Vagina Monologues have power to ‘educate while entertaining’

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Javier Cabrera | News Editor

“The Vagina Monologues” are being performed at the Riverside City College Auditorium on March 14, 15 and 22, with students and faculty members participating in the plays.

Eve Ensler wrote the “The Vagina Monologues”15 years ago. They bring awareness to violence perpetrated women and girls around the world.

Jami Brown, a RCC sociology instructor, said celebrities performed the first performances of “The Vagina Monologues.” Then Ensler allowed colleges and outside organizations to perform her plays under the condition they follow her rules.

The rules are: performers need to bring the scripts on stage because the collection of monologues is not a theatrical play; the performers need to acknowledge the monologues are written by Ensler, and the purpose of them and the V-Day organization.

Brown said the money that she and the group gets from the performances, 10 percent goes to the V-Day global organization and the other 90 percent goes to a charity of the group’s choice. She said the group donates their 90 percent to the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center, because “it is such a great fit with what we are doing.”

Brown said she puts on “The Vagina Monologues,” and she holds auditions where students, and the community, can tryout to perform in the monologues. This year is the eighth time she has done the monologues.

In that time, Brown said she has raised $22,000, but on average she has raised $2,500 – $3,000 a year.

She said she is a staunch feminist from way back and it is her passion to bring awareness of violence against women.

“I am pretty active in the community, educating and counseling,” Brown said. “I am just a very strong proponent of women’s rights and equality and that is what keeps me going in that direction.”

Stacey Patino, one of the co-directors of the Feminists Unite Club at RCC, was a participant in the monologues, and she said it is an honor for her to help out the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center.

Patino said the club holds a promotional event for “The Vagina Monologues” called V-Week, where it passes out fliers, holds table games, gives out free merchandise, educates on the movement and sells pre-sale tickets to the monologue shows.

“What I love about the show is its power to educate while entertaining,” she said. “It is political art with a deep impact on communities; I hope that students get educated and inspired to join in the V-Day movement to end violence against women, girls and everyone.”

Brown said it is important for men to get involved, because the best way to stop rape is to educate men.

“Women are often and most likely the victims, it is really important that men know that they have the power to stop the violence and it is OK for men to be sensitive, caring and nurturing,” she said.

“We just have to change the way we think about gender, change the way we think about femininity and masculinity; if men don’t get involved we can’t change anything, so it takes everyone’s participation.”

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