Friday, February 13, 2009

Play of the Week: The Vagina Monologues

Tomorrow is V-Day. Yes I do mean Valentine's Day, but it is also the day (along with tonight) when The Vagina Monologues are annually performed to benefit women's anti-violence groups. The collection of stories was compiled and first performed by Eve Ensler as a series of reflection on the vagina, femininity, feminism, and women's issues. The evening focuses on female empowerment while being all inclusive at the same time. The different monologues are the result of interviews Ensler participated in with many women and show a full range of emotions and topics.

The Vagina Monologues has found a loving home on college campuses around the country, but its performances have not been controversy free; especially among the religious right. Many outspoken critics have called this play immoral, indecent, and indeed seems to be in direct opposition to many of their views on modesty.

I attended a performance on Valentine's day several years ago. The whole evening is a celebration of women - and I do mean a loving celebration. I left feeling very optimistic that change could be made so that violence of women can become a thing of the past. As a male I never felt uncomfortable or self-conscious because of any "feminine issues." If I felt uncomfortable, it was because of the horrible things done to women that the performance was opening up debate about. Things that are often brushed aside and hidden because people are afraid to talk about them.

This Valentine's day, take a moment to sit down with a copy of this play. Or if you are lucky enough to live in an area where there is a performance going on, go and show your support - and bring your friends too. They will be happy you did.

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