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Vagina Monologues makes the risque resonate

Photo // Ashley Bauler

ANNUAL EVENT DRAWS FULL HOUSE

Every year since playwright Eve Ensler first wrote The Vagina Monologues in 1998, many communities around the world celebrate the groundbreaking show annually with performances paying homage to the original debut in New York City.

Summit Hill Music, located off of Sherman and Yale near Platt Park, welcomed director Jessica McWhirt and her cast as they performed their take on The Vagina Monologues on Feb. 25. The event was sold out and overflowing with women and men alike who came together to laugh and cry as stories connected with the many walks of life in attendance.

The cast of women came together on stage to share stories that most women can relate to. Whether their monologues discussed sexual assault, mastubration, sex, gender identity, male aggression, or sexism, nothing was off limits, rendering the atmosphere inviting and inclusive.

As the skit began, it started with the women answering, “If my vagina could dress itself, what would it wear?” Answers varied greatly, but all took a humorous approach that landed successfully with the audience. “Armani!” said one performer. “Sweatpants,” “A bow tie,” “sexy lingerie,” “jeans,” were other noteworthy replies. The point of this particular part seemed to be that a woman’s vagina is a direct reflection of who she is as a person. Much like what women wear on their bodies, the expression through fashion for many comes as an empowering way to make a statement. Some women prefer sweatpants, and some prefer Armani—the diversity struck a chord with the audience.

There were several stories that were read that resonated powerfully in the theater. “The Flood,” performed by Leah Iknayan, shared the story of a woman who was hooking up with a boy when she was a 16-year-old. She was so sexually aroused that she left bodily fluids on the car seat, and this particular boy made fun of her and called her disgusting. Most women in the audience teared up, as they had experienced a man degrading the biological and physical reactions to arousal and being shamed for womens’ natural responses to sexual stimulation.

Another story that reflected the reality of the performer was “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy…Or So They Tried,” performed by Drew Tomasi and others. The story followed the narrative of a young boy’s emotive experience after realizing he was transgender. The story talked about the violence and hatred that is thrust upon the transgender and larger LGBTQ+ community by many cisgendered people. The story came to life when the performer shared her own experience of being beaten and abused by straight males, who also murdered her boyfriend. The raw emotion filled the room and weighed on the minds and hearts of the audience, creating an unforgettable, intimate experience.

The Vagina Monologues in Denver proved to be an enlightening experience with tales of those who haven’t considered the real life ramifications of exclusionary ideologies about women. The skit showcased the hardships that women face from less pressing issues, like pubic hair grooming, to the disproportionate amount of sexual abuse and assault that women face. It was a definitive day in most women’s lives who attended, and they came out saying, “I’m proud to be a woman.”

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