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ISSUE 117 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/12/2004

Monologues Misjudged

By Emmy Kegler
Contributing Writer

Friday, March 12, 2004

Arent we done with vaginas yet?

A lot of Oles were asking this question last week. The Vagina Carnival, the talk in Thursday chapel, chocolate vaginas everywhere, revolutions in our pants, the Vagina Soiree, and the crowning event, the Vagina Monologues (TVM)  arent we done now?

I reached a point of disillusion  the Vagina Monologues have become sensationalized, man-hating, overdone for shock value by a bunch of white women who just want to scream the word cunt. Unless, of course, they knew women who were in the show: women who were experiencing TVM for the first time, who were excited and nervous for their boyfriends reactions, who started out uncomfortable even with the term vagina. Being a member of this cast was one of the most amazing and challenging experiences of my life. Homework, social life, sleep fell by the wayside last week as we rushed to get lines memorized, costumes perfected, mikes repositioned, and people interested. Why? Whats the point? Ive never been sexually assaulted. I havent been seriously groped or called an obscene name. We as a college have an exceptional sexual assault resource program: we have blue light phones for late-night emergencies  were fine. So why V-Day? V-Day is about taboo words: sex, lesbians, and masturbation. But V-Day, at its core, is about one thing: ending violence towards women. Its official website states, V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. TVM talks globally about female genital mutilation, war rapes, and Pakistani women burnt to death by their families. TVM also speaks nationally about obscenity laws, domestic violence, and assault in American Indian culture. The United States, one of the most progressive countries in the world, is among the top ten countries for rape per capita  and thats reported rapes, leaving out attempted rapes and unreported date or domestic rapes. At the end of the show, we asked victims and survivors of sexual, emotional, or physical assault to stand. Then family members of survivors. Then lovers. By the time we got to friends, nearly everyone in the audience was on their feet. Why V-Day? some ask. I reply, Why do we have blue light phones on campus? Why is there a Womansafe house? Why do we have SARN? We are the most aware generation in America, yet we, female and male, are still raped, assaulted, molested, groped and called obscene names. Were still afraid. There are a few monologues that were in Eve Enslers original show but are not in the College V-Day scripts. One of them is a second interview with a sex worker. The monologue is interspersed with Eves reactions to the womans story: embarrassment, excitement, fear, danger, intensity. Eves conclusion to the monologue, which was read in its entirety at the Vagina Soiree last Friday, seems a fitting answer to those who do not understand the Vagina Monologues: To love women, to love our vaginas, to know them and touch them and be familiar with who we are and what we need. To satisfy ourselves, to teach our lovers to satisfy us, to be present in our vaginas, to speak of them out loud, to speak of their hunger and pain and loneliness and humor, to make them visible so they cannot be ravaged in the dark without great consequence, so that our center, our point, our motor, our dream, is no longer detached, mutilated, numb, broken, invisible or ashamed.

Contributing Writer Emmy Kegler is a first year from Maplewood, Minn. She majors in religion.

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