By Tatiana Rodriguez
For some reason, I have always been afraid of feminism. I always thought of it as a burning bra type of movement. I can remember my freshman year associating the Women’s Center with that far-fetched idea. Same with “The Vagina Monologues.” I never went to a show all throughout my collegiate career because I was scared how it would look if I was buying tickets for a show with “vagina” in the title. I was always scared of what other people thought of me.
Another reason I never went was because I always had to work and was never done with work until 8 or 9 pm. Now in my senior year, with a new outlook on feminism and being a woman, I have no excuse to miss this show. Going in, I’m not quite sure what to expect, so this post is a two part. It has both my ideas before and after attending the show.
As a young freshman, I was shy and timid and mainly stuck with following my pack. I didn’t go to certain plays or attend certain events because it was “uncool.” What even was cool, I was a freshman who knew nothing and had stuck to with my high school mentality. When the Vagina Monologues were advertising their show that year, I remember all my friends saying how they weren’t going to go, and I was even repulsed at the fact they even used the word “vagina” in their headline. AS IF I was going to be seen buying tickets for a play like that.
By the end of my freshmen year, I had changed some ideas, but it wasn’t until I met a good friend of mine my sophomore year. That year I did a National Student Exchange program and attended North Carolina State University in beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. Towards the end of the year, I became friends with this crazy (I say this in a good way) strong headed feminist who taught me so much about it. Her name is Iliana Diaz, and going beyond being a feminist she was very thought provoking and just by speaking with
her you could tell she’s researched and understands different topics. I remember some of our guy friends would get in heated debates with her, she’d listen to their points but then off the top of her head she’d be able to reference different papers and articles she had read regarding the issue.
It was because of Iliana that I realized wanting any sort of equality between sexes, is still feminism. She also taught there are many levels to feminism and it doesn’t always have to be the burning bra feminist society often puts in our head. Down to the core root, feminism is truly about wanting to be treated equally amongst peers and to not be downgraded based upon what is or isn’t between your legs.
Now in my senior year, I have a whole new outlook on being a feminist. I am a feminist and I don’t care if people view me as being a “snowflake,” a liberal, or whatever names people use these days. This election has also helped me see that feminism goes beyond men and women. It includes race, ethnicity, religion, etc., and regardless of any whatever you are/believe should be treated as equal as the person next to you.
An argument I often find myself in is when someone says “Oh people overseas are going to come and take our jobs away.” I get how threatening that may seem and it truly is a greater process than what you’re making it seem. But should that not want to push you to be the best at your career? If someone comes and is able to do the same skill as you for the same amount of pay, but with a much better outcome then it’s not the people overseas you should be concerned about. It’s you. Better than ANY of your competition.
A little off topic, but after going to the Vagina Monologues during its double sold out screenings on February 10th all I can say is that I wish I had gone sooner. Not only is it an overall great production, but it covers topics that society tell us not to talk about at all. They read stories about tampons, orgasms, being with a man, being with a woman, and even being with yourself. There were a few stories that I can still remember vividly and one was a personal story told by a transgender woman. During her monolog, the entire theater was dead silent. Gripped by what she had to say and the horrific encounters she has had to face to get to where she is today. Her monolog received the longest and loudest applause of the night. I’m truly in awe that she was able to share her experience, but also grateful. The audience had no idea what it’s like to be a trans person, and hearing her story exposed us all to her harsh reality. All in all, I would easily recommend this play to EVERYONE, regardless if you’re a feminist or not.
Don’t be afraid to try something new or be friends with people outside of your comfort zone. It is an important of our society to continuously grow your ideas and opinions. You don’t necessarily have to agree with everything, but it is important to expand your knowledge. Not to mention it was a great production filled with laughter and tears.