‘The Vagina Monologues’ exude women empowerment

Students on stage during one of "The Vagina Monologues" performances on Feb. 26. Courtesy of David Hawkins. Photo credit: David Hawkins

The CSUN chapter of the V-Day activist movement conveyed a powerful message about serious issues women face with “The Vagina Monologues” while contributing to women’s rights by fundraising for nonprofit organizations on Feb. 25 at Plaza Del Sol Performance Hall.

“The Vagina Monologues” is an Obie-award winning play written by Eve Ensler in the mid-1990s. V-Day chapters around the world host performances of the play, as well as a couple other artistic pieces, in order to raise awareness and funds for women’s rights.

“The monologues are about empowerment and acceptance. It’s about being who you are, regardless of who that is and doing it unabashedly by taking the power that you have within yourself into your own hands” said Frances Ramsel, president of CSUN’s V-Day chapter.

Ramsel states that “The Vagina Monologues” is a way to share personal stories about being a woman, and a process of overcoming and empowering each other.

“You’ll find that most people involved with this are survivors, and this is their way of sharing their stories with other people. This is their way of healing,” Ramsel said.

According to Ramsel, proceeds from the performance are donated to their beneficiaries, which include Children of the Night, a nonprofit organization for children who are victims of prostitution, and Strength United, which provides help to victims of sexual and domestic violence.

“We are always looking for student volunteers. We do fundraising all year round so that we can donate to our beneficiaries to support the cause,” Ramsel said.

Amy Soo, a student in communication studies, stated she saw the monologues at UC San Diego a week prior and was eager to see the monologues again at CSUN.

“The performances were different because of the style and delivery of the monologues, but both were still very powerful. The girls performing at UCSD were wearing what seemed like red club attire, and tonight they had a similar theme and message with the red shoes. It was great,” Soo said.

Veronica Chavira, a CSUN alumna and former V-Day activist, compared the previous monologues she had participated in from 2004 with the current performances.

“I feel that the women that performed were able to tell their stories in a very authentic manner because some were very heavy pieces that were very passionate. In a sense I felt a connection from when I was doing ‘The Vagina Monologues’ so many years ago,” Chavira said.

Chavira said that previous monologues at CSUN had as cast of about 30 women, and the current cast was not even half that.

“We sold out two out of three nights when I participated years ago. There needs to be more of the campus involved so that it can be packed to the brim,” Chavira said. “I feel like the performances need to be seen by two or three times as much audience that attended. Just by the reactions people had and how touched they are by the performances, I think that needs to be seen by the entire CSUN community.”