VSU V-Day: The Vagina Monologues
What is V-Day?
V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues. By creating this global community, V-Day strives to empower women to find their collective voices and demand an end to the violence that affects one in three women in the US and around the world. The “V” in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
Performance is just the beginning. V-Day stages large scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes. In 2008, over 4000 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls. V-Day celebrated its 10-year anniversary at V TO THE TENTH at the New Orleans Arena and Louisiana Superdome. V TO THE TENTH featured two days of speakers, sty, performance for all and make-overs, massage, medical testing and healing circles, and yoga for the women of the Gulf South Region. The event was attended by over 30,000 women and men and reached millions of people all over the world, raising over $700,000 for local efforts in New Orleans to end violence against women and girls.
Each year V-Day creates a Spotlight around a particular group of women who are experiencing violence and resisting it with courage and vision. The goal of the spotlight is to put a worldwide media spotlight on the issue, and to raise funds and awareness to aid groups who are working on it. V-Day’s 2009 Spotlight Campaign focuses on the Women in the DRC.
"Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to Women in the DRC" is a new global campaign to call attention to the wide-scale atrocities committed against women and girls in Eastern DRC and demand an end to the impunity with which these crimes are committed. By joining this campaign, you will be supporting local efforts to demand justice and accountability. You will be supporting survivors of sexual violence to heal and rebuild their lives and communities. And you will join others around the globe to demand that women and girls in DRC are safe.
What are “The Vagina Monologues?”
“The Vagina Monologues” is an Obie Award winning play written by Eve Ensler. The play is based on Ensler’s interviews with over 200 women about their memories and experiences of sexuality. It is a celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. It gives voice to women’s deepest fantasies and fears.
“The Vagina Monologues” is made up of a varying number of monologues read by a varying number of women (initially, Eve Ensler performed every monologue herself, with subsequent performances featuring three actresses, and more recent versions featuring a different actress for every role). Every monologue somehow relates to the vagina, be it through sex, love, rape, menstruation, mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the female body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. Every year a new monologue is added to highlight a current issue affecting women around the world.
Benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues” are so successful because they are:
- Fundraising Tools: Proceeds from ticket sales and revenue raised go to support beneficiaries working to end violence against women. Ten percent of the net profits from VSU’s benefit production of “The Vagina Monologues” will be donated to the V-Day 2008 Spotlight: Women of New Orleans. The rest of the proceeds will go to fund the Women’s and Gender Studies Sexual Assault Prevention and Intervention program.
- Educating Tools: Encourages the audience to think of women as sexual beings who are entitled to express sexual feelings and enjoy sexual experiences free of shame and guilt. Encourages people to think more deeply about violence against women and how it affects their lives and the lives of those around them.
- Empowerment Tools: Builds confidence in those who use it as a piece of drama to find their voice and express themselves. Art is cathartic and energizing for the activists on stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience.