Exploring the idea that women have a voice to claim their vaginas, bodies, relationships, as well as their work and home-spaces, all erupted at the Vagina Monologues last Thursday.
The theatrical production’s theme was “how women can claim their power back in public and private spaces” and took place at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Con Cowan Theatre. It was a one-night splendour of feminism.
The cast comprised of four female students, who captured their characters immaculately. They took us into the private lives of high-profile working woman who doesn’t have enough time to look down there; the thoughts of girl trying to grapple and embrace her sexuality and even the beauty of childbirth through the canal that is the vagina.
Director, Kabomo Vilakazi said he wanted the play to appeal to all humans and not just females, because males are part of the society that females also inhabit.
The discussion session held after the play elevated the production to an event that involved feedback from the audience.
This brought forth the perspective of males who watched the production. One such male said, the play enlightened him to the fact than a woman’s ‘lady parts’ should not be seen as a something to be “conquered”, but rather, e appreciated and respected by men.
I must say though that in my opinion, Vilakazi seems to have overlooked that with appreciation comes the stake of reality – in the violence that women’s vagina’s are subjected through in incidents such as rape.
Since some issues emerging from the theme were around gender-based violence, I think he could have ensured that the feelings women have and the disempowerment a victim of rape feels should have been touched on.
I think this would help in the plight against sexual violence. It would highlight to men and women the trauma of such violence, especially in a country with shameful rates of gender-based crimes.
I hope there is a more focused touch on this relevant issue affecting young women and how they fit into the spaces that encompass their lives.
The play was produced and fully financed by UJ students, Thokozile Mohlomi and Precious Maputle who donated the ticket sales to a non-governmental organisation that works with helping women uplift themselves.
All in all, I hope the play makes it to the National Arts Festival next year because of the clear impact that it left all who watched with a stroke on the’ V-Jayjay’s’ beauty and versatility.