For the first time in TCU history, men raised their voices in the conversation of violence towards women as part of the school’s annual V-Day Campaign.
Fifteen men performed alongside women in the North Texas premier of “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer” over Valentine’s weekend.
The TCU V-Day campaign is “a campus-wide movement to create an organized response to stop violence toward women and young girls,” according to its website.
Trevor Frets, a senior theatre major and executive director of the V-Day campaign, said he felt the need to get more men involved.
“You can only do so much to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault when it’s all women in the room,” Frets said. “To achieve equality of the sexes, both sexes must be present in the discussion.”
Frets said there was an overwhelming response from men wanting to act in the play.
Kyle Montgomery, a male performer this year, said he’s seen the Vagina Monologues, but as a male actor he was nervous to tackle issues that some may discredit men.
“Some of the monologues are powerful and provocative, but as a man, I don’t share those same issues and problems that they address in these stories,” Montgomery said. “I appreciate that the men spoke of not just sexual abuse or sexual conditions. The issues we tackled varied.”
The men and women on stage cultivated a collective roar as they performed a diverse assortment of monologues.
The collection included pieces written by and for men, as well as women, and exposed and explored the maliciousness of violence at all levels.
Montgomery said adding men to the V-Day campaign has added a valuable perspective and created an opportunity for serious discussions.
“It’s true that men don’t have the same experiences to share as women, but at least men are now part of the conversation and can stand up to prevent further discrimination,” Montgomery said. “Now that men are becoming aware, there are more ways and more discussions to be had on how to approach these topics.”
Madison Calhoun, an artistic director for the campaign, said that incorporating “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer” and men gives more meaning to the V-Day campaign.
“It’s powerful when women are speaking up for themselves,” Calhoun said. “But to hear men do that—not for themselves, but for the women in their lives—it means a lot and it’s really powerful.”