The Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services and HOPE of East-Central Illinois benefitted from funds raised at a performance of the “Vagina Monologues.”
The performance took place in the Grand Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on Friday night and left several audience members feeling empowered.
Abbi Hinton, a sophomore sociology major, said the performance was empowering because it shared stories of real women.
“I thought it was really empowering to get to watch a bunch of women,” Hinton said. “I know it wasn’t exactly their stories, but to hear stories that lots of women have similar views about and similar experiences … it was just empowering to see them embrace their womanhood.”
Sidney Harris, a SACIS volunteer said she appreciated the play’s reality.
“I thought it was really good,” Harris said. “I thought it was very empowering and very real, which I appreciate; they didn’t sugar coat it or anything.”
Hannah Richardson, a senior elementary education major, said the performance made her more comfortable with the serious topics at hand.
“I thought it was incredibly empowering while talking about serious topics but in a more comfortable manner,” Richardson said. “I wasn’t uncomfortable while they were speaking about it. It put me at ease while still bringing my attention to the problems that are going on here and in other places as well, because we’re not the only group of females that matter.”
Sharifa Hurtault, a freshman television and video production major, said her expectations for the show were met and she was happy it did not hold anything back.
“I don’t know what my expectations were, but it was exactly my expectations,” Hurtault said. “I went in, I was like, ‘OK this is going to be a sex positive show; it’s not going to hold anything back,’ and it didn’t. It really touched on everything you can think would be associated with female anatomy, from giving birth, sexual assault, menstruation (and) masturbation. It literally talked about everything.”
Several audience members also left with a sense of pride in their bodies and an ability to relate to other people better.
Richardson said she left the performance with a better understanding of herself and other women’s experiences.
“It made me more comfortable with myself, just in those few moments in there so I feel like I can express to my boyfriend better how I feel to help him relate to me,” Richardson said. “Even if another girl is uncomfortable and struggling, I feel like I can speak to her better and just tell her that it’s OK and we’ve all felt these things.”
Allison Little can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]