Revolution. It is a word that resonated through the entire Strafford Room this Friday and Saturday night, at the annual Vagina Monologues, in light of UNH Feminist Week 2015.
As implied by the name, The Vagina Monologues is a series of narratives that bare the naked truths of female experiences. Emotions ran high as the audience shifted from laughing until their sides hurt to suddenly being drawn to the edges of their seats.
A variety of themes were exposed throughout the entirety of the show, but none stuck out to me most than the fact that woman’s femininity is downplayed in the public eye. We feel pressured by the certain physique society has established, as a result, our sex has become something of a mystery, obscurity to us. Negative connotations have made women feel undermined, making it all the more difficult to talk about these topics in an approachable environment.
I talked to seniors, Samantha Webb and Olivia Fiore from the production, and they both agreed that if the audience left feeling any different than what they came in feeling– be it good or bad– than they achieved their goal.
It is about a nation’s perspective of womanliness as a whole, we need to “break through repression to [achieve] acceptance, empowerment and change” answered Webb, referring to the question of where do we go from here, what actions can we embark on for change to occur?
The Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program, otherwise known as SHARPP, has done a great deal in actively spreading awareness across the University’s campus, including walks and “promoting inclusivity for everyone on campus” as Webb described.
When asked the same question, Isabelle Beagen, a freshman, replied to simply start to “Listen, understand [and stop] micro-aggression” when you see it, “little actions” can mean a lot when they spread from person to person.
At the end of the production Webb’s final words for the audience were, “Listening becomes empathy and empathy becomes change.” if we all took more time to listen to each other in general, stop to engage with someone and hear their stories, then maybe that is where change can emerge.
You can find more UNH events by going on the Memorial Union Building’s main website.