| 03.24.2018

Vaginas for a cause – “The Vagina Monologues” bleeds social justice


Bekah MillerMacPhee said when it comes to women and their bodies, it”s hard not to feel bombarded by statistics.

“You hear statistics like “one in four” all the time,” said MillerMacPhee, assistant director for programs at the Women”s Center.   “It can be easy for that to just be a statistic.”

The Vagina Monologues,” written by Eve Ensler, aims to fully realize women”s relationships with their bodies.

MillerMacPhee said as a result of the abuse Ensler experienced as a child, she said she felt a lack of connection with her body, quoted saying she felt like a “floating head.”

Alex Brizee | Argonaut
Bekah Miller MacPhee, Assistant Director for Programs at the UI Women’s Center, works at her desk Friday.

Ensler went on to interview over 200 women about their experiences and relationship to their bodies as part of her own healing process. She based the play “The Vagina Monologues” on the interviews she conducted.

The play is a series of monologues with the actors taking on the voices of real women. This year, the cast is made up entirely of female-identified UI students.

MillerMacPhe said “The Vagina Monologues” are always performed exclusively by women, as per V-Day rules, but she said the play usually isn”t performed only by students – usually, she said, there are a few Moscow community members or UI staff members also involved.    

MillerMacPhee said the play is about empowerment and social justice.

“I think people can read the title and be like “What? What is that?”” MillerMacPhee said.

Part of the reason Ensler named the play “The Vagina Monologues,” MillerMacPhee said, was because she felt it was important for people to name what we need to talk about.

“How can we talk about violence against women and girls if we can”t talk about female anatomy?” MillerMacPhee asked. “If we can”t talk about violence against women and girls, it”s not going to get any better.”

“The Vagina Monologues” will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre on Main Street in Moscow.

Tickets can be purchased in advance in the Idaho Commons or at Eclectica, located downtown inside Safari Pearl. The tickets are $8 for students and $10 for general admission if bought in advance. At the door, the tickets are $10 for students and $12 for general admission.

Some of the money goes towards the V-Day Campaign and the Women”s Center. Most of the proceeds go toward Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (ATVP).

ATVP is the local rape crisis and domestic violence shelter. They provide direct services to victims and survivors of sexual domestic violence and UI students who are victims here on the Palouse.

“Every ticket someone buys, they are directly helping people right here in our community,” MillerMacPhee said. “That”s a huge part of this.”

Marisa Casella can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter at @marisacasella1

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