Women share personal stories through student-written production

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Photo Credit: Women's Resource Agency | Daily Texan Staff

“Amplify: UT Women’s Voices,” a collection of student-written performances, is providing UT women with a new platform to share their stories.

The Women’s Resource Agency, an agency of Student Government, will host this event in lieu of “The Vagina Monologues” this spring. WRA director Rebecca Sostek said “Amplify” was created in hopes of providing a more inclusive, personalized expression of UT women’s experiences in formats including monologues, short stories and poetry.

Sostek, a psychology, biology and rhetoric junior, said the production’s purpose is to give voice to women, especially those from historically marginalized groups, such as sexual assault victims and transgender women.

“Amplifying people’s voices is really important,” Sostek said. “Giving a woman a platform to share what she feels or what has happened to her is really empowering … you kind of find support and love in that.”

“Amplify” is part of the Voices Against Violence Support Campaign, so the funds raised by the production will go toward the Survivor’s Emergency Fund. This fund provides financial assistance to student survivors of interpersonal violence, helping to pay for needs such as medical care and legal fees, according to the fund’s website.

Lauren White, VAV’s interim prevention and outreach specialist, said the impact of the fund extends beyond finances to send a message that removes blame from victims.

“The Survivor’s Emergency Fund has always been a really great way for UT and VAV to tell survivors of interpersonal violence that they’re not responsible for these things that have happened to them and they deserve to not have to pay for what occurred,” White said.

The production is currently accepting applications with submissions of work to be showcased. Sostek said she expects to receive submissions covering topics such as sexual assault, being marginalized and transformative experiences that have shaped students’ identities. Applications are due Nov. 29.

WRA is hosting “Amplify” in collaboration with the Feminist Action Project, Gender and Sexuality Center, Multicultural Engagement Center, Texas Orange Jackets, Texas Queer & Trans Students Alliance, TransAction, Voices Against Violence and Women of Excellence.

Psychology freshman Kassandra Lopez said women stand to benefit from hearing from others who share experiences similar to theirs.

“Just knowing that you’re not alone in your circumstances, that there’s other people who can feel for you and understand,” Lopez said. “I think that’s really comforting.”