the power of V

Adriane Hardin

Cortney Ware stood behind the microphone with a hand on her hip.

“My vagina is pissed off,” she said. “My vagina is furious and it needs to talk.”

So it talked. And 15 others yelled, laughed and cried right along with it.

Sixteen students performed in “The Vagina Monologues” last night in Mass Media and Technology Hall auditorium before more than 300 people.

The women read monologues written by author Eve Ensler, who interviewed women and retold their stories through the play.

They touched on several women’s issues, including rape, lesbianism and pubic hair.

Ware, a Bowling Green sophomore, discussed all of the things that women’s vaginas have to endure – from shaving to feminine hygiene products.

“Stop shoving and stop cleaning it up,” she said during the performance.

The production was part of Western’s celebration of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. All ticket sales will go to Barren River Area Safe Space a domestic violence shelter and program that serves 10 counties in south central Kentucky, including Warren County.

Ensler conducted interviews with more than 200 women, asking them to talk about their experiences as women and, most of all, their vaginas.

The crowd laughed when Loretto freshman Stacy Lyvers performed “Vagina Workshop.”

The monologue is about a woman who admits she had never looked at her vagina or had an orgasm until she attended a workshop. There, the women straddled hand mirrors and looked at their most intimate part.

“My vagina amazed me …” Lyvers said. “It was better than the Grand Canyon, ancient and full of grace.”

At the end of the monologue, the woman decides that her vagina is more than just a part of her anatomy.

“My vagina is a shell, a tulip, and a destiny,” Lyvers said.

The crowd was silent during “My Vagina was my Village.”

The monologue tells the story of a Bosnian refugee who survived a rape camp.

But the audience laughed during “The Flood” – the story of a 72-year-old woman who had never had an orgasm and was outraged that she had been asked to talk about “down there.”

The set was built to resemble a vagina. Each performer stood alone in front of a microphone during most of the production.

Several audience members purchased “vagina” cookies. The decorations included pink icing, chocolate sprinkles and a red hot candy for the clitoris.

The cookies were sold for $1 each, with proceeds going to BRASS.

But most people came for the performances. Tiffany Troutt, a senior from Portland, Tenn., brought her mother to the production.

The two sat side by side along the back wall of the auditorium.

“I’ve seen the sketches of it on HBO,” said Casey Cathcart, Troutt’s mother. “Anything like this is good to do together and it is a feminist issue.”

Erica Guest, a junior from Cross Plains, Tenn., said she enjoyed “My Angry Vagina.”

“There are all these stipulations that come along with having a beautiful vagina that are just such crap,” she said.

The production raised about $2,500 for BRASS, said Kathryn Abbott, interim director for women’s studies.

“It was really thrilling,” said Bowling Green junior Shelly Glorioso, who produced the performance. “We had a huge audience, raised lots of money, lots of awareness. We are really excited about what we’ve done for BRASS today to end violence against women.”

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]