Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blogs from the Past: 2/4/2004

This blog is exactly how I wrote it in February 2004, with the exception of a few small edits (some information in it was outdated). I was highly involved with the Longwood University productions of The Vagina Monologues in 2003 & 2004 and doing so taught me more about myself and other women than I could ever have hoped to learn otherwise.

The Vagina Monologues is a play written and performed by Eve Ensler (Off-Broadway). It has also been performed all over the country by many famous actresses, including Calista Flockhart and Glenn Close. Many years ago now, Eve started V-Day, a campaign centered around The Vagina Monologues which moves to end violence against women and girls. She decided as a part of this campaign to allow colleges to produce the Monologues free of charge, asking only that the proceeds benefit local charities and centers that deal specifically with women.

I was Head Organizer of the Monologues when they were performed at my school in 2003, but needless to say that was nothing short of a disaster. I made some bad decisions when I chose certain people to help me and I got screwed over big time. Won't get into that, though, in 2004 I directed and my good friend Alexis organized.

If you were a student at my school, Longwood University, or if you wondered why we would produce the same play two years in a row, let me first say that the 2004 production was extremely different from the one put on in 2003. Why did we bring it back, though? Basically, after the overwhelming support from the Longwood community in 2003, we decided to bring The Vagina Monologues back in 2004 so that we could continue to promote awareness about ending violence against women and girls.

Anyway, I know many people (especially guys) wonder why they should go see a play called The Vagina Monologues. Here is what I came up with: This is far from an event produced exclusively for females, but more a production that combines comedy and drama into a performance that is eye-opening, educational, and entertaining for all. Not only does it promote the end of violence against women and girls, but all proceeds go to benefit local groups and/or shelters who work with women and girls who have been victims of rape and/or abuse. Whether you are a woman, know a woman, or have ever fantasized about one, this event is definitely worth attending!

Please check out the official V-Day website and try to find a production near you.

I suppose now you're wondering what made me so gung-ho about this. I will put it bluntly. I was raped by an acquaintance of mine in 2001. When it happened, it was something that I thought was my fault. I wouldn't talk about it to anyone, and even though my mom noticed that something was severely wrong with me and sent me to a psychiatrist/psychologist (not sure which one it was, I get confused over those two words), I was very careful, in talking to the psychiatrist/psychologist, not to mention what happened. I didn't want to be thought of as just some slut - because remember, I was thinking that what happened was my fault.

Then someone mentioned The Vagina Monologues to me and not long after hearing about them I was browsing in Barnes & Noble and came across a V-Day special edition of the book. I purchased and read it and began to realize that what had happened to me was not my fault.

The first person I told the whole truth to was actually Ex.. I told him sometime during September of 2002. After that, it began getting easier and easier to tell people, and nowadays I'm as "comfortable" as I'll ever be, talking about it. I have experienced denial, depression, and anger. I confronted myself, and now I am okay with what happened. What happened is part of what made me the person I am today, and I like that person.

When I read The Vagina Monologues, I also read the extra material in the back of it. This is where I found out about the College Campaign and how I came to be involved in it. I am proud of the work that I did, and I hope that my influence prevented at least one woman from going through what I want through, prevented one man from raping or striking a woman, prevented one woman from thinking herself not good enough because of her sexual preference or the fact that she don't want to shave her cooch, made one woman laugh in the face of someone who calls her a "cunt".

So yeah, in my own way, I am a feminist. In my own *small* way, I am a Vagina Warrior.

And I am damn proud of it :o) . Pin It

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