BY NATALIE LARIMER
The Vagina Monologues, a play that is put on every February on Drake campus, features an all-female cast and explores different parts of the female experience.
This year, Student Activists for Gender Equality (SAGE) is hosting The Vagina Monologues as well as a Vagina Carnival on Feb. 25.
The first carnival is at one, with the play starting at two, and the second is at six with the show starting at seven.
Directors Mollie Clark and Phoebe Clark are both members of SAGE, and both have taken part in The Vagina Monologues for the past few years.
“I think the message has changed and evolved a little bit over the years,” P. Clark said. “I know Eve Ensler originally wrote the book to be about how we have to stop violence against women and girls, but you know as feminism advanced, it’s had to be reinterpreted.”
Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues in 1996 as a one-woman performance for the Off-Broadway Westside Theater in New York. She based the monologues off of interviews she did with 200 women about their experiences with their vaginas.
Each year they add a new monologue in order to keep up with the changing political scene as well as the evolution of feminism.
With the new administration, M. Clark expressed her belief that The Vagina Monologues are even more prevalent now then they have been in the past two decades.
“There are things in society that tell women that their bodies aren’t theirs and their bodies aren’t safe,” M. Clark said. “The Monologues are particularly important because it tells women that their bodies are theirs and they can be safe and that they deserve to be theirs and safe.”
Though The Monologues have been revised over time, they have kept their original meaning throughout each performance.
“The Vagina Monologues is really about calling out violence against women,” M. Clark said. “It’s also about changing the language we use. A major theme is learning how to talk about vaginas as vaginas, which is difficult, especially to let women talk about their bodies in ways that they control and not ways that the outside world controls. For me, it was a really important change in my life, to teach me how to talk about things I wasn’t able to talk about before.”
Each monologue focuses on an experience that some or most women can connect to.
“I think the meaning is changing and evolving to be more about vaginas as not necessarily gendered, but also recognizing that vaginas are a very salient site of violence in America and around the world,” P. Clark said. “I think the message, to me, is that it’s time to end violence against vaginas.”
In creating a space where people can openly talk about the violence they have experienced, The Vagina Monologues have become a tradition for colleges and communities to perform each year.
The show is by and for Drake students, but community members are welcome as well. The Vagina Carnival will be a place for thrifting, poetry and various other activities which start an hour before showtime.
“The show itself is so emotionally intense and you feel the whole spectrum of human emotions within the span of an hour,” P. Clark said. “Expect to laugh, expect to cry, and expect to feel uncomfortable at least once.”