Vagina Monologues: A tradition that will keep the conversation going

Chelsea Davis

The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play that caused a lot of conversation on Georgia Southern’s campus back in Spring of 2014. Now in 2017, the Vagina Monologues has returned to GS to continue these conversations.

Back in 2007, Lori Amy, Ph.D., professor of women’s studies, brought the tradition of the Vagina Monologues to GS.

The GS chapter of the National Organization for Women will be hosting the Vagina Monologues this week in which the monologues will consist of different stories about women and their sexuality.

“Some of the stories are people telling their stories to maybe a close friend, or even possibly a stranger. Some acts will have poetry. They are all different kinds of celebrations of women’s sexuality,” Candy Schille, one of the first directors of the Women and Gender Studies Department here at GS, said. “Different women such as heterosexual women, transgender women, lesbian women, women who have undergone ‘female circumcision’ and women giving birth. So it’s a celebration of female sexuality back before it was fashionable.”

Schille will be a speaker at Vagina Monologues in which she will tell the story of an older woman that went through something tragic as a young girl, who was scarred and basically killed for any desire for sexual fulfillment. This is just one of the many stories that will be told.

“NOW hasn’t had a production since the Spring of 2014, so this is our first year doing it because the membership of NOW has been fairly low as well as the financial ability to put on a performance of the Vagina Monologues,” Brieana Williams, senior writing and linguistics major and GS chapter vice-president of NOW, said. “This is the first year we are able to do it and we definitely want to keep that tradition alive, because it does benefit so many people and it does start that conversation”

The Feminist Movement

The Women’s Movement, also known as the Feminist Movement, sparked change in how the world would view women. Women wanted to do everything a man could while still keeping their femininity.

In 1966, the National Organization for Women was founded in Washington, D.C. and later helped formulate 550 chapters worldwide. One of those chapters happens to be here on-campus.

Amy decided to keep the mission going by chartering a chapter of NOW here at Georgia Southern.

NOW at Georgia Southern

NOW is an organization that wants women to feel free in their own self. They want women from all different backgrounds, different experiences, different ages, and even different sexuality to come together as one and talk about the true issues at hand. The chapter here at GS focuses on the equitable treatment of everyone and the social injustices that women can face.

“Our mission on campus is to try to initiate dialogues on campus that will help foster empathy. You know there are certain conversations that can be challenging to have when you live in the conservative self, and so our goal is to try to start those conversations without anyone feeling prosecuted and get to the path of mutual equity,” Rebecca Frost, writing and linguistics major and GS chapter president of NOW, said.

Here at GS, the members at NOW believe that hosting the Vagina Monologues is their contribution to the feminist movement. It allows all different types of women to come together as one and talk about the issues they deal with on a day to day basis.

“People should come out because ticket proceeds will be donated to helping people who have survived sexual assault and get onto the path of healing that’s best for them which I think is a really worthy cause on a college campus in a college town knowing that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men have reported been sexually assaulted,” Foster said.

The goal of Vagina Monologues is to act as a safe zone for people who are afraid to speak up about their experiences and know that the support is there.

The Vagina Monologues will be held in the Russell Union Theatre on Feb. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. Early arrival is suggested.