By Erik M Emanuelson
On Feb. 21 in Davidson Hall an all female combination of CCSU staff members and students took to the stage to perform the thoroughly human stories from Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.”
The episodic play written in 1996 by American playwright, performer, and feminist activist Eve Ensler is performed worldwide. Revolving around interviews Ensler conducted with 200 women about their views on relationships, sexual views and violence against women. The Vagina Monologues lift the veil of silence over puritan sensitivity by delivering blunt interpretations on sexual anxiety, euphoric sensations, spousal abuse and modern hygiene products.
“An eye opening experience to say the least”, said Marv Sussman, local New Britain resident on the event. “As personal as the content is, these performers tastefully executed the delivery and message of the interviews.”
The “personal” content that Sussman describes is as much to do with the graphic nature of the play more than anything. Among the varying number of monologues read was the “Reclaiming Cunt”, a piece narrated which illustrates that the word “cunt” itself a beautiful word despite its flustering reputation. There was also “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could”, in which a woman recalls traumatic sexual experiences from her childhood that include self impalement to a bed post, the rape by her father’s close friend and ending in the father shooting and paralyzing the aforementioned friend, and concluding in her adolescent years with a self-described “positive-healing” sexual experience with an older woman. “My Angry Vagina” was a humorous rant about injustices wrought against the vagina, such as tampons, douches, as well as the tools used by female specialists (OB/GYNs).
The monologue that was said to steal the show was that of the “Sex Worker”. Clad in full leather dominatrix attire (whip included), this interview is about a former tax lawyer turned professional escort. The career switch was the result of a lack of moaning. Moaning seduced the woman into a life of sexual deviance; her drug was making women moan. The real crowd pleaser was when the woman went down the list of specified moans, the was the “right there moan”, the “doggie moan” (panting), “African American moan” (ahh shit!, ahh shit!), and the “college student moan” (ahh! I should be studying).
The play, sponsored by CCSU’s Women’s Center is part of bringing attention to Feb. 14 V-Day. Created 15 years ago by Ensler, V-Day’s anniversary is celebrated by ‘One Billion Rising’ which mobilizes a billion people worldwide in 207 countries to come together and express their outrage, and to strike, dance and rise against violence.
A quote from Ensler’s website describing the mobilization:
“One Billion Rising has shown that violence against women is not a national, tribal, ethnic or religious issue, but a global phenomenon, and that through this worldwide rising and support, survivors can be given the confidence of knowing that violence is not their fault.”
Brimming with comedic vaginal metaphors, a cognizant dialogue of women’s tribulations and gut-wretching real-life accounts of abuse and prejudice, CCSU’s performance of Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” lent an unfiltered and applaud worthy representation of a world renowned play.