‘SLU Monologues’ are a innovative approach to Eve Ensler’s V-Day tradition

Last February, Una had to perform Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at an off-campus venue due to its controversial material, a ban that began in 2007. Most other colleges in the area allow the performance: Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Webster University all participate in what is not only a play but also a benefit for Ensler’s foundation that fights violence against women. But we’ve written about this before.
What’s new, however, is that this year, Saint Louis University will have its own version of the cause in the form of the “SLU Monologues.” Students have submitted their own stories, poems and songs to a panel and will perform them on campus next week. These Monologues, we’re told, will not be spic-and-span, censored products: their topics range from issues of sexuality and identity to various forms of oppression.
This is progress. It is still disappointing that “The Vagina Monologues” can’t be performed on-campus, and it is sad that SLU hindered the performance of a prominent piece of theater and social activism for the past few years due to claims of the repetitive nature of showing the same play every year. There are other events that happen regularly at SLU, such as Relay for Life, which also raise money for really great causes, yet they haven’t run into the same kinds of issues when their event is repeated each year.
But “SLU Monologues” is a step in the right direction. Una and its contributors have worked hard on the performance, which tackles problems important to college students, provides a feminist and alternative voice and furthers a good cause.
Also, the fact that students participated in the writing of the Monologues brings a unique local element to the performance, which might help boost attendance.
Although “The Vagina Monologues” has been banned, “SLU Monologues” offers an on-campus way to promote a feminist vision and raise money for V-Day, while cleverly staying within the bounds of the University mandate.