Gentle, loving vaginas

“My vagina’s angry. It isIt’s pissed off and it needs to talk. It needs to talk about all this shit. It needs to talk to you.”

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to perform in the 12th annual production of the MU Vagina Monologues. I returned for my second year to join three other women onstage and perform a comedic, aggressive, energized and honest monologue entitled “My Angry Vagina.”

I was one of 98 women from all parts of the MU community clad in the classic red and black outfits associated with Eve Ensler’s V-Day campaign, the driving force to end violence against women and girls on a global scale.

I first learned about the movement during my freshman year. That year, I sat in the audience and, for the first time, rethought the influence of gender constructions within society, and my own position within that power structure. In so many ways, I as a woman was inferior to the patriarchies that dominate many cultures. But that night, listening to women tell the stories of countless women and girls worldwide, I became aware of the importance of open dialogue on the matter.

I’ve learned invaluable lessons from being on the VagMons cast for two years, and hope to continue until I leave MU. I was empowered by other women and gained confidence in myself as a woman in my appearance and behaviors. I’ve been able to educate others who, for one reason or another, have made offensive remarks about objectifying or degrading females based on their outward appearance or actions.

I think what’s amazing to remember about the MU Vagina Monologues is that men and women are learning from the movement across the world. Last week I got to interview a male student at Fudan University in China about his experiences with the movement. In his production, he created a monologue in which he played a transgendered individual and brought the issue to the public’s awareness through the performance. I actually got to do a Q-and-A with him for MU’s Global Communications international issues blog.In a society in which female voices are generally subdued, it’s great to see how much impact this movement is making on raising awarness and creating a society closer to gender equality.

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