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The Vagina Monologues teach acceptance of women’s sexuality

The Vagina Monologues teach acceptance of women’s sexuality

V-day, not valentines, actually stands for Vagina day and is inspired by Eve Ensler’s 1995 Vagina Monologues. UVU has produce the performance for 12 years, and the Peace and Justice club held the mantle this year at Center Stage Feb. 22.

The director and ‘award winning’ actress Rebekah Dunford put together a group of women and one man to read off a series of statements and stories, collected by Eve Ensler from women all over the world.

“We try our our very best to have as much diversity as possible in the different genders, race, ages and everything,” said Dunford.

Though the diversity of the actors was slim in terms of ethnicity, the stories they told were far from it with each having a different take on the vagina and its sexualization. Specifically,  the experience with womanhood and the sexual and emotional treatment that comes with it. Many of the performers in the show had a resemblance to the characters they were reading. From tragic rape victims to a hilarious lesbian dominatrix, this is one of the most interesting shows put on at UVU.

“I remember going through a lot of the same things growing up, feeling wrong, feeling out of place,” said Annabelle Jensen, a transgender woman and psychology major. Annabelle read off the monologue titled “They Beat the Girl Out of Me…or So They Thought.”

In the monologue, the character wonders why she can’t wear makeup, and why she has to walk around topless at the beach when other girls don’t. As time wears on her feelings become stronger, but so do others’ and her peers beat her senseless. She lost her way, joined the marines, grew a full beard, and “became duller, jaded.” She eventually ran away and started her transition in Miami. After a while she told her parents, and her father helped pay for the transition though her mother is still reluctant.

“The most real part was talking about parents; my parents don’t accept my transition at all,” said Jensen. Both she and the anonymous trans woman had more than a rough time with their parents and identity, the difference is the parents’ reaction.

Many of the readings were from the 1995 version, but three spotlight additions were made for the end of the performance by female community members and students. The theme this year for V-day was “rise, resist, unite.” Kindra Ammett, the advisor for philosophy and disciplinary studies, created a monologue for “rise” and how tired she is of The Vagina Monologues. From her four-year-old being sexually harassed to her abusive relationship and the hardship of divorce in Mormon culture, she is tired of the monologues’ necessity to exist.

“I am waiting for the day that this isn’t necessary, then we can move on to the other issues,” Ammett said.

In her poetry, Name and title, references how her body was like the underworld or paradise, how her vagina was like the river styx and she the boatman Charon. This is in reference that she is in control of her body and no one else.

Keli Byers, a former UVU student. told a personal story about how a returned missionary raped her, and how she drove herself home drugged instead of accept a ride from the man who drugged her.

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Connor Haugen

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