Through the Eyes of a Woman: From Lion Dancing to Shaving our Vaginas!

Performances by:

Andrea Mellonakus

Alpha Phi Heartbreakers

Chinese Student Association

Emily Iekel

Loleeta Jean Dalton

Anna Fronzaglia

Mozaic Dance Team

Word is Born

Note-oreity

As I walked in Grafton Stovall auditorium I found myself singing along with Whitney Houston to “I’m Every Woman” and watching famous women’s accomplishments fly across the screen on stage. “Through the Eyes of a Woman” is a group of skits performed by diverse women and women’s groups on a variety of women’s topics. Watching this performance made me proud to be a woman at JMU! The skits really showed that the women at JMU are proud of their beliefs. No one was ashamed or embarrassed to discuss any topic no matter how political or vulgar. These issues are important not only to us, but also they are important to women all over the country and the world. These little issues are a part of something much bigger. The variety of performances kept my attention and showed the diversity of women and perspectives we have at this school. The topics ranged from abortion rights to shaving our vaginas to Asian women’s progress in deterring our oppression. From the beginning the audience was enthusiastic. There were women dancing in their seats and people were singing along with the overhead music “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child.

Andrea got the night started off right with a poetry reading about inequality based on race, class, gender, and sexism. She said so much with just a few words. It set a great tone for the show. She expressed this need for women to be equals in the world, not just for herself.

My favorite performance of the night had to be the Chinese Students Association’s rendition of the Lion Dance. Traditionally this show is performed by men, so this was the first women’s performance of it on campus. It is usually performed as a ceremony to exorcise evil spirits and to summon luck and fortune. The two women were under a Chinese lion dancing across the stage to the beat of a drum. It was entertaining, comical, cultural, and intense. I was so brought in by this performance. The dancing of the lion and the cultural intensity and passion that these women had expressing themselves made me feel elated. It was a reminder to me that we have to much to give, so much heart. If you didn’t see it, you missed out!

There was even a Vagina Monologue performance. Seven women did a skit and discussed what their vaginas would dress like if they wore clothes, which got the whole audience laughing including myself and also got me thinking about what mine would wear, a bowtie maybe? Then there was a more serious monologue about women having the right to their own bodies, and why it is so often that we feel forced to alter our bodies, in this case shaving our pubic hair. However, she left some comic relief by describing the public hair as “the barnyard around the house”, which brought the audience back from sympathetic faces to a smile. Good metaphor!

The Mozaic Dance team also did a performance, which was refreshing and fun. It was full of booty shaking free expression! If I could have got on the stage I would have joined in. Then, the group Word is Born did three poetry readings. One specifically about pro-choice rights was spectacular. It was political, funny, emotional, and educational. She explained she was “pro-choice not anti life”. She discussed things many of the women here experience. She likes to go out with her friends, drink, go to movies, and study. However, she explained one day she will have a baby that she will love and care for, but now it is her choice to not have a child. This is something many of us can relate to. We lead similar lives.

The night ended with a performance by the all girl a capella group Note-oreity singing three different songs including “The Heart of the Matter” by India Arie. There were girls beat boxing and singing and dancing. I couldn’t help tapping my feet to the tune.

This show expressed a variety of topics and showed the enthusiasm women have for their talents, ideas and beliefs. I hope the women that were involved in Through the Eyes of a Woman know that they definitely taught their audience something and touched at least one of us in the crowd! Great job!

~Freida Frye~

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