Play raises money to combat sexual assualt


Campus Editor

 Oakland University’s Women’s Issues Forum produced the the play “The Vagina Monologues” on March 7-8 in Dodge Hall.

About 40-50 people attended Sunday. Erin Downes, president of the Forum, said Saturday had a bigger audience, as well as some different cast members.

The Forum produces “The Vagina Monologues” almost every year and donates the proceedings to different causes. Downes said that this year, they raised about $1,000 from the Saturday and Sunday shows, 10 percent of which go to combat female genital mutilation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The remainder will go to OU’s Gender and Sexuality Center to help start OU’s first comprehensive sexual assault prevention and awareness program.

Joanne Bautti-Roche, GSC’s coordinator, said it will use the money to insert information cards in packets for new students and to hold sexual assault prevention workshops in the dorms, focused especially on freshmen girls, because they are the ones most targeted by sexual assault.

She also said that she plans to start the workshops by Fall 2009, and while these workshops would be optional, she would try to make them mandatory in the future.

Happy, not-so-happy

The play had both funny and serious parts, all spoken in short monologues by women who stood at the microphone.

Student Amy Skarb told a Vagina Happy fact, “The clitoris is the only organ in the body built solely for pleasure.”

Jean Ann Miller, director of OU’s Center for Student Activities, talked about some Not-So-Happy facts, and discussed how female genital mutilation was widespread, especially in Africa.

“Three million girls a year can expect [to have] their clitoris [cut out], or all the parts together,” she said.

Later, student Aimee Coldren gave an Outrageous Vagina fact, which was that it’s still illegal to sell vibrators in five states in America.

“In those states, it’s legal to sell guns,” Coldren said. “But no mass murders have been committed with vibrators.”

Staff and students

Most of the actors were students, but there were some university staff members as well.
Miller played some funny and serious parts. Anne Switzer, a Kresge Library staff member, played a serious part, speaking in the voice of a young girl who was raped by older men.

“Six men shoved bottles into me … they took turns with me for seven days,” she said.

The last skit, a serious title, “Baptized,” featured Laura Hoehner as an aid worker who spoke of meeting an 8-year-old girl who was raped so severely that she had an extra hole and lost control of her bladder.

“I didn’t even know that could happen,” Hoehner said. “She peed on me … I was baptized.”

In one skit, three women said out loud the things that their vaginas might say if the vaginas could speak.

“Whoo mama!” Miller exclaimed.

In another skit, a female prostitute, played by student Jeni Schroers, who took only female clients, described some of the things her clients liked to yell out loud during sex.

“I should be studying! I should be studying!” she said between orgasmic moans, describing a college student.

Shaving and smelling

Some of the skits were about genital hygiene and female expectations.

In the opening skit “Hair,” a woman, played by Sara Ebensperger, pointed out the absurdity of men demanding women shave their pubic hair.

“When he made love to me [after she shaved] … it felt painful,” she said. “I refused to shave after that … Hair was there for a reason … as protection.”

In the skit “My Angry Vagina,” a woman played by Angela Wilhelm questioned why women needed to try to make their vaginas smell better.

“Stop shoving things up me, cleaning me up and making me smell better,” she said. “Don’t believe them when they say it [vagina] smells like roses. It smells like pussy.”

GSC and Oakland University Police Department are hosting another event “Consensual sex or rape? A mock trial” Monday, March 23 from 7-10 p.m. in Gold Rooms A-C of the Oakland Center.