Another Kind of V-Day

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quick note: As I wrote in my blog's description, "I examine daily style and the occasional wandering thought." This post is more on the "wandering thought" side of things. Feel free to read along or skip ahead to a post that holds your interest. No hurt feelings, either way.
SaraChelsea goes to see "The Vagina Monologues" at Westminster College in SLC
February 5, 2011
(note: check out how all three people behind us are on their phones.)

It was February 2006 in Cedar City, Utah. I cannot remember where I heard about the local production of "The Vagina Monologues," and I can't remember precisely why I wanted to go, but I felt like it was a big deal. I enlisted the companionship of two roommates (including the dark-haired lady in the above picture) and away we went.

Seeing the show that night did something to my insides. It was the second show of a three-night run; I ended up going again the next night and would have gone ten more times if the actresses had been willing to humor me. I've seen the show every year since then and even participated as a performer in 2007; it's one of the highlights of each February (and February also includes Valentine's Day and my birthday, so it's got a lot to compete against).

I know the name of the play sounds intimidating, and I know the play itself isn't appealing or uplifting for everyone. That's completely fine with me. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, I always say. But I just couldn't let this February pass me by without acknowledging how important "The Vagina Monologues" has been in my life. 

I'm an abuse survivor (that phrase feels so cheesy when I apply it to myself, but it's true - I am). I've also had some lady-specific medical problems. Those two things (and some other experiences I won't mention) have combined to give me a lot of emotional baggage when it comes to my body, but this baggage somehow seems to lift and dissipate whenever I see, read, or think about "The Vagina Monologues." It's an experience that I associate with total empowerment and freedom, acceptance and excitement.

Since the show was first written and performed by Eve Ensler, it has evolved from a celebration of female experience to a large, lucrative movement that works to end violence against women. "The Vagina Monologues" is now performed every February, in communities and colleges all over the place, under the larger banner of V-Day, and V-Day in turn features a variety of other productions and events. All of the money raised through these events - every cent - goes towards local organizations that serve women or towards V-Day's work throughout the world.

My best friend, Chelsea, and I saw a production in our neck of the woods last weekend. Westminster College did a wonderful job, showing great subtlety, creativity, and enthusiasm. With any production of this show, there are built-in moments of comedy, tragedy, and tremendous love. I sat in my seat on the second row and just absorbed it, all of it. My soul needed those two hours.


If you want to take in some of the V-Day events in your area, go here and find out what's going on nearby. It might just become an annual occasion! As we all enjoy the lovely love of friends, family, and significant others on Valentine's Day, I think it's important to remember the women around the world and in our own towns who are actively surviving violence. I'm really grateful that V-Day and other similar organizations are working to extend love and help to those who so rarely get it from anywhere else.

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