Dawn Bangert, History Student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Performing in the Vagina Monologues was an empowering experience that allowed me to connect with an amazing group of women on campus. Not only did I have the opportunity to sell Vagina lollipops on the quad, which was a fun way to start my day, I was also able to engage in conversations around female sexuality and help fight taboos. Female sexuality should not be a place of shame but instead a shared experience. To me theVagina Monologues are important because they tell peoples’ stories. These stories are all the more important because they are coming from people who are often silenced.
I loved being on stage and felt even better knowing that our work would contribute to efforts targeting ending violence against women locally and globally. Ninety percent of the funds we raised through sale of tickets, Candy Vaginas, and T-shirts is being given to the Center for Women in Transition here in Champaign. The remaining ten percent will be sent to the national VDAY organization, where funds are dispersed globally. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the 2012 Vagina Monologue cast and cannot wait until next year.
(For an interesting connection, see Su Fen Song’s article “The Vagina Monologues in China” in the Public i archive, posted March 2007).