Last weekend, a diverse group of women gathered together in the Turret to reveal the truth about what is under their skirts by paying tribute to the vag-tastic world of vaginas.

The Laurier Centre for Women and Trans People* hosted their annual performance of The Vagina Monologues, a play consisting of different segments dedicated to the best but often most difficult aspects of womanhood.

“Women secretly love to talk about vaginas,” host Lindsay Jack Brauweiler told the audience, “Mainly because no one’s ever asked us before.”

For those who had never attended a performance of the Vagina Monologues before, members in the audience may have been expecting a lighthearted and vulgar performance as a tribute to the female reproductive organ.

Beyond the segments that were filled with comedy and vulgarity, the monologues focused heavily on female empowerment and sexuality.

The audience’s reactions alternated between hearty laughter and choking back
tears as the performers covered subjects ranging from the discovery of masturbation to the gang rape of war widows.

“I feel that humour helps people remember,” said student and performer Jessica McGinn, who presented the monologue “Cunt.”

“I loved seeing the looks on peoples’ faces while I was performing it,” she told The Cord.

McGinn’s monologue focused on reclaiming “cunt” as a positive word and removing the negative connotations, pointing out how fun the word is to say.

“I think that humour helps people remember that there are issues that need to be discussed,” McGinn said. “If it’s all upsetting, no one will listen.”

“[Humour] also makes the play more accessible,” added fellow performer Krista Boniface, who has performed in the event for the past two years. “If it were all so serious, then it wouldn’t be as appealing. Plus, vaginas are funny.”

Lauren Munro performed “My Short Skirt,” a sassy and empowering monologue seeming particularly poignant in light of recent controversial events involving Toronto police.

“My short skirt is not ‘begging for it,’” she lectured the audience. “My short skirt is not a legal reason for raping me. Though it has before, it should not hold up in court. My short skirt, and everything underneath it, is mine, mine, mine.”

Munro also performed in the segment, “My Vagina was my Village,” where she told the story of a woman who had been raped and tortured during conflict in Bosnia.

Other more disturbing monologues included “A Not-So-Happy Fact,” a short monologue presenting to the audience facts about female genital mutilation, and
“Baptised,” the tragic tale of an eight-year-old girl who had been permanently scarred by repeated instances of rape.

“You’re talking about things that people wouldn’t normally talk about,” McGinn said, noting the importance of covering subjects that may make some uncomfortable.
“It’s an outrageous play.”

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