The topic of women’s relationships with their bodies is often one fraught with conflict and limited to 30 minute segments on The View or the Oprah Show. From the pressure to stay thin to the lack of knowledge of their own genitals, women have been pressured throughout history to keep these topics swept under the rug. The Womens resource center is aiming to change that by bringing to life a classic play that explores what it means to be a woman.
“The point is to get women more comfortable about our bodies, and to celebrate our bodies. Women get very negatives messages about our genitalia like there’s something to be ashamed of, or worried about; so this really celebrates women and our bodies.” Said womens resource director Beverly McPhail.
The vagina monologues, written by feminist playwright Eve Ensler, will be performed throughout the weekend in the University Center Houston Room. The play is composed of vignettes in which women respond to questions about their bodies, like, “If your vagina had a name what would it be?” The topics range from humorous to saddening.
“The committee seems really dedicated and are working really hard. I’m glad were able to help them in a lot of ways like putting out the word in advertising,” said Women’s Resource Coordinator Malkia Hutchinson.
The play is co-directed by UH alumnae April Leah Richard and Lisa DeWaardt.
For the past few years the Womens resource center has put on the Vagina Monologues. It has not been on a yearly basis, but McPhail would like to have it so.
“We haven’t done it every year, but we want to try to start because it should be a part of every college experience. To be able to ‘check-off’ yes I went to a football game, yes I saw the vagina monologues and yes I got my diploma. It really is a cultural phenomenon around the country. Not only does it celebrate women and women’s bodies, but also we use it as a fundraising tool,” McPhail said.
Although the play is about women and their bodies, men are encouraged to go and get a sneak peek into the life of a woman and the ups and downs that make each womans experience a unique one.
“Hopefully it will plant a seed in someone and they will start thinking about these a little more deeply. That’s the hope with any good piece of theater, to make it to where the artist is making an impact in people’s everyday lives,” Hutchinson said.