V-Day USC presents The Vagina Monologues

By Deborah Swearingen, Jasper Intern




Vaginas – are you shocked yet? There is no denying that a lot of us have ‘em, so why do we feel so uneasy talking about it? Although it is basic female anatomy, just saying the word often makes us blush. The Vagina Monologues aim to tackle questions like this, along with a variety of other issues that generally make some people uncomfortable. The event comes to the University of South Carolina every year around Valentine’s Day, but its name seems to bring an equal amount of confusion each time. People cringe and wonder – are we really having a play… about… “private parts”!?

The answer is yes. Yes, we are. But likely not in the context that some would assume. Columbia’s rendition of Eve Ensler’s episodic play aims to raise money and awareness for issues that women face every single day. Some are funny – sex, masturbation, pubic hair and orgasms (just to name a few). But several of the issues discussed are quite sad and have serious implications for those suffering. Rape, molestation, and genital mutilation are never pleasant topics, and each can be equally difficult to face. But none of these issues should be ignored. Sexual violence is real, and events like this help give many a voice that they may have trouble finding on their own.

Leia Cain and Roxy Lenzo worked together to co-direct this year’s show. Cain has been involved with the Vagina Monologues for nine years and says throughout the night, the audience will “laugh, cry and laugh so hard they cry.” Clearly, the show is meant to evoke emotions of all kinds.

Perhaps one of the most notable aspects of the experience is its charitable nature. All proceeds go to Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, which provides both prevention education and services to those affected by sexual violence. Last year, $7,000 was donated to Sexual Trauma Services, and about $1,000 was given to the international V-Day Foundation, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.

The Vagina Monologues begin this Friday, February 14th in the Law School Auditorium at USC and run through Sunday, February 16th.. Doors open at 7 p.m. to provide time for the pre-show silent auction, but the play begins at 8:00. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at http://vmonologuesusc.wordpress.com/tickets/. General admission tickets are $12, but students get a reduced fee of $10. On Valentine’s Day, a special rate of two tickets for $20 is offered for couples.

Cain says to get involved next year, all you really need to do is pay attention around November. The event is advertised via flyers, Facebook and word of mouth.

For more information, visit the website http://vmonologuesusc.wordpress.com.

By Deborah Swearingen, Jasper Intern