The “darkness,” “secrecy” and silence that so often dominate discussions about vaginas was brought to the table this weekend with Central Michigan University’s Students Advocating Gender Equality’s production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.”
The production, a play based on 200 interviews of women of all ages, races, sexual orientations and backgrounds, has been a popular production performed on Broadway since 1996 and is famous for its celebration of female sexuality and empowerment.
Washington junior Emma Spencer, who was involved in the play, said the production is a way to learn more about women’s issues as well as one’s own body and health.
“I read the monologues in high school, and it was a very fascinating piece to me at the time,” she said. “When I found out that CMU had a group that organizes a production, I knew I had to do it.”
The play presents knowledge and personal narratives of topics including sexual aggression, rape and female mutilation that occur daily and on a global scale.
Spencer said she believes it is important that students know what is going on in the world because more awareness of these issues will bring a change.
“Women face so many challenges throughout their lives purely because they are women, and people need to know that that happens,” she said.
Westland senior Alexa Gholston has been involved with “The Vagina Monologues” since she came to CMU.
Each year, she has played a different role in the production, and she described her role this year as a bit of a dominatrix.
“(My character) loves to make her vagina happy, and she is unashamed, and I love that. She loves herself and is confident in who she is,” Gholston said.
Gholston said her heart has been touched by being involved with this production.
One of the aspects Gholston especially appreciates is how the proceeds accumulated by the production are donated to SAGE, Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood Crises Pregnancy Fund, Eve Ensler’s V-Day and Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates.
“We are giving money to the people who really need it, which is amazing,” Gholston said. “I know we are making changes, and these services are doing more than I can, so I love that we give all we earn to them.”
Junior Michalina Badur saw the play for the first time Friday after hearing about it last year. Badur said she was curious to see the show but did not know what to expect.
“It was extremely relatable and funny, yet it was still able to address more serious issues such as rape and abuse,” the Edwardsburg native said. “It really shocked (me) with the statistics, because it’s scary to think that the probability and number of victims is so high.”
Badur said she would recommend anyone and everyone see “The Vagina Monologues” because it creates an important awareness in a creative and funny way.
“The Moans,” one monologue in which cast members gathered on stage to perform particular orgasmic moans connected to certain sexual situations, had the audience laughing.
CMU was even prescribed a shout of ecstasy as Midland senior Sadie Quinlan straddled a chair, moaning “Fire … up … Chips!” and incorporating a call from the CMU Fight Song.
“The funniest monologue was ‘The Moans.’ I guess you just don’t expect to ever witness that many woman portraying that many moans at one time. My favorite was probably ‘the CMU Moan,’ though,” Badur said.