Vaginas against violence

Temple’s annual production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ works to stop violence against women.

Couples celebrated their love for each other on Valentine’s Day with romantic dinners, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and bouquets of red roses. However, V-Day doesn’t only stand for Valentine’s Day, it also means “Vagina Day.”

The other V-Day was celebrated at Temple last weekend with the production of The Vagina Monologues.

Temple is one of the many universities across the country to perform the monologues. Dina Stonberg, producer and coordinator of the Health Education Awareness Resource Team, said the message of the show is “all about female empowerment, stopping violence against women and giving the vagina the respect that the penis has enjoyed for many years.”

The Vagina Monologues
are interviews from more than 200 women collected by playwright, performer and activist Eve Ensler. After listening to the women’s stories of strength and hope, Ensler decided their voices needed to be heard.

Ticket proceeds from the weekend’s performances were donated to Women Against Abuse and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Andrera Symonds/TTN).

The monologues express the strength and equality of women through humorous and inspirational narratives.

Following the success of The Vagina Monologues, Ensler created V-Day, which is a “global movement to stop violence against women.”

Senior political science major Deborah Hinchey volunteered at the event.

“Every year the monologues are relevant to women because they evolve, they change,” Hinchey said. “The issues that were important in 1999 are different than the issues that are important in 2009. They always touch everyone, and I just love them.”

Each year The Vagina Monologues has a new theme to encourage people to end the cruelty. This year, the message was to stop violent acts such as using women as weapons of war. Proceeds from ticket sales and merchandise sold at the performances, like T-shirts and water bottles, will go to Women Against Abuse and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The show was two hours long and had emotional and funny monologues.

Sasha Gamburg, co-director of this year’s production and a resident director at Temple, performed “My Angry Vagina.”

“For me, I want to just acknowledge that I see [victims of violence] and that they exist and are being recognized,” she said. “That it will empower them to be strong and continue to fight violence against women, and I know the show really helps people heal, and that is huge.”

For its dress rehearsal, the show sold more than 130 tickets. On opening night, about 211 people attended.

For many audience members, it was their first time seeing the show. There were many women in the audience, but there were a few men.

Dominick Lebo, a freshman political science major, said he came out on Valentine’s Day to see the monologues because his resident assistant was in it, and he was very interested in seeing the show.

“The show opened my eyes to gender equality,” Lebo said. “It makes people think about the consequences of the decisions they make.”

Kellie Meyer can be reached at

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