The Vagina Monologues Will Share Profound Lifestories with Campus
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 16:02
This upcoming weekend, the Holy Cross Women’s Forum will perform The Vagina Monologues, a groundbreaking play composed of various monologues describing what it means to be a woman in modern society. Author and feminist Eve Ensler originally developed the production in 1996, gaining inspiration from the strong women she encountered in her travels throughout the world.
Co-chair of the Women’s Forum Dorisanne Ragon, ’13 explained, “Eve wanted an opportunity for women to have their stories heard no matter how painful or politically incorrect they are. While many of the monologues deal with uncomfortable subjects, I think it’s important to keep in mind that these are true stories of real experiences that women have had and that many women still have to this day.”
Dorisanne began performing in The Vagina Monologues at the suggestion of her older sister. She recalled,“My older sister was in The Vagina Monologues every year of her college career. One of the times I went to visit her, it just so happened to be the opening night of The Vagina Monologues. I was extremely uncomfortable watching the whole performance, but I got to talk to my sister about them right after and soon fell in love with its message.”
Co-chair and The Vagina Monologues director Jacqueline Distefano, ‘13 added, “I saw the monologues for the first time when I was in high school. Two of my best friends were in it, and it was empowering just sitting in the audience. My sophomore year I was in the show for the first time. It really gave me a sense of pride to be a woman and it motivated me to take women’s issues more seriously.”
Both Jacqueline and Dorisanne encourage students to get involved with The Vagina Monologues by attending the production this year, and auditioning next year. Auditions are usually held before winter break for women who would like to perform a monologue. Although the creator, Eve Ensler, declared that only women may act in the show, the Holy Cross Women’s Forum encourages men to assist with other aspects of the show. As Dorisanne proclaims, The Vagina Monologues are not meant to exclude men, but rather, to emphasize that we all must come together to raise awareness of gender inequality. She said, “Everyone must stand up against injustice. One gender cannot do it alone.”
Dorisanne emphasized the cultural importance of The Vagina Monologues, as well, in saying, “I think the most important thing about the monologues is that they deal with a lot of scary subjects that are generally considered taboo. We cannot, however, just push these issues back into the closet because they are not politically correct or because they make us seriously uncomfortable. In order to address these issues and stand up against violence, we need to know what we are standing up against. We need all the gory details, we need the discomfort, the pain, and the humor. It brings a very human element to the issue.”
Since one in three women worldwide is a rape or sexual abuse victim, there is a strong chance that Holy Cross students may know someone with a very personal connection to the stories shared in The Vagina Monologues. Dorisanne summarizes the purpose of the play by declaring, “It is a very real problem that has a very simple solution: to be heard and to speak out. As students at a Jesuit school, it is our responsibility to speak out against injustice.
By attending the show you are showing your solidarity with these women and women everywhere. You are helping to end violence against women and girls.”