‘The Vagina Monologues’ empowers women while raising money for Rape Crisis Center

By Kaitlin Lott
Staff Writer

On Friday night, March 11, The Feminist Society of Pensacola turned the University of West Florida Commons Auditorium into a sanctuary of vaginal praise. “The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler, first performed in 1996.

All the monologues performed throughout the night were real stories from women all over the world, including topics from political issues to sexual encounters and social justice in a male-driven society. “The Vagina Monologues” brought attention to the “power of the pussy” from talking about the great debate of shaving and infidelity to sexual violence and homosexuality.

The Feminist Society of Pensacola supported the Rape Crisis Center at Lakeview for the first time with this performance. The event was free, but a $5 donation was recommended. The performance raised a little more than $3,500, said Kinsley Hess and Emily Echevarria, council members of the Feminist Society. The proceeds will help women of all ages who have experienced sexual violence, physical violence and emotional abuse.

Throughout the play, actresses pulled in the audience, engaging them with their witty interpretations of women’s stories about their vaginas. The monologues brought comedy and sadness, permitting both laughter and empathy. Presenters were vibrant and compassionate, having reverence for the women who experienced the trials and joy of womanhood and irrevocably changed the lives of others.

“I really liked the woman who talked about shaving her vagina, I thought that was pretty empowering,” said Emily Sheridan, senior marine biology major. “I liked the women who performed ‘My Vagina is My Village.’ That one was pretty tragic, but it was powerful.”

Haley Morrissette, a senior social work major and council member for the Feminist Society, performed “The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could,” which she said was tailor-made for her as it called for a “queer black woman.” Morrissette’s involvement with the Feminist Society has made her more comfortable with her sexuality and who she is as an individual, she said, which showed in her lively and crowd-pleasing interpretation of the story.

“I hope that this opens their eyes, because it talks about some of the violence that women face, period,” Morrissette said. “I hope it opens people’s eyes to that and it makes [people] see that we are not just one-dimensional creatures.”

The essence of “The Vagina Monologues” is overall empowerment of women. UWF boasts various clubs and societies that enhance our academic careers, but this play brought gender enlightenment.

Although there were extreme sexual and sensual references, in every monologue the word vagina had both literal and symbolic meaning. In this play, it is not only seen as a part of a woman’s anatomy, but as an essential part of who a woman is.

For more information on the Feminist Society of Pensacola, visit the Facebook Page.