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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Vaginas don’t tell the whole story

    Cathy McCarthy, a creative writing junior, vividly demonstrates the many variations of the female orgasm during a performance of The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy skit, as part of The Vagina Monologues, held in the Social Sciences building last night.
    Cathy McCarthy, a creative writing junior, vividly demonstrates the many variations of the female orgasm during a performance of ‘The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy’ skit, as part of ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ held in the Social Sciences building last night.

    “”The Vagina Monologues”” have returned to campus this year with its fundraising spotlight fixed on the women and children displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

    A three-performance run began last night in Room 100 of the Social Sciences building, and continues tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30.

    Part of a worldwide production, “”The Vagina Monologues”” raises money for important campus and national causes.

    “”The play is about women, their bodies and sexuality,”” said Sara Jane McDaniel, co-president of the UA’s Vagina Warriors club. “”Our goal is to help end violence against women.””

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the production – based on a collection of monologues put together by Eve Ensler, a playwright and feminist activist – and the fourth UA incarnation.

    Each year, 90 percent of the proceeds at the university go to the OASIS Center for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence. Affiliated with Campus Health Service, the center offers free services to UA students, staff and faculty – both male and female – who are or have been affected by sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking.

    “”The OASIS program relies heavily on the Vagina Monologues,”” said Bevan Bluemer, who started the UA production in 2005.

    McDaniel echoed the sentiment, adding that the money generated from attendance fees comprises the majority of OASIS’s funding.

    “”The Vagina Monologues”” are being read in approximately 13,000 productions in more than 120 countries this year.

    In all, it has raised more than $50 million for women-related charities.

    Ten percent of proceeds from every production go to a different “”spotlight”” charity, McDaniel said.

    This year, “”Monologues”” will help women and children whose homes were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

    The first rendition at the UA raised $10,000, $1,000 of which went to benefit women in Iraq.

    In 2006, the performance raised $13,000, with 10 percent going to Comfort Women of World War II, a charity for women who suffered sexual abuse in WWII.

    Last year’s production raised $15,000, with 10 percent going to women suffering crimes as a result of war in contemporary conflict zones.

    “”People think it might be a show about man-bashing or some might think the word ‘vagina’ is gross,”” Bluemer said, “”but if they go with an open mind they might go away with a better understanding of women and they might enjoy themselves as well.””

    Bluemer organized the UA’s production in 2005 and 2006, but since then it has been entirely student-run.

    Each monologue is performed by one woman cast by tryout.

    Gabby Ziccarelli, a sophomore majoring in communication, history and Italian, will be performing a brand-new monologue called “”Under the Burqa.””

    One of the more somber pieces, she said, it reflects the persecution of women under the Taliban.

    “”It was easy to find anger after doing the research to prep for this character,”” Ziccarelli said.

    Nora McDonald, an undeclared sophomore, is doing a happier, funny monologue called “”Because He Liked To Look at It.””

    It tells of a woman uncomfortable with her sexuality until she hooks up with a geeky man who loves to look at vaginas.

    “”The monologue is really beautiful because in the end she loves herself,”” McDonald said. “”It really opened me up to being more comfortable about myself, also.””

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