‘Vagina Monologues’ Stimulates Discourse on Sexuality

Vagina Monologues

Audience members packed into McGuinn 121 as the musical stylings of femmes fatales Taylor Swift and Beyoncé played in anticipation of V-Day and Boston College’s presentation of the Vagina Monologues. The event is an annual celebration of the femininity, celebrating 16 years at BC and 20 since its conception by New York playwright Eve Ensler. Michaela Chipman, MCAS ’19, and Samuela Nematchoua, MCAS ’18, served as the empowering program’s co-directors this year.

Composed of 18 episodes in which different women discuss their relationships with their vaginas, the cast included many fresh faces from all corners of campus. In the minutes leading up to the event, a slideshow offered details about the humorous ladies. When asked what three words she would use to describe her vagina, Kathryn Wood, MCAS ’18, responded with “Mercury in retrograde.” Caroline Merrit, MCAS ’18, would dress her vagina in a “turtleneck sweater to keep it warm while digging [a grave].”

The play opens with the narrator who introduces each skit, Eve, played by Layla Aboukhater, MCAS ’18, discussing the origins of the play—women from all walks of life were interviewed and asked to discuss what is often a taboo topic, the female sex organ. Claire Raab, LSOE ’18; Daniela Poulat, LSOE ’20; and Amanda Bolaños, MCAS ’18, delivered a hilarious introduction skit, endowing the vaginas of Boston College with clever monikers like “c—-y forum,” “Cum Ave.,” and “Agora Portal.”

Nematchoua’s character discussed the stigma about female pubic hair in a monologue titled “Hair.” She described her cheating husband’s obsession with her shaving and how he scapegoats her unruly locks for causing him to seek other sources of satisfaction. Nematchoua’s character concludes that you cannot “pick the parts you want” to be with her.

Holly-Anne Grell, MCAS ’21, played a character who also discussed her unfortunate experiences with body shaming. During a youthful sexual encounter years prior, a boy shamed her for the smell of her “flood,” or vaginal discharge. This scarring experience at a tender age caused the woman to reject all sexual encounters thereafter. The audience felt the tragedy in Grell’s voice when she described how she later had to have a hysterectomy due to cancer, to which her doctor responded “you lose it if you don’t use it.”

Not all of the women had negative experiences with men, however. Later in the night, an enthusiastic women portrayed by Kim Chook, MCAS ’18, described how she came to love her vagina through a sexual encounter with a man who “liked to look at it.” By witnessing the man’s wonder and amazement at her vagina, Chook’s character began to see her vagina in the same light.

Bolaños and Jada Sanchez, MCAS ’20, offered a “Vagina Happy Fact” and “Not-So-Happy Fact” between skits, educating the audience on sex related matters. Bolaños informed the audience that the clitorous has more nerves than anything else in the human body, including the penis.

“Who needs a lighter when you’ve got a blow torch?” questioned Bolaños, eliciting thunderous laughter and cheers from the largely female audience.

On a heavier note, Sanchez’s unhappy fact discussed the serious genital mutilation that is forced upon young girls in parts of Africa to this day, resulting in short-term and long-term side effects, including early death.

Lesbian and transgender women were included in the dialogue of the Vagina Monologues as well. During “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could,” Chipman’s southern belle character detailed how a beautiful older woman taught her to love her “coochie snorcher” again despite a youth of horrifying experiences with men, including rape. Chipman’s touching delivery captured the hearts of all, receiving a robust round of applause upon her exit. “They Beat The Girl Out of My Boy,” touched upon the culture of violence against transgender women in America. The characters played by Maren Wilson, LSOE ’18; Sarah Hunkins, MCAS ’19; and Mia Tortolani, CSOM ’18 described how being assigned a sex at birth is as random as being assigned adoptive parents, but they still rejected their longing for an alternative gender identity because of societal pressure. Miya Coleman, MCAS ’19, closed the scene with her character’s tear-jerking story about how transphobic individuals killed her boyfriend because “they didn’t want him falling in love with ambiguity.”

Cassie Pearson, MCAS ’20 delivered the most emotional performance of the night—she walked the audience through her character’s stomach-turning recollection of a how a seven day rape by multiple men with various foreign objects, including a rifle, ruined her relationship with her vagina. Her vagina became a “river of poison and pus” that she no longer touched. This story resonates with far too many women globally and at home—prior to the monologue, Aboukhater informed the audience that over 200,000 women are raped in the U.S. every year.

Despite moments of seriousness and tragedy, light-hearted scenes provided comic relief for the audience. Kenyé Askew’s, MCAS ’18, “My Angry Vagina” received shouts of solidarity from audience members when her rambunctious character decried that tampons are unnecessarily uncomfortable. Julianna Gerold, MCAS ’21, encouraged the audience to scream “c—t” back at her after assigning favorable traits to each letter of the usually offensive word in “Reclaiming C—t.”

Featured Image by Sam Zhai / Heights Staff

About Kaylie Ramirez 60 Articles
Kaylie is the associate arts editor for The Heights. She wanted to write for the New England Classic but wasn't funny enough. All hate mail should be redirected to @schick_jacob on Twitter.