A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Last Tuesday I went to see the Vagina Monologues performed by Leiden University College in The Hague in the Het Paradis room of the Koninklijke Schouwburg.
The Vagina Monologues is based on the interviews of two hundred women by Eve Ensler regarding their relationship with their vaginas. Shocked by the stories she heard, and United Nations statistics reporting that one in three women are subject to physical or sexual harassment during their lives, Eve Ensler created the ‘V-Day’ movement in 1998, with the aim of ending violence against women and promoting female emancipation. The monologues dramatized in her production are both moving and profound, and hilarious and insightful.
Whilst this is an amateur piece with actresses of varying talent it is by no means unprofessional. My particular favourites of the monologues were one woman’s experience with her adulterous husband, a 72-year-old woman explaining why her first sexual experience put her off forever, and a sex worker and former lawyer tells why she gave up her profession to make women happy. Some are more serious and poignant; a woman caught up in the Bosnian War relives her rape experience and a Congolese woman discusses her genital mutilation. The modern phenomenon of the beauty industry’s war against the vagina is strongly argued against and it was hard not to agree with the forthright actress performing the monologue.
The actresses of the LUC put on a fantastic show (with only two month rehearsal time!) and the entirety of the proceeds went to the Stichting Sarita women’s charity