What do you call your Vagina? Pussycat, twat, poochy, tamale, split knish, taco, coochi or snorcher?
Our university neighbor, Alaska Pacific University, hosted the play “The Vagina Monologues,” directed by Kristin Jones, last week to inform Anchorage what women across the planet are saying about their vaginas.
“The Vagina Monologues,” an Obie Award-winning play by Eve Ensler. It has been the centerpiece of V-Day, February 14, a day many set to raise awareness and money to end violence against women. APU was just one of hundreds of universities that took part in the 2001 College Initiative to let the community know that it is time to stop the violence. The tickets to the show were rather steep for college students at $20 a pop, but 100 percent of the proceeds went to local woman's support groups, such as Standing Together Against Rape and A.W.A.I.C., Planned Parenthood and the Valley Women's Resource Center.
The monologues are based on a study done by Ensler, where hundreds of women were interviewed about their vaginas. The women ranged from a 6-year-old girl who said that her vagina smelled like snowflakes to a 72-year-old woman afraid of her `flood' – the wetness that occurred when she became excited. She was so afraid of it that she was never close to a man again after a boy told her, at 16, that she smelled of sour milk.
During her interviews, Ensler asked women questions like “What would your vagina wear?” and “In two words, what would your vagina say?” Answers ranged from lick me, more please and stay home to start over and where's Brian. Ensler encompassed these interviews into “The Vagina Monologues,” a performance that has finally made `down there' a vagina.
Some of the monologues were purely humorous. Jamie Jones, adorned in a black pleather top and a head of purple hair, performed the monologue about `The Woman Who Loved To Make Vaginas Happy.' Jones played a cooperate lawyer gone lesbian dominatrix who had the audience rolling with her sassy remarks, talented facial expressions and too-close-to-real orgasm moans that ranged from the clit moan, a high-pitched body-shaking moan where the eyes rolled back into ones head, to the surprise triple orgasm moan, which ranged from the high-pitch moan to the oh my god OH MY GOD moan.
Quite the opposite was Christi Everett's portrayal of `My Vagina Was My Village', a story of a vagina that had been violently and repeatedly raped when the woman's country was stricken with war. Everett was dressed in simple black attire and, with a cloak around her head, described rifles being thrusted up into her vagina and the fright of not knowing whether the six soldiers that surrounded her were going to pull the trigger. Everett's sad eyes and raw emotion perfectly fit the sad story that the Muslim woman had gone through.
Most of the monologues were a mixture of the humor, sadness, and the mystery of the Vagina. Bethany Hinkel played a vagina that was pissed off. In `My Angry Vagina' Hinkel ranted on subjects like dry wads of cotton being stuffed up in her vagina to the cold duck lips that the gynecologists use when she gets her yearly. While the audience loved her comical performance, she also hit serious notes like women worrying about what their vagina smelled like and how the corporate market wasn't doing anything to help women`s views of their vaginas.
“Don't believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals,” says Hinkel. “It's suppose to smell like fish. I wanted the fish, that's why I ordered it.”
“The Vagina Monologues” was a witty, inspiring performance. If my vagina could talk, it would say “hell yeah” to the women who had the guts to get up on stage and spread awareness by faking orgasms and yelling out why they were worried about their vaginas.