Discussing healthy sexuality: Students and Faculty perform the Vagina Monologues

Autumn Dixon

MANAGING EDITOR

Poets gathered in Villalobos Hall on Feb. 28 for the Vagina Monologues. The event was hosted by the Violence Intervention and Prevention Club (VIP). And 100 percent of admission fees were donated, according to the Student-L sent out by fourth-year Eryn Wells, “90 [percent] of the proceeds will be donated to Women in Prison, Detention Centers, and Formerly Incarcerated Women. 10 [percent] of the proceeds will be donated to the Spotlight Campaign: The Resistance.” 

The Vagina Monologues were first drafted by Eve Ensler in 1996, after she interviewed 200 women on sex and relationships. Two years after the interviews, Ensler stated: “The purpose of [the Vagina Monologues] changed from a celebration of vaginas and femininity to a movement to stop violence against women.” Multiple accounts have been added to the list since its beginnings, including stories of transwomen and gender non-conforming individuals. Many of the interviews tell stories of sex, masturbation, sexuality, and sexual assault.

Whittier College’s rendition of the Vagina Monologues consisted of twelve performers, including 11 Poets and Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities Siobhan Skerritt. Third-year Kaylan Amezcua performed “My Vagina is Angry” and “I Was There in the Room.” 

“Both were heavy, expressive, and impactful pieces, and I was way too excited about doing them,” said Amezcua. “I was proud to participate in such a liberating and feminine-focused program.” Amezcua dedicated “I Was There in the Room,” a performance that talks about the birth of another sibling, to her mother. “This year, my mom couldn’t be there. She’s working through chemo[therapy] and kicking ass,” said Amezcua. “‘I Was There in the Room’ reverberated for just how much of a sacrifice my mother made for me to be here today, so I dedicated my performance to her.” 

Amezcua’s “My Vagina is Angry” performance was one of third-year Leeann Ballejo’s favorites. “[Her performance] really stuck [out] to me because of how much effort she put into her monologue. She really seemed passionate doing it,” said Ballejo. All performers put so much energy into their performances that the audience had no choice but to be captivated by their words. Whether it was through the laughter that erupted while second-year Journee Bradford explained different types of moans in “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy,” or the somberness that came over the room when fourth-year Grace Reeder performed “My Vagina was a Village” and dedicated the performance to Bosnian women all the performances were important.

“The Vagina Monologues is one of these experiences that you walk away [from] with a boosted confidence, and [it] makes you feel empowered,” said Amezcua. “I encourage everyone to watch it, and everyone who identifies as ‘fem’ to participate.”