Play strives to end violence

When “The Vagina Monologues” was first drafted in 1996 by Eve Ensler, it was meant to help celebrate femininity, but throughout the years the purpose of the piece has been shifting toward stopping interpersonal violence against women.

Interpersonal violence affects women more than men, and includes rape, incest, sexual assault, sexual trafficking, mutilation and dating violence, said Lisa Richmen, Women’s Center graduate assistant.

In 2006 there were 85 total domestic violence calls made to the Bowling Green Police Department, with 27 of those ending in arrests.

“The Vagina Monologues is an anti-violence movement – so why not want to stop it? Violence against women and girls affects everyone,” Richmen said.

The play is a set of a number of monologues which are read by a number of women. Each monologue relates in some way to the vagina, focusing on issues including rape, sex, love, menstruation, mutilation, birth and orgasm.

“The monologues are all true stories about women. Some are word for word and others are a collaboration of stories,” said director Lucé Tomlin-Brenner, alumna.

And sharing stories about womanhood is simply human interest.

“I think that ‘The Vagina Monologues’ is derived as a very liberal play – when it is about women’s health, it’s not political. It’s something that is necessary to discuss,” Tomlin-Brenner said.

Everyone is encouraged to come and listen to stories of the trials and tribulations of womanhood – the good and the bad.

“You can support the women in your life by going to this, guys are incredibly encouraged to attend,” said Hannah Geyer, junior and producer of the production.

And men on campus do see the importance of the production.

“Its good for men to understand what women are feeling. I think women are less likely to go up to a man or significant other and talk about these personal sexual things, than they would to other women who have similar experiences,” Chris Gross, junior, said.

“The Vagina Monologues” makes room for stories which society may deem taboo, stories which could bring to light topics that have seldom been discussed in public forum.

“It is a way to get information and insight that you wouldn’t get any other way,” Geyer said.

That message is being portrayed by 17 cast members who will be performing in the Union Ballroom at 8 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday.

Tickets for students are $8 and are available in the Union lobby Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission tickets are $10. Both can also be purchased at the door.

Proceeds from the event will go toward victims services of interpersonal violence, including local sexual abuse victims, as well local women’s shelters.

“We welcome everyone to come, no matter where you come from, or who you vote for. Getting behind women’s violence is something that everyone should get involved in,” Tomlin-Brenner said.