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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    The Monologues Come to Stony Brook!

    This past Saturday a group of diverse women dressed in black and red came together on one stage to present an issue that is often considered too taboo to discuss: the vagina.

    Stony Brook’s Wo/Men’s and Gender Resource Center presented Eve Ensler’s popular “The Vagina Monologues” to a packed auditorium in the Student Activities Center.

    The play is based on Ensler’s interview with over 200 women of all ages, sexual orientations and ethnicities about their memories and experiences with sexuality. Originally the play was performed by the playwright herself but has since grown in popularity and has been performed all over the country by many different women and has become popular across college campuses.

    The play begins with four young women standing behind four microphones reading the introduction on how the Vagina Monologues came to be. One woman read, “We were worried about vaginas,” and another read how women needed a community of other women to discuss the mysteries behind their vaginas, a forum to discuss questions they were previously too embarrassed to ask. A forum where anything goes and for many women that is what this plays does.

    Throughout the night woman after woman walked up to the microphones and read personal accountants of other women’s stories as though they were speaking about their own experiences. These experiences ranged from self-empowering to humorous to powerfully sad.

    One minute you will hear a story about women who rant about the injustices their vaginas face from tampons to the tools used by OBGYNs. The next minute you are hearing a story about a young girl who was mutilated during a ritual circumcision. And then you hear the story of a girl who comes to the discovery of her own sexuality.

    The passion and commitment to telling these stories was obvious that night through the energy and efforts for the actresses.

    One particular account, read by Samantha Raimondi, was very well presented. She read the story of a woman in her 70s who had never discussed her vagina, and in fact referred to her vagina as “down there.” If not for Raimondi’s obvious young appearance it would not have been clear she wasn’t speaking from her own personal experience. She even spoke with a voice and attitude of a woman who grew up in a generation where young girls where made to feel embarrassed, sometimes even ashamed of the natural, biological happenings of their “down there.”

    It is Ensler vast look at different females and their different stories that both the play powerful and earned the play so much popularity.

    Along with creating an influential and empowering play for women, Ensler has also created a new organization. With benefits from the play’s production Ensler has created V-Day, her organization dedicated to stopping violence against women and girls, which uses creative events — such as performing “The Vagina Monologues” — to raise awareness about anti-violence organizations.

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