been performed in over 119 countries, translated into 45 languages. They deal with the stories of sex, rape, love, masturbation, menstruation, orgasm, birth, the different names for the vagina, and the vagina itself from the 200 women that Ensler interviewed while creating the monologues.

All of the profits from tickets and merchandise go to this year’s Spotlight on Women in New Orleans.

Twenty percent is given to the cause itself, and eighty percent goes towards the P.E.A.C.E Alternative Spring Break, which is a trip to New Orleans to aid and help re-build and to Operation Nehemiah, who houses volunteers that help out in the area.

Merchandise includes t-shirts with phrases such as “I heart my vagina” and “Vagina is not a dirty word”, magnets, and pins. Tickets are $5 to UT students and $10 for staff and the public. The 18-monologue production will be held March 1 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Reeves Theater.

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