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The Vagina Monologues and V-Day come to Vermont

Frankly, my dear, I dont give a damn. When Rhett Butler spoke those parting words to Scarlett OHara in 1939s Gone with the Wind, movie audiences shuddered. Not so much because Rhett was finally leaving Scarlett, but because he had uttered the dreaded d-word on screen. Times have changed. Nearly all of comedian George Carlins seven forbidden words -- damn is not one of them -- are now used regularly on the big screen and on premium cable television. The one exception is probably the infamous c-word. Playwright Eve Enslers The Vagina Monologues seeks to reclaim the c-word just as it tries to make the world more vagina-friendly and open to free, uninhibited discussion of feminine sexuality. Ensler compiled The Vagina Monologues from interviews with over 200 women about that part of their body that they identify as everything from coochi snorcher to simply down there. First performed in New York in 1996, Enslers play covers such taboo topics as first menstruation, pubic hair, types of orgasm, lesbian sex, wartime rape, giving birth, and, yes, Reclaiming. The Vagina Monologues has now become part of an international institution. V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against girls and women, was born a decade ago as an outgrowth of the play. In 2008, over 3500 V-Day events were scheduled to take place in over a thousand worldwide locations. Many include benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues. The V-Day movement (V stands for Vagina, Victory, and Valentine) has raised over $50 million and educated millions about violence against women and what can be done about it. Go to www.vday.org for more detailed information. YouTube abounds with Vagina Monologues, including singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette bravely (and humorously) Reclaiming. In Vermont, V to the Tenth has been, or will be, celebrated in over ten locations, including Eve Enslers 1975 alma mater, Middlebury College. The University of Vermonts Womens Center will present The Vagina Monologues at 7 p.m. on Feb. 29 and March 1 at the Southwick Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Further info can be found by calling 802-656-7892. Lyndon State Colleges presentation of Enslers play will take place on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Alexander Twilight Theater, 1001 College Road, Lyndonville. Call 802-626-6459 for more information. Dont emulate Rhett Butler. Give a damn. See a performance.

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