Monologues embrace women’s sexuality

Marcella Brown

The Vagina Monologues, a play that celebrates women’s sexuality, took place in the Reeve Union Theater Feb. 23 and Feb. 24. Liz Cannon, the narrator during the play, said some of the monologues are based on one woman’s story, while others are multiple stories centered on the same idea and morphed together. UW Oshkosh students performed 17 monologues. UW Oshkosh student Brooke Berrens performed a monologue called “My Revolution Begins in the Body” which holds the empowering message that women don’t need to wait for verification of their significance. “My revolution does not need approval or permission; it happens because it has to happen in each neighborhood, village, city or town, at gatherings of tribes, fellow students, women at the market [and] on the bus,” Berrens said. One of the monologue performers and UWO student and communications major, Stephany Barthels. She said she wanted to try something new and support the cause, having never done this before. “I think just hearing other people talk about their vaginas makes me feel more comfortable bringing it up in casual conversation, knowing that we all have very similar thoughts,” Barthels said. “Having a conversation about it isn’t necessarily bad.” Barthels performed the monologue, “I Was There in the Room”. “We forget the vagina, all of us,” Barthels said. “What else would explain our lack of awe, our lack of effort?” Zoe Andraska, UWO transfer student and performer of the monologue, “My Short Skirt” has experience performing in the play at U-W Stevens Point. “My short skirt is not an invitation,” Andraska said. “My short skirt and everything under it is mine.” Andraska said the play is made up of interviews of more than 200 women and conducted by Eve Ensler. She eventually turned the play into a series monologues. “It’s specifically about women’s struggles,” Andraska said. “It’s a safe environment to talk about the things we don’t normally talk about.” The monologue, “My Angry Vagina,” performed by Mckenzie Valenta, speaks of all of the necessary but harrowing aspects that come with being a woman. “A wad of cotton, cold duck lips, and thong underwear; it’s the worst!” Valenta said. Eliza Farrow, university service associate for the Women’s Center, said the play is all about learning how to be comfortable with ourselves. “Everyone has a different perspective and everybody’s perspective is valued,” Farrow said. UWO student Que Varnado enjoyed watching this year’s performances. “It gives women the freedom to express whatever they feel about their vaginas,” Varnado said. “You shouldn’t hide something that’s natural.” All proceeds from the event will benefit the Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, which serves individuals and families in the Winnebago and Green Lake counties experiencing the effects of domestic abuse.