If you missed it this year, you’re off the hook. The UW-Milwaukee’s Women’s Resource Center presents The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler every year in partnership with V-Day.
V-Day is the same day as Valentine’s Day, but for Ensler, the “V” also stands for Victory and Vagina. She started this global activist movement that collaborates with different organizations to end violence against women. This year, the Women’s Resource center donated the production’s proceeds to benefit Grateful Girls of Milwaukee.
I was lucky enough to be part of this year’s production. When people ask me what the Vagina Monologues is about, all I can give them is “vaginas.” This play covers topics including sex work, trans struggle, visits to the gynecologist, tampons, hair, loving sex, giving up on sex, discovering sexuality, sexual harassment, different kinds of moans, happy facts, and not-so-happy facts.
What makes this show unique is that it’s all real stories from real women. These monologues were based off interviews Ensler had with a diverse group of over 200 women, something I talked more about in the introduction to the show.
What’s even better is that the cast is not limited to theater students or even students at all. I was blessed with being able to get close and hang out with people of all ages and ways of life. It brought me a lot of joy to connect with people outside of the classroom and out of the East Side. As a journalist, I love hearing people’s stories. This was a great space to hear and talk about those stories.
This is one of the most freeing experiences I have ever been a part of. I got to talk about periods, sex, birth control, healthcare, relationships, body insecurities, grooming, and sexual identity every Sunday evening with no judgment. Liberating conversation was had both on and off stage, which is much needed in a society where our own bodies are too sensitive of a subject to talk freely about.
A misconception I often heard about The Vagina Monologues is that it is just a bunch of hardcore feminists getting on stage to yell about our periods and hate on men. This is not the case. This show is meant to educate as well as entertain. Even, as a woman, I learned a lot from the monologues and my fellow cast members. That being said, I didn’t connect with every monologue. Not all women share the same views or experiences. Hearing so many different stories and viewpoints is something we as a people should all embrace.
I had never read the script before I decided to take on this production. I had no idea what to expect going into the first rehearsal, but I was ready to take on whatever was thrown at me. 10/10 would do again.