'The Vagina Monologues' explores female sexuality

Sunday, March 20, 2016 - 2:27pm

LSA sophomore Olivia Furano, LSA senior Becca Langsam and LSA freshman Carly Marten demonstrate about how difficult it is to look at one's own vagina at The Vagina Monologues performance on Saturday night at Rackham Auditorium.

LSA sophomore Olivia Furano, LSA senior Becca Langsam and LSA freshman Carly Marten demonstrate about how difficult it is to look at one's own vagina at The Vagina Monologues performance on Saturday night at Rackham Auditorium. Buy this photo
Luna Ann Archey/ Daily

 

“The Vagina Monologues”— a performance featuring a series of comical, inspiring and powerful acts that aim to deliver women’s stories of sexuality and courage to the public — was held at Rackham Auditorium Friday and Saturday night.

Students, faculty and community members gathered for the Students for Choice’s fourth annual student-run program, held by Students for Choice and directed by LSA junior Angelle Antoun. Many of the performers presented monologues from Eve Ensler’s 1996 play of the same name, which served as inspiration for the event, but two others presented their own stories.

Among the speeches throughout the night, a myriad of perspectives were explored, from the old and young, to heterosexual, homosexual and transgender, among others.

“My Vagina was My Village,” from Ensler’s play, was presented by Art & Design senior Manami Maxted. It tells the story of a woman living in a war zone who was systematically raped by soldiers.

“There is something between my legs. I do not know where it is, what it is,” Maxted recited. “Not since they put their dirty sperm inside me. Not since a piece of my vagina came off in my hand. They butchered it and burned it down.”

The first act Popcorn, a monologue written by LSA sophomore Clare Fairbanks and performed by LSA senior Irene Syriac, told the story of coming to terms with asexuality by comparing her vagina to the popcorn button on a microwave.

“My vagina is my body’s equivalent to the microwave’s popcorn button,” Syriac said. “I never used it and I do not have plans to.”

Syriac explained the stigma associated with asexuality and the lack of awareness surrounding the subject during the monologue, and related it to the personal experience of coming out.   

“Coming out to my parents wasn’t all that different from telling them that I had a mysterious disease,”Syriac said. “Telling them I was dysfunctional seemed easier than telling them I was asexual. My conservative upbringing had led me to think that it was something I should not have been experiencing yet.”

Students for Choice President Connie Gao, an LSA senior, said she hopes that audience members will be inspired and continue the discussion afterward.

“I hope people think about the Vagina Monologues after they leave.” Gao said. “I hope that they put in that conscious thought.” 

All of the proceeds from ticket sales were donated to Operation SafeHouse, an organization which provides emergency shelter, intervention and outreach services to youth in crisis. Students for Choice treasurer Kelsey Almony, an LSA junior, said she wanted to be a part of Vagina Monologues initial because of its connections to SafeHouse.

“I got involved because of the donations to SafeHouse,” Almony said. “I have some personal connections there. It is something really close to my heart, which is why I am passionate about the event.”

LSA junior Sydney McConnell, a member of Students for Choice, said the purpose of the event was to add the perspective of women to the conversation.

“Women are sexual,” McConnell said. “They have sexual organs and should be allowed to be sexual.”