Mattie Gillespie, Guest Contributor • email@example.com
In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, Emory & Henry College hosted the annual play The Vagina Monologues on Thursday, February 8, to raise money for the Bristol Crisis Center.
This play is performed by women all over the country during the month of February.
The Vagina Monologues is also associated with the V-Day organization, which, according to its website, has raised $100 million in 18 years towards building a system change in ending violence against women and girls.
Director of Inclusion and Diversity Patricia Gonzalez and Director of Student Leadership & Area Coordinator Housing & Residence Life Josh von Castle teamed up with sophomore Claire Hogg to make the event happen.
Hogg said last year’s Vagina Monologues was her first. The experience, she said, left her “amazed by how empowering the event was for girls and women. I listened to my professors, peers, and friends moan, yell, and elaborate on the realities of female sexuality. I knew that I wanted to do something to get involved and promote the continuation of such an important performance. The students who organized the event last year just happened to be seniors, so I decided to step up and, with the help of Josh von Castle, Patricia Gonzalez, put on the show.”
Fifteen women from E&H, both students and staff, volunteered to recite monologues focusing on women’s sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse.
The Vagina Monologues were written by playwright and activist Eve Ensler in 1994. She based the monologues off of information she conducted from conversations and interviews with various women.
Hogg said, “I care about vaginas. I care that we don’t talk about female sexuality with the casual rhetoric we use to talk about male sexuality.”
Before and after the play students were encouraged to donate anything they could to the Bristol Crisis Center in Bristol, Virginia.
The Bristol Crisis Center is a non-profit organization that provides free assistance to thousands of citizens in the community, according to its website, crisiscenterinc.org. Since the Crisis Center began in 1973, they have developed a well established staff that are qualified in crisis management and provide resources to clients with a variety of issues.
Among the issues that the Bristol Crisis Center addresses are sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, abuse, neglect, and suicide.
Gonzalez said, “The Vagina Monologues gives women the power to talk about what they are going through, not only women but other folks who are experiencing forms of assault. We want students to know that there are resources, and we want to connect them to those resources.”
On an ending note, Hoggs stated that she is already “super psyched” for The Vagina Monologues next year.