Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Students commit time, passion to Vagina Monologues

Feb. 14: Victory Day, Vagina Day, Valentine’s Day, or simply V-Day.

In honor of V-Day, a non-profit organization started by Eve Ensler, Plattsburgh State’s Center for Womyn’s Concerns will host the 13th Vagina Monologues.

The play is based on interviews with over 200 women and includes insight on topics rarely discussed or often shunned by society.

There are around 15 cast members in PSUC’s production, all having gotten involved with the production for different reasons.

Steffaney Wilcox, a sophomore at PSUC, performed in the play, directed by her English teacher, in her hometown of Cooperstown during her senior year of high school and has been involved with the play on campus since her freshman year.

“My family came all the way up here from Cooperstown to see me in it last year,” Wilcox said.

Ireen Hossani got tickets to see the show in Times Square through a writing group she was involved in called Girls Write Now.
“It was so intense and funny at the same time,” Hossani said. “There are so many emotions that go through you.”

Hossani was not able to participate her freshman year but as a sophomore student this year, she was the first one to show up to the auditions.

She also went to an all-girls‘ school for seven years, which she credits for her willingness to participate in a production like the Vagina Monologues.

“All my life, it’s always been about women empowerment,” Hossani said.

Hossani and Wilcox are also mentors in the Shine On! program which strives to help elementary-aged girls with their self-images.

“It’s about teaching girls at a young age to appreciate themselves so that when they’re older they will be more confident,” Hossani said.

The Vagina Monologues aligns with V-Day to end violence against women and girls.

“They want people to be able to relate to what you’re saying in your monologue,” Wilcox said. “But it’s also about bringing awareness to issues like rape and incest.”

However, Wilcox said that not all the monologues are about sensitive topics. Some of the monologues are more funny, hers being about pubic hair.

“The show is also about appreciating your vagina,” Hossani said. “Not a lot of people like to talk about it, but it’s something that we all have to deal with, so we should be able to talk about.”

All the money from ticket and other sales will be donated between an organization of Ensler’s choosing for the year and a local organization. This year, the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood in Plattsburgh.

“With our mission statement as a club, we don’t want to see Planned Parenthood not be in Plattsburgh,” said Johanna Burgos, president of the Center for Womyn’s Concerns.

In association with Ensler’s non-profit V-Day, the Vagina Monologues is accompanied by One Billion Rising, which brings awareness to violence against women.

“It asks people to get up and dance against violence,” Burgos said. “Because dance is a form of protest.”

Email Tawnee Bradham at tawnee.bradham@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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