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V-Day Events Aim for Awareness

  • http-blogs-fandm-edu-wp-content-blogs-dir-29-files-2012-04-v-day1-jpg
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  • Morgan Shuster ’10 traces the hand of Mike Weil ’12 on a V-Day t-shirt.

Aiming to build awareness about women’s sexuality and about ending violence against women and girls, V-Day F&M presents two performances of “The Vagina Monologues” this Saturday, Feb. 14, at 7 and 10:30 p.m., in the Roschel Performing Arts Center.

The play is the finale of a week of activities to raise funds for local organizations that provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Based on interviews of more than 200 women conducted by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, “The Vagina Monologues’’ is a moving, poignant and often funny play that celebrates female sexuality.

The play takes a no-holds-barred look at some of the most intimate aspects of being female, said the co-directors of this year’s production, Shakerra Lauther ’11 and Victoria Ryland ’11.

“Eve Ensler created a worldwide movement that continues to impact the lives of viewers and beneficiaries every year,” said Ryland. “It feels amazing to inspire, encourage, uplift and enlighten women on campus every day through something I love to do.”

“With this one show,” Lauther added, “we can spread awareness about women’s issues and empower women from the inside out.”

The play, originally performed in 1998, started a global movement aimed at ending violence against women. Ensler has traveled the world spotlighting injustices done to women. To date, V-Day activities worldwide have raised more than $50 million and educated millions about violence against women and girls.

This year, V-Day focuses on efforts to end the violence against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Over the past decade, hundreds of colleges and universities around the world have performed The Vagina Monologues and held “v-celebrations” to raise awareness.

Tickets to “The Vagina Monologues’’ are $5 for students and $10 for College employees and the community.

This is the fifth anniversary of V-Day at Franklin & Marshall College. Last year, V-Day F&M raised more than $3,000 for Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County, the Milagro House and the YWCA Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center.

“We’re talking about women’s experiences with their bodies and how that experience shapes their lives,” said Danielle Diamond ‘10, co-organizer of this year’s events.

Through Friday, F&M V-Day will have a table in the Steinman College Center selling V-Day t-shirts and merchandise. Men are invited to imprint their hands on a “These Hands Don’t Hurt Women” tapestry and V-Day t-shirts.

“Our goal this year is to raise more money than in previous years,” Diamond said. “We want to directly impact the lives of women in Lancaster. And personally, I want to help a wary first-year find her passion or assist a girl skeptical about her body to stand proud of being a woman, no matter her hair color, body shape or skin tone.

The Vagina Monologues are co-sponsored by the Franklin & Marshall Theater Department, the Alice Drum Women’s Center, the Center for Liberal Arts and Society and the Women and Gender Studies program.