I know I have mentioned it before, but for those of you who are new, I am a college student at Old Dominion University. Yes, I am almost 50. Yes, I am working on my undergraduate degree. What can I say, like a fine wine, I have gotten better with age….
Anyway, I started going to ODU in the spring of 2013. I had a wonderful Professor for my Intro to Women’s Studies, and she offered extra credit points to us if we attended the Vagina Monologues being put on by some of the women at ODU. Never one to turn down easy points (really it only cost 20.00 for two tickets, a large portion of which went to the local YWCA to fight violence against women). I talked Karol into joining me and away we went.
We really liked the production. We laughed, we cried, and even yelled! It was eye opening, and I was especially impressed to see the quite reserved love of my life sit and enjoy it. To be honest I had as much fun watching her reactions as I did the production itself!
I did not realize that it was an annual event at ODU until this year. I started hearing some of my classmates and a professor (the same one that introduced me to Women’s Studies, Robin Ormiston), talking about this year’s production of the Vagina Monologues to be held Valentine’s Day weekend. Of course I wanted to go, but Karol was traveling to visit her family in Minnesota that weekend, and I didn’t want to go alone. I started thinking about who I could invite (and would be willing to go).
I have talked about my youngest son, aka The Genius, and his feministing ways. That boy is a feminist if ever I met one. He is all about equity and he is incredibly intentional about his actions, particularly when it comes to race and class. I have been teaching him since he was quite small that because he is a white male he is the most privileged type of person in this country and that he needs to use his privilege to help others achieve the same status. Until we no longer have white privilege in this country he should use it for the benefit of people who don’t have it. This lesson has definitely struck home with him, and he is an incredible human being! I see great things in his future!
Anyway, I asked him if he would like to go to the Vagina Monologues with me and without hesitation he said , “Yes!” He then asked if his bff could come along with us. I said sure, but please make sure her parents knew where she was going….(I did not want to get in trouble for taking a minor to Vagina Monologues without parental permission). The young lady received permission and off we went to the 2015 ODU production of The Vagina Monologues.
I have to admit I was a bit nervous because having seen it before I had a small inkling of what these kids were going to be exposed to. Of course as we walked in the first thing we were asked as we gave our tickets was if we wanted to purchase Vagina lollipops. (chocolate lollipops shaped like a vagina). The kids said yes, so I bought all three of us a vagina lollipop after I made them promise NOT to eat them at school…..(can you imagine the phone call I would get if that happened) “Um. Ms. Rood, this is the Principal calling….ummm, there was an incident with your son and a food item today….. ummm”
I have to admit the first time the word “cum” was used, the mom in me did get a bit squinky, and I glanced over at the kids, and they had not even looked away from the stage……whew, okay that was fine, and then I relaxed. After that I was able to remove my “mom” persona and just enjoy the fact that I was introducing two teenagers to a world of feminism and the idea that we can celebrate a body part that is often seen only as “dirty” or “smelly” or sexual.
Think about it, the slang names for a penis are strong or weapon like: rod, sword, stick, love muscle, one eyed monster, cock, etc etc. However, the words for vagina have a different feel: twat, cunt, hole, cave, gash….not the same genre of words at all.
But in the 2015 Vagina Monologues these amazing women were on stage CELEBRATING the Vagina! Celebrating wearing a short skirt. Talking about uncomfortable things like rape and abuse. Talking about wonderful things like empowerment and love. Talking about Vaginas!
When it was over, I introduced the kids to some of the women actors who I knew, and congratulated the women on an outstanding performance. When Robin asked the kids what they thought of the show, they both said an emphatic ” I LOVED IT!”
I know these kids are meant for great things!
Just so you can experience some of what we experienced I will leave you with a video of a monologue from Vagina Monologues. If you ave some interest and time, check out videos of “The Moaner” and “My Angry Vagina”. Both are great! In fact, it is all great. Go see a show if you ever have a chance!!
One of my favorite monologues: My Short Skirt
( I wish I had access to the one done this year at ODU, but after viewing many of these, I liked this one the best!)