This past weekend (Mar. 6-7) Eve Ensler’s episodic production, The Vagina Monologues, inspired love, laughter, and acceptance within the community of Kamloops at Brautigan Library, the North Shore’s newest venue.
The Vagina Monologues are put on annually in Kamloops to raise awareness for and work to end violence against cisgender, transgender and gender non-conforming women of all ages. The weekend’s productions included a varying range of monologues that worked to silence taboos concerning the female experience. The production, in particular, highlighted all parts of the female reproductive organ as ‘the ultimate embodiment of individuality’ and as a tool used to better empower women.
In a pre-show interview Angie Doolan, The Vagina Monologues current MC, long time participant, and first-time event organizer commented that “there are some happy, some sad, some eyeopening and some erotic stories” told during each night’s various monologues.
The monologues touch on lighter matters such as sex, love, masturbation, menstruation, orgasm, and birth as well as on tough topics such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and rape. Doolan remembers seeing the monologues for the first time at an age in which she was not necessarily comfortable in her sexuality and believes The Vagina Monologues encouraged her to become more aware and more accepting of her body, others’ bodies and each and every woman’s unique female experience.
Doolan went on to explain that the funds earned from this year’s monologues were donated to the ASK Wellness Society’s SHOP program in support of persons currently working within or retired from the sex trade industry; SHOP is a two-person run, Kamloops based initiative that continually provides support services for those involved in the sex trade both past and present.
Doolan explained that sex work, “is still a job” and is unlikely to go away. She continued by saying, “[the sex trade] is an invisible industry… and definitely [doesn’t] hear many people discussing [sex work] on a regular basis.” In her opinion, we can best serve those involved in the sex trade industry by opening up conversations concerning it.
Conversation is key if we, as a society, wish to further tear down taboos concerning the female experience.
Until The Vagina Monologues return to Kamloops, Doolan urges women to open up candidly about their unique experiences with other women of varying ages. By continuing conversations about both the positive and negative experiences that many women must confront throughout their lifetimes, as well as experiences or circumstances that can be tough to open up about, we can work together towards a more so accepting future.