Op-Eds Opinion

Conley: The Vagina Monologues leave a profound impact on everyone

Chrissy Conley
@chrissy__conley

Yes, we’ll use the c-word. Sure, we’ll use language and make references that would make your grandparents quiver. We will definitely be moaning. Lots and lots of moaning. “The Vagina Monologues,” written by Eve Ensler, is a compilation of interviews with over 200 women of different backgrounds about their views on sex, relationships, and violence. 

The production recounts consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, genital mutilation, vaginal care, menstrual periods, sex-work, and several other topics. 

Every year, hundreds of colleges and organizations world-wide present “The Vagina Monologues” as both a beacon of hope for women affected by violence, and as a fundraiser to support the women’s organizations such as rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and support safe houses that exist in their respective areas. 

Chrissy Conley, left, with other members of the Vagina Monologues.

None of this would be possible without the V-Day movement, which is the organization created by Eve Ensler that is responsible for bringing “The Vagina Monologues” far and wide, and raising money in order to educate the public about violence against all women and efforts to stop it.

When I first stepped foot onto campus as a junior transfer student in the fall of 2018, I had no idea what “The Vagina Monologues” were. I had gone to an all-girl school from kindergarten up until 12th grade, so female empowerment was (and still is) embedded into my DNA. 

When I went to the club fair and found this incredible group of women, I immediately grabbed a pen and wrote my name down to receive more information through future emails. The rest is history. 

I fell in love with the cast, the crew, the message, the sisterhood, and most importantly, I fell back in love with myself. I had just recently gotten out of a relationship with a boy who tried to demolish my sense of self-worth through lies, manipulation, tears, and jealousy. But this production gave me my voice back. 

This production has allowed me to stop seeing myself through the lens that I was conditioned to look through, and to start seeing myself the way that I want to be seen. After the shows concluded last year, I felt as though I was free from chains of my past, and I was finally flying. This experience is the reason that I was able to grow wings. 

As I write this piece, now as a co-director of this remarkable production, I am only able to speak justly to the profound impact this journey has had on my life alone. But this production is far bigger than me. It stretches to California, France, Spain, Netherlands and all across the world to women everywhere in every facet of life as we know it. It gives them hope. It gives them support. It gives them a sisterhood. It gives them wings. 

The 2020 performances of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” will take place on Feb. 13, 14, and 15. Shows will begin at 7 p.m. each day with an additional matinee showing on Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door. Please consider bringing a donation of new, unused women’s sanitary products. 

Presented by Students Against Violence Everywhere (S.A.V.E.)

Photo Courtesy Chrissy Conley

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