BY BECKI DEGEEST
Victory. Valentine. Vagina. Three words that make up what V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, promotes.
After a four-year break, V-Day celebrations are back at MSUM. This year approximately 25 women from MSUM and the F-M community are coming together this Thursday to perform Eve’s Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.”
The “Vagina Monologues” are a series of real-life interviews that Ensler compiled into monologues. Though the monologues aren’t exactly new to MSUM, this year the monologues will feature a mix of old and new; the new called “Spotlight Monologues.”
Theater senior Sarah Henning, along with the help of other students in her department, took the initiative to get the monologues and V-Day back to MSUM after the long break. The Theatre department’s Blackfriars group has taken the initiative to support and take on the project.
“We lost a lot of upperclassman and interest when I was a freshmen,” Henning said. “We also lost a female (theater) professor.”
Henning, who identifies as a feminist, took it upon herself to make the “Vagina Monologues” come back, in order to help students get a better understanding of the vagina and violence against women. After talking with alumni and contacting the Fargo Moorhead Community Theater and Straw Hat, Henning gained public and student interest and began to pursue and plan the event.
The auditions for the monologues were open to the public, but only to woman or transgender women (those who identify as women). All women who auditioned were able to participate in the monologues in some way.
“We’re not against men,” Henning said. “In fact guys can sell tickets and get tables. The group of guys helping are the ‘pussy posse.’”
The monologues range from interviews and testimonies of young to old women. Included is an interview with a 6 year old who discusses the smell of her vagina, to a local woman who tells her story of sexual assault, which led to her conceiving a child.
“They’re (the monologues) supposed to show womanhood in a new way.” Henning said. “Women will be able to get in touch with their inner vagina and who they are and express herself.”
With a $100 budget, the group didn’t have much room for spending. However, they will be selling buttons and vagina shaped cookies and other baked goods to promote their event this week in the CMU. The cost of the show is $3 per person or $5 per couple (non-discriminatory). Ninty percent of the proceeds from the event go towards the Young Woman’s Christian Association (YWCA), while 10 percent goes towards the V-Day organization.
“(The show) will challenge you to think about woman’s sexuality,” Henning said. “There is not only one truth with a woman and her vagina.”
The “Vagina Monologues” do contain vulgarity and strong use of language. While it is open to the public, the show is limited to ages 18 and up and parental guidance is strongly advised. Henning says that while the show does have some vulgarity, and even though some of the materials could and often do offend, she wants people to come and be educated and says that it’s a “great opportunity for women to get out there.”
“We’re not trying to offend people. If you’re not open to seeing a vagina, you many not want to come,” she said. “ However, if you do come, maybe that will change your perception and will open up your mind to it.”
Henning’s main goal is that people are able to take something away from the show and have a positive experience, man or woman.
This comedic yet inspiring show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Hansen theatre.