‘Vagina Monologues’: Breaking the silence about the vagina

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Story by Da’Sha Tuck, Staff writer

During parts of the production of the Vagina Monologues, Yasmine Martinez, sophomore from Paducah, Kentucky, was so moved by the monologues she cried.

“I thought it was going to be nasty the whole time, just because of the name, but it had all these different levels,” Martinez said.

She said just hearing the stories of the women in the monologues shocked her.

“I feel really empowered because no one talks about this stuff,” Martinez said.

The Women’s Center put on the Vagina Monologues, Feb. 11-13 to bring awareness to Murray State’s campus and to support the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center in Paducah. The Vagina Monologues is a part of the V-Day Campaign created by author Eve Ensler to help end violence against women and bring awareness to everyone.

Alexis Ash, sophomore from Paducah, Kentucky, said she was excited about seeing the show from the first time she heard it was coming back. She said she knew some of the actresses and could not wait to see it.

“I thought it was awesome and empowering,” Ash said. “I think it is a great learning experience for men and women. It’s breaking the silence that has always been there.”

Director Jasmine Wilkerson, graduate student from Americus, Georgia, and co-director Tyler Bradley, graduate student, said they were pleased with the way the production went.

Wilkerson cried as she talked about how happy she was with the first night’s performance.

“Vagina Monologues is something that requires a strong commitment from student leadership; Wilkerson and Bradley are just that,” said Abigail French, director of Murray State’s Women’s Center.

French said it would have been impossible for her to accomplish what Bradley and Wilkerson did on her own. She said it was an honor to support the Vagina Monologues and she is grateful for the director’s commitment.

The production of the Vagina Monologues not only had an impact on the audience, but it also affected the actresses.

After Saturday’s performance, actress Nicole States, sophomore from Carrollton, Kentucky, was so excited she couldn’t stay still.

States read a monologue about a woman who was an attorney who turned to prostitution.

“I feel very hyped right now.” States said. “It was like an out-of-body experience.”

States said she had never been a part of a production like this before.

“This piece is so much about the empowerment of women through the taboo of the vagina,” States said. “I think I get so hyped about it because I feel like I’m doing something great because all this money is going to the Merryman House.”

States said it takes a lot of confidence to perform onstage with any production, but it took something else to be in the Vagina Monologues. She said her personal experiences motivated her to perform.

“My background that I come from, like my home life, it’s not good,” States said. “And to be able to give to something that is working to end domestic violence its really close to me.”

She said her background gave her the strength and motivation to be in the show especially because the proceeds go to the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center.

Alayna Bristow, freshman from St. Louis, read a monologue about a woman who had to go to a “vagina workshop” to learn about her body.

Bristow had never been in any type of production before she performed in the Vagina Monologues last weekend.

“I feel great,” Bristow said.  “The audience was super jazzed and involved, so that made it even more fun.”

Bristow said a lot of people don’t know what the Vagina Monologues are about, and they don’t know what to think about it, but she hopes after they have seen the show they have a better understanding.

“Sometimes life is vulgar and these issues are horrible, so why not be real and not sugarcoat them,” Bristow said.