"V-Day" highlights domestic violence, sexual assault at FMU

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University:

FLORENCE – Students, faculty and staff are taking on Eve Ensler's award-winning play The Vagina Monologues at Francis Marion University to promote gender, domestic violence and sexual assault awareness and raise money for the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

The university in conjunction with the Gender Awareness Committee, Gender Studies Program, and the Fine Arts Program will host several events this week with The Vagina Monologues being performed on March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Chapman Auditorium in the McNair Science Building.

A poignant and humorous tour of the ultimate forbidden zone, The Vagina Monologues is a celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. In the stunning phenomenon that has swept the nation, Ensler gives real women's stories of intimacy, vulnerability and sexual self-discovery.

"Based on interviews with more than 200 women about their memories and experiences of sexuality, the play gives voice to women's deepest fantasies and fears," said FMU English Professor Rebecca Flannagan, an organizer of the event. "It's hilarious, empowering, radical and just a really good time."

This year's "V-Day" events for the week will feature student panels and a myriad of other activities and is part of the "V-Day" event celebrated during this time of year at colleges and universities worldwide.

  • On March 23, there will be a student panel "Manswers" in the Lee Nursing Building Auditorium at 7 p.m. A showing of the film Until the Violence Stops will be held in Lowrimore Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24.  Gender Studies will host a panel on Women and Prison on March 25, at 1 p.m. in the Lee Nursing Building.
  • A self-defense workshop for women is scheduled for Saturday, March 27 from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the UC Commons.  Persons interested in this event need to sign up in advance by contacting Flannagan via phone or e-mail (rflannagan@fmarion.edu).
  • On March 23, will be Body Awareness Day in the UC all day.  Body awareness seminars will be held that will include belly-dancing and yoga.
  • On Thursday and Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., there will be a Red Tent exercise on the UC Lawn where women (and men) can share a safe space to reflect on life experiences.

During the week, a student group fundraiser selling t-shirts and other related items will be held in the Founder's Hall breezeway to benefit the Pee Dee Coalition in addition to a collection drive for the Durant Children's Center at the FMU Center for the Child.

The Clothesline Project will be held during the week as well. This project is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women.

Nearly 660 universities around the world are presenting the "Monologues" as part of V-Day, a month-long event that generates funds for organizations and programs working to stop violence against women and girls.

For tickets to the show ($10 for non-students; $8 for FMU students with ID), contact Meredith Love at (843) 661-1522. For more information about the week of events, contact Flannagan at (843) 661-1516.