The annual Vagina Monologues captured UCSD’s campus from February 20-23, to talk about one of life’s greatest mysteries: the vagina.
Originally written by Eve Ensler in 1996 in the midst of Third wave feminism, The Vagina Monologues has taken real-life experiences and transformed them into a masterful episodic play. Ever since its birth, Vagina Monologues has been performed all across the nation and at multiple college campuses. With its topics ranging from sexuality, relationships, love, and abuse, the show is as powerful and painful as it is amusing.
Not only does the show help spark conversation about femininity here on campus, but it also raises awareness about sexual abuse and domestic violence. Ariel Smith, one of the directors of UCSD Vagina Monologues, says that another one of their missions is “to contribute to challenging discourse surrounding women’s bodies, gender, and sexuality.” The Vagina Monologues at UCSD gives 100% of its proceeds to two local, non-profit organizations: License to Freedom and Center for Community Solutions, both of which promote nonviolence and safe relationships through education and community.
“My revolution is connection not consumption, passion not profit, orgasm not ownership.”
The show consisted of multiple skits, each tackling a different topic of discussion. One monologue entitled “Hair” was devoted to female self-grooming and criticized the stigma of female pubic hair. “My Angry Vagina” added some comic relief through a furious rant against the unfair treatment of vaginas, including the lack of comfortable tampons and the expectations of vaginas smelling “like bathroom spray or a garden.”
The second half of the production focused heavily on sexuality and rape. Monologues entitled “My Vagina Was My Village” and “My Little Coochie Snorcher that Could” filled the room with pain and discomfort, accurately conveying a deep sense of loss and self. The last monologue, “My Revolution Begins in the Body,” was performed almost like a spoken-word piece with its impactful and poetic script. This piece was a call to action, uniting the different topics mentioned throughout the show and stressing the importance of love as a means of human connection: “My revolution is connection not consumption, passion not profit, orgasm not ownership.”
“Last year, walking out of the show, I had a newfound level of respect for not only my peers, but for myself.”
UCSD’s Vagina Monologues brought together over 50 students and created a safe space to discuss issues of gender, sex, and relationships. Luckily, this necessary conversation has now diffused to more students, staff, family, and friends with nearly sold out shows each night.
When asked about the impact The Vagina Monologues has had on her personally, Smith states, “Last year, walking out of the show, I had a newfound level of respect for not only my peers, but for myself. It helped me learn the importance of self-love and the importance of my voice. It really became a space for me to learn to speak up for myself and for others. It had a really big impact on allowing me to be loving, and allowing me to acknowledge myself as a powerful being, and also to acknowledge various identities as complex and beautiful and powerful.”
The Vagina Monologues might be the only production that will have you yelling “cunt” at the top of your lungs, but it is also one of the few performances that will change the way you view the female body. With its intimate stories and witty script, The Vagina Monologues will leave you informed, empowered, and most of all, loved.