By Dana Amihere
Nor wind, nor sleet, nor snow will keep the 2010 Vagina Monologues down. Both shows, scheduled for February 12-13 at 8p.m. will go on.
Before I went to the Congo, I’d spent the past 10 years working on V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. I’d traveled to the rape mines of the world–places like Bosnia, Afghanistan and Haiti, where rape has been used as a tool of war. but nothing I ever experienced felt as ghastly terrifying and complete as the sexual torture and attempted destruction of the female species here. The violence is a threat to all; all young girls and village elders alike are at risk. It is not too strong to call this a femicide, to say that the future of the Congo’s women is in serious jeopardy.”
—Eve Ensler, Founder and Artistic Director, V-Day
This year, the official cause supported by the Vagina Monologues is what V-Day creator Eve Ensler calls “femicide” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Even if you have seen a V-Day performance in the past, the 2010 show features an all-new Spotlight Monologue to bring to life the plight of women in the DRC. Entitled “A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery,” this monologue tells the story of a Congolese girl named Bukavu. She is kidnapped by soldiers from her own war-torn country and trafficked as a sex slave. Her story is like millions of other women and girls around the world who bear scars of an atrocity against their bodies and their spirits. They are beaten, raped and tortured at the hands of others. This monologue is only one small voice in a sea of terrified screams and cries for help. In hearing Bukavu’s story, perhaps their pleas will resound a little louder and move its viewers to action.
Rule 6: “It doesn’t matter if you get caught, it’s better to die trying to be free.”
–from “A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery”, 2010 Spotlight Monologue
Junior Autumn Encarnacion, who portrays Marta in the Vagina Monologues, says, “[Her story] really hits home. I take it seriously. In a way I’m honored. It’s my duty to tell this story.” Although Marta’s story is difficult to hear and even more so to depict, she feels that she can relate to the character. “Every woman has felt so vulnerable and helpless in some situation.” In it’s eleventh year, V-Day urges its audiences to empathize with the plights of women worldwide and stand together to change things for the better.
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Vagina Monologues are co-directed by senior Kelly Scott and junior LeAnne Nicholson. Performances will be at 8 p.m. in Taylor Amphitheatre on February 12-13. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. The cost is $5 for students and military with ID and seniors over 55. Admission for anyone else is $10. V-Day merchandise will be available for purchase at the box office. Proceeds will be given to charity.
In the program, each actress in the 2010 Vagina Monologues was asked, “What does being a woman mean to you?” How would you answer this question? Post your personal response to this question below.