COA students organize month-long focus on women’s oppression

Posted Feb. 01, 2013, at 6:29 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 02, 2013, at 4:53 p.m.

Sunday, February 3 to Saturday, February 16, 2013; 1 p.m.

Location: College of the Atlantic - Deering Common Community Center, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine

Contact: Zabet NeuCollins; 207-288-5015


Month-long discussions culminate in performance based on “Vagina Monologues”

College of the Atlantic students are organizing a month-long focus on violence and oppression against women and girls during the month of February, what they are calling V-Month. Students Annelise Hildebrandt and Zabet NeuCollins are working with COA faculty and students to present a series of discussions about local and global issues to bring awareness to the violence and oppression against women, as well as highlight the potential for creating empowerment and change in our community and around the world. V-Month will end with a 7 p.m. Feb. 22 performance at the Mount Desert Island YWCA, based on Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, a play that reflects upon the female experience through separate monologues.

The students have organized three discussions, one each weekend in February, followed by a performance of the play. The first discussion, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. in the college’s Deering Common, will focus on global oppression against women. It will be moderated by COA senior Anjali Appadurai, a Canadian national with roots in India and COA faculty member in anthropology Heath Cabot.

On Feb. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., the discussion becomes more personal, with participants sharing experiences. Those who wish will be invited to create their own monologue to present on Feb. 22 at the Y.

On Feb. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., the discussion is about gender and sexuality, oppression and empowerment among women.

The Vagina Monologues performance on February 22 at 7 p.m. at the YWCA will have an open mic character, with monologues, poems, music written by students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Both Hildebrandt and NeuCollins are participating in the Femininity and Masculinity Go to School class taught by Bonnie Tai, EdD COA faculty member in Educational and Human Studies.

Hildebrandt, of Milwaukee, WI, is an aspiring teacher, with strong interests in girls and gender. With a background in theater and literature, NeuCollins, of Iowa City, IA, is interested in producing artwork that serves as action.

More than a play, The Vagina Monologues has become a movement, commonly known as V-Day. First performed in 1996, by 2012, over 5,800 V-Day benefit events took place around the world.

For more information about the discussion groups, which are free and open to all, regardless of gender or age, or the performance on Feb. 22 at the Mount Desert Island YWCA at 36 Mt. Desert Street in Bar Harbor, contact Zabet NeuCollins, or