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Monologues performed to combat violence and discrimination against women

By Hima Mamillapalli
On February 21, 2011

Eve Ensler once said that "At first women were reluctant to talk. They were a little shy, but once they got going, you couldn't stop them."

 

Ensler's play "A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer," performed Saturday in the Student Union, advocates this idea of the tremendous amount of influence women can have on society if they are given the opportunity.

"I began participating two years ago with The Vagina Monologues and it was really empowering," said Valen Diaz, an 8th-semester individualized major. "I hope that people learn from the play how serious an issue this [violence against women] is and that they can also help."

 

Ensler is a prominent feminist and anti-violence activist who's physically and sexually abused childhood motivated her to start a global movement to end violence against the female gender. Ensler is best known for her works such as "The Vagina Monolgoues" and "A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer." Ensler also started "V-day," which 

is a global movement to end violence against females and raise awareness about some of the hardships women have faced and continue to face.

 

Ensler envisions a society in which "women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive."

 

Neha Grewal, a 4th-semester chemistry major, said, "The V-day movement in general makes me look at things in a different light and about the many obstacles that women have faced. It also makes me view myself in a different way."

"A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer" is a collection of monologues written by famous authors and playwrights and revised and edited by Ensler and Molly Doyle. Each monologue is unique and embodies the creator's own perspective on women's rights and violence toward women.

Saturday's play began with the monologue "To Stop Violence Against Women" written by the novelist and poet Alice Walker. The monologue taught that in order for violence against women to stop, people need to first end the violence they inflict on themselves. This violence is not only physical, but can also include the negative thoughts of which women and men view themselves.

The play continued with the "Darfur Monologue" written by Winter Miller, who spoke about witnessing the brutal death of her husband and then being raped by six men.

The next series of monologues weas written by women and men and had similar concepts of respecting oneself and trying to succeed past the numerous obstacles that life throws at you.

An important concept that Ensler wants people to grasp through her V-day campaign and works such as "A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer" is that this movement is not only meant for women.

"Men see this issue as their issue and see that we are in this together," Ensler said in an interview with Riz Kahn. "In fact, there are very few men who do the raping, but the majority of men who don't aren't outspoken about it. And were they to be outspoken I think that things would change."

 

 

 


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