Happy Women’s HERstory Month!
The Alliance for Women’s Awareness recently performed “The Vagina Monologues,” a play based on conversations the writer had with real women about their lives. I participated in this event because, if I’m being honest, I was too nervous to do it any of the years before and felt an obligation to face my fear. I am a senior; I am leaving Bryant for good in just about 70 days. It was a now-or-never situation. I did it, and I am so glad I did.
There is a cultural taboo around the use of the word vagina. Maybe you were even a little shocked to read it in this school-sanctioned blog post. And that’s okay if you were, you are not alone. I’m guilty of it too! The reason I was too nervous in years past is I didn’t know if I wanted to talk about vaginas in front of a large crowd of people.
That’s why we have “The Vagina Monologues,” to control the taboo.
This play is not a detailed account of female anatomy. It celebrates what it means to be a woman, explores the many definitions of the word “woman,” and empowers women everywhere to cheer for their bodies instead of actively root against them.
The Alliance for Women’s Awareness gave me such a gift by allowing me to be a part of the performance. I stood on stage and read a monologue about subject matter I had been frightened of for so long. I conquered a fear of mine standing proud next to so many brilliant women who had the courage to do the same.
I have been involved in performing arts for over a decade and a half. This performance marked the first time my hands shook as I spoke on stage. That says a lot about the culture we live in and what we deem taboo. Things do not change overnight though, I recognize that. Little by little, women across the country are standing up for their bodies and reclaiming power over them. I like to think that with our performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” the women of Bryant contributed to that amazing, wonderful movement.
Bryant offers a lot of services for women. First is the Gertrude Meth Hochberg Women’s Center whose aim is to enhance the lives of women at Bryant through providing a place to talk, listen and act on problems women face in business and society at large. The Alliance for Women’s Awareness is a club offering support and empowerment as well as leadership skills for women (and the men who support them!). We also have a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program for people looking to pursuit this in their academic career. Bryant’s attention to women’s issues sets a positive example as these services continue to grow. Women’s rights are human rights, and Bryant pays particular attention to these.
Live in (self) love,