‘The Vagina Monologues’: Students find understanding through shared experiences
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There was laughter and there were tears. But most of all, there was understanding. This was the scene during ULM’s performance of the Vagina Monologues last Tuesday.
“The Vagina Monologues” is a 1996 play created by Eve Ensler that features a multitude of female voices focusing on women’s issues and experiences.
To some viewers, a few of the stories were relatable. ULM English professor Vanelis Rivera was one of the Monologue performers. Rivera said after the performance, a Nepalese student told her that she felt empowered by it.
Junior English major Eddie Anderson said he went to see “The Vagina Monologues” because he likes “performances that are real and raw.” He said he’s always been surrounded by “extremely blunt” women, so he wasn’t too uncomfortable.
“Women go through a lot,” Anderson said. “Not just with their vaginas, but with relationships also.”
Sophomore English major Ali Brabham has participated in the Vagina Monologues for the past two years. She believes the play is important because it brings certain issues to light that often get overlooked.
“I [realized] that I’m not alone in many of the struggles that we have to go through as women,” Brabham said.
Meredith McKinnie, the Director of Composition in the English department, also performed in “The Vagina Monologues.” She said that, after seeing the performance, one of her international students opened up to her about an experience he had when he was eight.
One of his teachers made inappropriate advances, but nothing was done about it.
“It’s not something you bring attention to, and that always bothered him,” McKinnie said. “The fact that we were talking about it made him a little more open.”
When he went to the performance, what affected him the most was the segment about rape. “He felt like someone was telling his story,” McKinnie said. “When he was eight, he wasn’t allowed to tell that story.”
She said, “there’s a sense of community when people realize that what they’re suffering, other people are suffering as well, and that’s what the Monologues try to do.”
The cast also took donations during the show that went to The Wellspring women’s shelter.