‘Vagina Monologues’ addresses women’s struggles

Rollins students are invited to attend the Vagina Monologues, set to take place this coming  Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., in the Suntrust Auditorium.

The Monologues, originally written by Eve Ensler, allow audiences to identify with being a woman or experiencing oppression in life, as well as an opportunity to understand what it means to have a vagina.

A ticket to the show costs either $10 or a box of menstrual products; in either case, the proceeds go to the Harbor House of Central Florida, a domestic abuse shelter. The Harbor House will also have someone present to give a talk following the performance.

This year’s theme is Resistance, which director Hannah Gonzalez noted as particularly appropriate given the political climate. This year marks the second anniversary of the Women’s March, with the original being held around the time of President Trump’s inauguration.

Ms. Gonzalez states: “Resistance is speaking up and not staying silent – not letting anyone tell you ‘these are your birth control rights’ or ‘these are your physical rights,’” said Gonzalez. These ideas are skillfully representative of many social movements currently in progress.

Many U.S. women oppose the new laws and programs being suggested or implemented by the Department of Health & Human Services, with the most opposition towards those that aim to  restrict the practice of abortion.

At the same time, Gonzalez pointed out that the themes of the monologues have been similar for 20 years. “The messages were relevant then, and they’re relevant now, and it’s frightening and alarming and amazing” that after two decades, many people still need to understand what’s being said in the show.” she said.

According to the director, one difficulty with the Vagina Monologues at Rollins is that it is difficult to find the people who want to be a part of the show. The Vagina Monologues can come and go, and some people do not even realize it; “[the Monologues] needs a stronger foundation on campus,” the director said.

One such suggested foundation is Voices for Women, which meets in the Lucy Cross Center on Tuesdays at 12:45. Many of the actors in the performance are typically members of Voices for Women.

Although the script is not revamped every year, the collection of monologues varies somewhat. The actors are also different each year, which brings a new perspective to the material; the director explained that even those actors who retain their roles from previous years often have a new perspective shaped by experience.

“You connect with yourself in the show,” said Gonzalez. Every actor connects with a particular monologue in a certain way, and every audience member ideally does the same.

The purpose of the Vagina Monologues are to raise awareness of the oppression faced by women.  Students of all gender identities are encouraged to attend and become more aware of societal issues facing women.

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