Wednesday, January 20, 2021

‘Vagina Monologues’ empowers women

Vagina. 

It’s a word hidden by society. It is ignored, swept under the rug and replaced with “PG” terms. However, Monday at 7 p.m. in the Warren Ballrooms, “The Vagina Monologues” celebrated the word and all that is associated with it.

The play, “The Vagina Monologues,” showcases women, their bodies, their power and their struggles. The #MeToo movement which was founded in 2006 but gained momentum in 2018, united women and brought to light the abuse that women face within our world. According to its website, less than six months from when they were founded, a national conversation began. And it all stemmed from a little hashtag, #metoo.

Small things like these can spark a conversation in a community. “The Vagina Monologues” sparked a conversation here at Plattsburgh State.

Freshman Lily Alvarado was a performer during this event in which they touched on the female anatomy, sexuality, rape culture, shaving, birth, genital mutilation, amongst other topics.

“We live in a phallic-centric society, and vaginas have either been pushed aside or claimed in relation to cisgender, heterosexual men,” Alvarado said.

She also explains that in order to diminish this power that others have, women have to have dialogue and come together.

“No one should be silenced,” Alvarado said. “We need voices out there, and we need people to listen to these voices.” 

As for preparing for this performance, the actors and actresses practiced a few times together but mostly on their own, as Rose Wise, freshman anthropology major, explains.

“The club held three practice sessions where we could read out and perform our skits to each other,” Wise said. 

Wise was unable to attend these sessions since she was out of town.

“I just watched a lot of videos of women performing my skits and I read them to myself,” Wise said.

Both performers, Alvarado and Wise, had favorite parts of their performances or ones that they watched. They practiced by watching YouTube videos of other people performing their acts or just letting go completely in the moment.

“My favorite parts of the Vagina Monologues was ‘My Vagina is Angry’ and ‘Reclaiming C–t,’” Alvarado said, “We’re being up-front, and we’re not sugar coating anything for the sake of maintaining the patriarchal structure of our society. It was all so powerful.”

Wise has a few other favorites, one of which included Alvarado’s performance in “The Woman Who Made Vaginas Happy.”

“She ended it with a series of moans, which are meant to be shocking and surprising to the audience,” Alvarado said. 

The skit featured a narrator who describes who hears women’s moans but doesn’t have her own. She looks to others for inspiration until she has her own sexual awakening later in life. 

 “What I took away from this is that women’s sexual pleasure is only socially acceptable to show if it’s caused by a man, and not caused by themselves or other women,” Wise said.

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