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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

‘Vagina Monologues’ empower women through descriptive skits

Published: March 28, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc.

The 2014 “Vagina Monologues,” originally compiled by Eve Ensler, premiered on Friday, March 21 in the Shapiro Campus Center Theatre, prompting a huge turnout. The monologues were composed of different narratives told by all different kinds of women, each with a distinct experience.

Each skit covered a range of issues, from the oppression of women, embarrassment with their vagina, rape and sexual mutilation. The first monologue, acted out by Ariella Assouline ’17, portrayed a woman’s account of her frustration concerning the fact that she felt obligated to shave her vagina in order to please her husband, who cheated on her because she was reluctant to do so.

The next couple of monologues inspired women to love their vaginas. One of the narratives involved two women, played by Angela Acevedo ’16 and Sara Fried ’15, who go to a vagina workshop, which strives to help women see that they are unique, beautiful and fabulous. The two women are scared and reluctant to perform the workshop activities, but once they finally “went inside themselves and became the vagina,” they are finally able to appreciate their shells, beautiful tulips that open and close with pleasure.

The next account was acted out by Yael Platt, who reenacted the story of a woman who falls in love with Bob, an average-looking, thin, nondescript man. He doesn’t just have sex with the woman but also helps her fall in love with her vagina just as Bob does, as he spent hours looking at it, as if he were a palm reader or studying a map, finding beauty in every aspect of the body part.

One of the most poignant monologues was “My Angry Vagina,” which criticizes the way that the vagina always have to be cleaned up and stuffed with scents and so many uncomfortable accessories and items like thongs and tampons. The two women who act out this skit, Amaris Brown ’16 and Queen White ’17, warn women, “Don’t believe [your lover] when he says [the vagina] smells like roses, when it supposed to smell like pussy!” They claim that in this way, men are cleaning up the vagina when in fact, women should feel proud that their vagina smells just the way it’s supposed to smell, without any aromas to mask it.

The monologues then turned more serious, as they discussed rape, beginning with the frightening statistic that 200,000 women are raped in the United States every year. One narrative was a poetic account about a woman (played by Alia Abdulahi ’17) who angrily speaks about “something that is between my legs. I do not know what it is, I do not touch, not anymore … There was a deep dark animal stuck inside of me that has left a permanent stench that had invaded my vagina, my village, my home. I do not touch, not since the soldiers came and put a long, thick rifle inside of me, monsters, doctors with black masks and I became river of poison and pus.”

The narrative titled “The Little Coochie Snorcher,” records the accounts of a young girl’s memories, acted out by Solanny Sanchez ’16, Sam Daniels ’16, Sharada Sanduga ’14 and Hannah Caldwell ’15. One of the girls recalled the moment when she was at her father’s house during a party and one of his friends rapes her. On a more positive note, another iteration of the woman speaks of falling in love with a woman. When she sleeps over her house, the girl also learns to love her “coochie snorcher.”

The last part of the show included a video of a sex worker, a woman from Pittsburgh who became obsessed with making women moan. It all started when she was little, when she watched women making love. She admired the sounds that were capable of coming out of a woman’s mouth: “I became a moaner.” She talked about how her artwork became a job, finding pleasure in giving other women pleasure.

Overall, “The Vagina Monologues” were powerful and inspiring dialogues. They likely stuck in the minds of the audience, particularly women who may now feel more empowered and proud of their bodies.