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The New York Times’ Harvey Weinstein exposé created the first wave in a storm of sexual assault accusations against Hollywood’s finest. The words “Me too” have never carried so much weight. While the number of women coming forward with their stories continues to rise, the media tends to focus on the elite. We often forget that the issue at hand is one that impacts not just the women in Hollywood, but the women in our very own lives. That is why The Vagina Monologues matters now more than ever.
Since its off-Broadway debut in 1996, The Vagina Monologues has inspired generations of women. Author Eve Ensler collected real women’s stories, ranging in topic from pubic hair to sex work, creating an episodic play embodying the female experience.
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Every year, between February 1st and April 30th, productions of The Vagina Monologues occur all over the world as part of the V-Day Campaign, a global movement to end violence against women. Communities and universities put on the play as a fundraiser for various women shelters and organizations. Boston University’s production benefits Rosie’s Place, Boston’s own poor and homeless women’s shelter.
The Vagina Monologues do not only benefit these women in need. The production serves as a transformative experience for the women involved- a form of protest and a platform for their voices to be heard.
“Someone who I thought was a friend told me that an ideal woman for a man is someone who is hot, stands by his side, and doesn’t talk,” BU junior and Vagmo cast member Elina Kent said. “So I joined a group of women who spend 1.5 hours on stage who look hot and are informing, educating, moaning, and screaming at the people in the audience for them to wake up and listen.”
“The Vagina Monologues is an amazing opportunity for women to make friends they wouldn’t meet otherwise, empower one another, and find solidarity on such a huge and often isolating campus,” says VagMo cast-member Ruby Rosenberg.
The Vagina Monologues displays resistance through female camaraderie. We resist the very misogyny and ignorance that unfortunately make up the fabric of our society. This resistance is what makes VagMo so relevant today and every day.
BU senior Lauren Linn has felt the impact of The Vagina Monologues in her own life since she first saw it her freshman year.
“Vag Mo held my hand and walked me through the process of self love and acceptance. It then let me do the same thing for others through the last two years. I learned how to turn my less-than-ideal experiences from my past into things that empower me and allow me to connect with those around me,” Linn said, “I do not shy away from difficult conversations anymore. On the contrary, I initiate them. The Vagina Monologues community taught me that empowered women empower women, and gave me the platform to do exactly that.”
As for me, I can’t even being to describe the importance of this show. Regardless of my role as an actor or as an assistant producer, the resilience and beauty of the women I get to work with never ceases to amaze and inspire me.
One thing I’ve learned from this show, and even more so through the women I’ve met through this show, is that we have SO much work to do. While some may believe there is little to no progress left to be made, this sentiment could not be further from the truth. Hearing different versions of the same heartbreaking stories from the kindest and most deserving women has proven this to me time and time again. The Vagina Monologues creates a space in which women can be utterly and unapologetically real about what it’s like to be a woman in this messed up world we live in. And it’s a truth that everyone needs to hear if we ever expect to make some real progress.
But don’t take my word for it. Come see the show yourself this week, but get your tickets quick! The show is sold out for February 15th and 16th, but tickets are still available for our two shows on the 17th. Bring your friends! Support a worthy cause!! Rise, Resist, Unite!!! And NEVER underestimate the power of an angry woman.
My name is Ina and I'm an avid lover of fashion, food, friends, dance, music, and herb puns. I want to be as cool as Millie Bobby Brown when I grow up. Boston University Class of 2020.