After watching the Vagina Monologues performances 3 days in a row earlier this month (Thanks Eve), I’m moved to continue the conversations she created years ago.  Did you know that since the Vagina Monologues have been performed over the past 15 years, over $80 million has been raised to stop violence against women and children.

38 years ago I took the very first women’s studies class offered at Grossmont Community College, and embarked on activism that I naively thought back then would end the violence. We started a rape hotline, learned and taught self-defense, and hoped there would be a day when rape was history. Imagine my horror when I returned to PSU in 2004, to discover that rape is as prevalent as ever, esp on college campuses.

The Vagina Monologues are a great venue for discussing continuing problems of domestic violence, rape, and other violence perpetrated against women and children.  (A footnote here that men are also battered and raped.)  Our culture is violent. Period.  What can we do to stop the violence? We can support ongoing programs with time and money. We can talk about the violence throughout the year, not just on V-Day.

Creating labia sculptures in clay has been about healing my past abuse. Recently one of my pieces was purchased to help another woman’s healing.  What a gift to be able to share the beauty I create to assist in someone’s healing – that’s why I do what I do.  If we can talk about our bodies, about our labias and our vaginas, we release old shame that was never ours.  I believe this is one small step in ending the violence. Empowered women fight back and do not tolerate abuse.

Women, with clitorises, have the only body part created solely for pleasure, with over 8,000 nerve endings of ecstasy.  That’s more than twice the nerve endings on a penis, which is a heck of a lot larger than a clitoris.  Oh, how I love rolling balls of clay into clitorises and placing them on sculptures!  And then rubbing them for good luck after they’re glazed.

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