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Giving Back through Taboo Words – Guest Blog by Jessica McWhirt

Mind KEY / Health  / Giving Back through Taboo Words – Guest Blog by Jessica McWhirt

Giving Back through Taboo Words – Guest Blog by Jessica McWhirt

Today, guest Blogger Jessica McWhirt, shares how it feels to give back to the community through the empowering performance of this collection of risqué monologues.
*************************************As the word “vagina” broke from my lips, the audience’s eyes widened a little, mouths opened slightly, and wine-filled glasses hung midair awaiting my next words.

Even though my words make my audience recoil in their chairs, I know we’re creating awareness.

It’s not easy to hear taboo subjects, let alone repeat forbidden words in front of 600 eyes. My Vagina Monologues cast and the hundreds of casts throughout the world swallow uncomfortable topics and silences to raise awareness of violence against women. The money we raise from these performances goes directly to an organization that works to end violence against women within our community.
“I bet you’re worried,” I say, as I stare directly into the stranger’s eyes sitting in the front row. “We were worried,” follows. “We were worried about vaginas.”
I’ve directed The Vagina Monologues for the past three years and it never gets easier, I just get better at handling people and details. The women who join my cast are drawn to The Vagina Monologues just like anyone is drawn to anything. Something in this play hits a nerve: a sensitive nerve, a hurt nerve, a strong nerve, an angry nerve, a funny nerve, an abused nerve.
The cast of women and I connect with each other between the lines in the play; where the details of our lives try to hide, but whenever we repeat a certain line, the emotional charge it elicits washes over our faces. We can’t hide our emotions when we practice in front of each other. Some of us choke it back while others let the tears flow. There’s always a gentle smile or sincere hug that follows in our group. We won’t hide our emotions.
We connect with our audience as they listen to harsh words describing rape, and in the same play, the hilariousness of fantasizing about Burt Reynolds. The energy of our audience wavers and flows just like the moon pulls the ocean. It’s not an easy task to make someone laugh at the thought of discovering one’s vagina in one monologue, while another monologue triggers a suppressed memory. But at the end of each performance, someone leaves touched, unafraid, and empowered by “vaginas,” growing our Vagina Warrior circle throughout the community.
We don’t perform these monologues to become stars. We don’t spend months practicing and memorizing lines just to forget them the day after our performance. We are slaves to these words because they inevitably free us. We perform this play to free the men and women in the audience who have been hurt in the past or are currently hurting in hopes that when they no longer hurt, it will help others. We do it for ourselves, we do it for each other, and we do it for our community. We are Vagina Warriors.
The cast of the Vagina Monologues – Denver, Colorado
 *************************
Jessica McWhirt talking to the audience
Jessica McWhirt is an avid cyclist, activist, and writer. She spends the weekends riding 100s of miles and the nights pouring her soul on to paper. Every February you can expect her on stage. She co-runs and manages Cyclizing.com and has her own travel writing blog: jessicaptain.wordpress.com. She does it all with the support of her cat, Klaus.
Charla Dury
Editor and COO

Mother, blogger, cyclist, travel enthusiast, accountant and writer, Charla Dury blogs about her experience in humanity. Whether fact, fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction, Charla’s writing brings out the human experience in each of us. “We are all part of one big human family and can relate to each other on multiple levels,” Charla said. “It doesn’t have to be only skin deep.” One of the most profound reasons Charla blogs is to bring back a sense of community and connectedness that is often lost in the world of technology.

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