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Take Care of Yourself

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My 18 year-old daughter calls once a week from Americorps and tells me what she has been up to. Right now they’re blazing a trail through the wilderness in South Carolina and “chopping up boulders.” Zowie, no telling what those kids will be up to next.

Then she said in her cheery, not-a-care-in-the-world sweet voice, “We went to The Vagina Monologues this week at Furman!” Whoa, that caught me off guard.

“How was it? I’ve never seen it.”
“Very funny but sad and disturbing too – a lot of women have it really bad.”
“Yeah they do, do you?”
“No, I’ve been real lucky.”
“You always have to be careful and take care of yourself, you know?”
“I know, it’s sad and not really fair.”
“It sure isn’t, I worry about you.”
“I’m careful”

I know she is – she always has been- but that doesn’t guarantee anything. Be nice to women and children – no moleste.

Looks like the show caused quite a stir at Furman:

    “I bet you’re worried.”

    So begins Eve Ensler’s Obie-Award-winning play, “The Vagina Monologues.” It seems some students at Furman University have been worried, too, about this production.

    This year marks the first time Furman University will take part in V-Day, a global campaign to stop violence against women and girls. A performance of Ensler’s play is the centerpiece of this campaign. The play is derived from a series of interviews about aspects of female sexuality that Ensler conducted with women of various ages, races and nationalities. Already, this event has been turning heads on this historically conservative campus.

    ….”I’m a little hesitant to be in complete support of the production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ on campus because I think that the producers have not fully disclosed the explicit nature of some of the monologues,” senior Carey Goodman said. “However, I do support whole-heartedly the purpose behind V-Day: stopping violence and abuse against women. I greatly commend the women who are bringing this important campaign in women’s rights to Furman for their courage to face controversy for a good cause.”

    The students involved in the play are stressing the importance of giving a voice to women’s experiences, even if that means discussing things that have historically been labeled taboo.

    “I hope that people will come to the show with an open mind,” senior Paige Hamilton, who is one of the actresses in the play, said. “Although there is explicit content in some of the monologues, please do not take them personally or feel as though we are trying to infringe on your morals. We are merely trying to show different women with different needs, and educate the Greenville community about women’s diseases, the abuse they often suffer, and that it is okay to openly discuss fears, issues, desires and feelings that stem from having a vagina.”

    Prewitt said that beyond raising awareness of women’s issues, she sees this campaign as a way Furman students and members of the Greenville community can help those less fortunate than themselves.

    “For me personally, this is a way that I can give to someone, to make their life, even if it’s just a little bit better in any way, that’ll be enough for me. That sounds really cheesy and corny, but it’s the truth. That’s all I’m hoping to accomplish.” [Mustang Daily]

That would be a lot.

UPDATE
The Monologues go south:

    Eve Ensler is using her off-Broadway hit “The Vagina Monologues” to help fight a decade of rapes and murders on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Ensler dedicated a personal performance of the play in Mexico City on Thursday night to Esther Chavez, director of a center that helps thousands of rape and abuse victims in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million across from El Paso, Texas.

    On Friday, Ensler was to join Chavez and other activists on the border to protest the deaths of more than 300 women in Ciudad Juarez during the past decade. Police have confirmed that more than 75 of the cases are related to a string of rape-murders.

    Dozens of suspects have been arrested – and some convicted – in the murders. But bodies have continued to turn up in Juarez.

    “The time has come for the murders and violence in Juarez to come to an end,” Ensler said in a tribute to Chavez during her performance.

    “I was very, very disturbed by the murders, about how covered up they were and how unexamined they were,” the performer said later. “Whenever you allow these terrible things to go unnoticed, you plant the seeds of a deeper evil.”

    Since the show debuted in Mexico City two years ago, it has helped to raise more than $35,000 for the Juarez center, known as Casa Amiga, Chavez said.

    Mexico is part of a 21-city world tour Ensler is making to promote V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and children. [AP]

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About Eric Olsen