During yesterday’s Victory Over Violence Day celebration, a vagina danced through Storke Plaza as students munched on pussy cookies and better-than-sex cake.
The UCSB Women’s Ensemble Theater Troupe – in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, Student Health Sex and Relationship Interns, Take Back the Night, Planned Parenthood and the Rape Prevention Education Program – gathered in Storke Plaza yesterday to promote V-Day, an event that raises money to fund programs working to end violence against women. The annual celebration, which is themed “Definitions of Self and Vagina” this year, will close with showings of “The Vagina Monologues” today and tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Campbell Hall.
WETT member Stevi Costa said she thought this year’s V-Day celebration was powerful because it united different campus groups under a common goal. She said WETT has been organizing V-Day at UCSB since 2001.
“V-Day here [at UCSB] is a college-focused campaign aimed at ending violence toward women and girls,” Costa, a fourth-year English and linguistics major, said. “As a member of WETT, we invite other campus groups to come table at this event [to] inform people about V-Day.”
Festivities at the celebration included a “build-a-vagina” table where participants could assemble their own stuffed “beaver box,” a “va-jewelry” table where bracelets and earrings were sold with labels such as “I Love My Vag!” and “Hey Pussy!” and vanilla, strawberry and chocolate-filled pussy cookies, which organizers said represented various demographics. Some participants wore T-shirts printed with different words for vagina – such as, “coochie snorcher,” “fanny,” “kitty,” “muff” and “yoni” – on the front.
The Student Health Sex and Relationship interns, who helped organize the V-Day festivities, offered students free condoms and information on safe sex practices during the event.
Angela Baez, a peer Sex and Relationship Intern and third-year women’s studies major, said she felt it was very important for her group to be involved in V-Day.
“As Sex and Relationship interns, it is important for us to be out here talking to students about how to have safer sex,” Baez said. “We have many different things on display and even offer demonstrations on how to correctly put on a condom and dental dam.”
Costa said WETT will donate all proceeds from V-Day to local rape-prevention and awareness programs, such as A Season for Non-Violence, Women in Conflict Zones and the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.
Brendan Fahy, a third-year physics major who attended yesterday’s festival, said he felt WETT did a good job making issues of violence against females visible through the V-Day event.
“I think all the tabling groups out here did a great job,” Fahy said. “I feel more informed about the issues of violence toward women and because [the organizers] have made this event very visible, hopefully others will learn something too.”
In addition, WETT member Dani Lenahan, who dressed up in a 5-foot-tall vagina costume for V-Day, said she was pleased with the outcome of yesterday’s festivities, despite the uncomfortable working conditions presented by her outfit.
“Although the event started slow, it seemed to pick up throughout the day,” Lenahan, a fourth-year dramatic arts major, said. “The suit is all about catching the attention of people – and what better way than to dance around in a giant vagina suit?”