‘Vagina Monologues’ Calls Attention to Worldwide Violence against Women

Posted: February 1, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Lexi Soya

Most see Feb. 14 as a day for boxes of chocolates, bouquets of roses and showering that special someone with lots of love. But in 1998, Feb. 14 became something much more than Valentine’s Day: It became V-Day.

V-Day, a name that stands for victory, Valentine and vagina, grew out of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play, “The Vagina Monologues.” The day is used to demand that violence against women around the world, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery, must stop.

For the past seven years, the women of George Mason University have performed “The Vagina Monologues” as part of V-Day’s college campaign. This year, performances are on Feb. 2 and 3.

Susan Stahley, Mason’s director of drug, alcohol and health education, is directing the show this year. “I am so excited to be a part of this,” she says, “We have an incredibly talented cast.”

Cast member and senior English major, Celia Taylor, who will be performing one of the monologues, attests, “There is a lot of good energy in the group. It’s nice to work with a group of women who are here because we are women.”

“The cast has an openness that isn’t usually found in productions,” says Stephanie Wolfe, a senior history major. “It’s very special.”

“The Vagina Monologues” is designed to make a statement in a radical way, and many find themselves hesitant to see it.

“I think that many people are intimidated by the word ‘vagina’ in the title, and they shouldn’t be,” says Wolfe, who will perform the monologue “Hair.” “The show isn’t raunchy or extremely sexual; it’s about respecting women.”

Jesse Shipley, a junior theater major performing “My Short Skirt,” advises, “Buy the ticket even if you don’t think you’re going to like it. There’s something in there that’s going to resonate with you on some level.”

“Even if you’re a guy,” says Shipley, “you’re going to learn something.

Kyle Munkittrick, a senior majoring in English who saw the show last year, says, “It’s the best way I can think of to begin putting yourself in your girlfriend’s shoes.”

The show has been extremely successful in the past. “Even if people don’t physically see it,” says Stahley, “They hear about it. There’s a lot of buzz about it, and it’s quite the eye opener.”

“The Vagina Monologues” will be performed at Mason on Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 3, at 2 and 8 p.m. in Harris Theater. Tickets can be purchased at the Concert Hall Box Office or at the door, and are $5 for students, $10 for faculty and staff and $25 for the general public.

Proceeds will go to Women for Women International and the George Mason University Victims of Violence Fund.

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