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Student activists support women through Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues student group returns to the stage this weekend with a rendition of  “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, A Prayer” by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle.

Though lesser known than last year’s performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” Ensler and Doyle’s play will feature an impactful collection of monologues in support of VDAY, a global activist movement.

VDAY works to end violence against women and girls through creative events to increase awareness, raise funds and support fellow anti-violence organizations.

Amy Xie, president of the Vagina Monologues at Ohio State, said the group is hopeful for a large turnout because the contents of this play bring necessary awareness to women’s issues, such as sexual assault and health, especially on a college campus.

“I think it allows the story of empowering women to be a different tune than what is most [politically correct] in our culture, and I think that it has very relevant themes of violence,” said Xie, a second-year in health sciences.

“A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, A Prayer” features more diverse voices than “The Vagina Monologues,” including women of different ages and cultures, and a male addition. Erica Gbur, theater director and a fourth-year in political science, said the cast reflects this element, featuring Ohio State undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, alumni and a local social worker.

“We are in very different stages of our lives, but yet at the same time we work together as a cast,” Gbur said. “[Everyone] is just very supportive and helpful.”

Gbur said she hopes having a male perform will help male audience members connect to the show more.

“I feel like women will get [something] out of it, I’m happy someone’s talking about this,” she said. “I can relate to this, whereas men will get more of an opening as to what it’s like to be a woman dealing with these kinds of issues.”

Not only does the show empower women, but it also works to give back to women as well. One hundred percent of the event’s profits will be donated to the OhioHealth Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio.

Audience members also are encouraged to bring feminine hygiene donations for local women’s shelters.

“Feminine products are an expense that men do not incur at all regardless of life circumstance and it taxes women who cannot afford them much more heavily,” Xie said. “So any small thing that we can do to alleviate the burden [for them].”

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute Auditorium at the Wexner Medical Center. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

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