UCSB theater troupe provides TMI with calls for ‘vagina liberation’

In an apparent effort to promote its upcoming production of “The Vagina Monologues,” members of the Women’s Ensemble Theater Troupe at the University of California, Santa Barbara penned an op-ed Wednesday extolling the virtues of their vaginas.

“We are in need of nurturing our sexualities when the world doesn’t always know how to love our vaginas as anatomical wonderlands and as metaphors for our blooming femininities,” the Daily Nexus column begins. “We are in need of exploring our sexualities inside of sex, outside of sex, and alongside sex when our sacred openings have been mistaken as lifeless objects in the name of socially constructed ‘shame.’”

This shame, they assert, “is not inside of our wet forest landscapes or dry summer breezes flapping between labia lips,” but rather “is actually outside of us, where fear tries to darken the Earth’s natural light coming from our vulvas.”

In order to combat such stigmas, they claim, “our sexualities do need other vaginas—and that is why our troupe is a troupe.” Following from this, each member of the troupe contributes an anonymous statement about what their own sexuality means to them.

“To be honest, it means my freedom to own my body and to do with it as I please,” one student writes. “I like to claim I’m open with it, but that’s just because I do what makes me feel good, and there are times when I choose to use it and there are times I just wanna keep it locked up.”

Another student relates her struggle to overcome societal stigmas about sex, saying, “I am still learning to separate the concept of sexuality from its negative connotations and learn how to be proud of pleasuring myself.”

Other students discussed the particular difficulties that lesbians and black women face in embracing their sexualities, saying the pressure is even greater on those women than it is for most.

Still others adopted a more poetic approach, with one entry stating “My sexuality is my pussy and its right to choose/Y’all condemn feminism but wouldn’t walk in my shoes/I wish for the day the armor we put on is no more/And we are called by our names, not slut or whore.”

Following the testimonials, the op-ed also includes a postscript reminding readers that tickets are still available for the troupe’s upcoming performances of “The Vagina Monologues and Herstories” on February 5 and 6.

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