Women’s empowerment play hosted this weekend

Nicole Montero/ Asst. News Director


A global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls brings an episodic play of women’s rights, empowerment and respect to the University community.

The Vagina Monologues, brought to FIU by the Women’s Studies Student Association, is a play that consists of 16 different stories and interviews about all kinds of female experiences.

“The play talks about the experiences and things that women deal with: the good, the bad, the sad, the happy – all with the ultimate goal of female empowerment,” said Genesis Adrian, WSSA president and executive producer for the play.  She says, “There’s a lot of shame behind the female body, so we’re viewing the vagina as an image of empowerment and individuality.”

The play was written by Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day, a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping violence against women. According to Adrian, Ensler started the plays because she felt there was a lot of shame around the female body.

“That’s how it came about and it’s important because, first of all, we live in a community that is infamous for a lot of bad things,” said Adrian. “South Florida is one of the largest communities with human trafficking in America. It’s an alarming statistic and people don’t know that.”

According to Adrian, this statistic is the reason why the university became involved with the “It’s On Us” campaign, a movement dedicated to raising awareness about how the community can stop sexual violence.

“FIU is doing so many things right now,” said Kendra Jacobs, junior biology major. “I’m proud to be in a school where people, of all gender preferences, can be welcomed. There are gender neutral bathrooms and this new It’s On Us campaign… It just feels like people can be safe here.”

In December, the Miami Herald published an article about gender neutral bathrooms at FIU. The transgender woman featured in that article, Gaby Benavente, an FIU student,  is a cast member for the play.

“These issues are relevant right now,” said Adrian. “This year, we have pieces centered around the transgender experience — what it’s like to be a transgender woman. We have a large LGBT community in Miami and, a lot of times, the ‘T’ in LGBT gets forgotten: the Trans.”

According to Adrian, the “Trans people” have a high percentage of being hurt or victimized. She believes that The Vagina Monologues will help nurture FIU’s progress on less violence and victimization toward that community.

The Vagina Monologues, a recurring play since 2007, will be collaborating with Omega Phi Beta, a new sorority dedicated to female empowerment.

All proceeds of the play will go to Kristi House, a nonprofit organization in Downtown Miami that rescues girls in human trafficking; and the Victim Empowerment Program at FIU, a program that provides counseling to students and staff that have been victimized.

“It’s refreshing to see an event like this,” said Jason Hernandez, sophomore sociology major. “This is something everyone should be interested in – not just women. Women progression and empowerment in America affects us all. Their success is our success because it means that America is progressing. I’m excited for this.”

Adrian added, “We go around and tell people to come see The Vagina Monologues and, usually, the girls are really excited and the boys just say ‘oh that’s a girl event’, and it’s not. It’s a human rights issue… [Boys] came from somewhere. I know you got a mom, a sister, a cute girl on Instagram and, this issue, pertains to her. It pertains to your life.”

The play will show on Thursday, Feb. 19 and Friday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. It will be held in the MMC law building – RDB 1100.

Tickets are available for any college student with ID at $12, faculty and staff at $15 and general admission at $20. They can be purchased in DM 212 or online at fiuvday2015.eventbrite.com.

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