February 16, 2012
The all-female cast performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, presented by Hamilton’s Womyn’s Center on Tuesday, Feb. 14 in the Events Barn, caused audiences to laugh and reflect, along with potentially inspiring change here on the Hill.
As a time honored tradition every February, The Vagina Monologues bring forth the voices of numerous women and allow audiences to hear their diverse experiences, while promoting awareness about women’s bodies and issues. The “taboo” nature of some of the monologues included the various types of orgasm moans women make, female genital mutilation in the Congo and the personification of the vagina as an entity of its own.
In addition to talking about lands of “vaginal wonder,” the performers truly made this year’s rendition of The Vagina Monologues their own by relating the showcase to the Hamilton community (“these KJ walls are so thin!”) and by also showcasing particular skills acquired while at Hamilton. Krista Hesdorfer’14 and Hannah Stubley’12 interpreted a monologue into American Sign Language as two other performers spoke English aloud. Due to the difficulty and, often times, inability of women in the deaf community to face and report violence against them, Hesdorfer thought it important to include this very frequently marginalized community in The Vagina Monologues.
Other new facets of this year’s Vagina Monologues included a monologue about Haitian women, their families and their lives after the earthquake, as well as the final monologue, which director Katherine Costa’12 performed to close the show. She recited a powerful article written by The Vagina Monologues’ author Eve Ensler in November 2011, that emphasized being “over” rape culture. The ways she expressed her attitude about rape culture ranged from how social media sites enable “rape pages” on their websites to the jokes people make daily regarding it.
By using vivid statistics, Costa highlighted how prevalent an issue violence against women in the world is, and the senior, who became involved with The Vagina Monologues her sophomore year, challenged the Hamilton community to continue focusing on women’s issues after the show ended and carry this conversation across campus.
“I want The Vagina Monologues to transform into action; I want people to be moved and enact change,” she said.
All earnings from ticket and t-shirt sales went to the V-Day Foundation, YWCA of Mohawk Valley and Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, organizations dedicated to helping women and providing them with the resources and tools necessary to make informed life decisions.