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By Patrick Pacheco

Glenn Close admitted she was skittish when first asked to participate in "The Vagina Monologues," Eve Ensler's graphic drama about female sexuality. She felt she might have to consult her mother first.

"But I knew I'd be a coward if I didn't do it," said the actress, flanked on the stage of Manhattan's Westside Theatre by Ensler, Julianna Margulies and Rosie Perez at a press conference yesterday announcing the third annual V-Day fund raiser at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 10.
They will be among the more than 70 women, including Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Winona Ryder, Lily Tomlin and Brooke Shields, who will read excerpts-some humorous, some tragic -from "Monologues" as part of a benefit to help combat global violence against women. The event will mark the return to the stage of Fonda, who is honorary chair and who has donated $1million to what Ensler described as "a movement, not a charity." Ensler expressed the hope that this year's V-Day at the 18,000-seat Garden will "be the biggest event ever" in the history of the anti-violence movement.

"There are too many women being desecrated," she said, adding that Winfrey would be performing a new monologue. Ensler wrote it following a trip to Afghanistan, where women were being persecuted and, she said, "killed in droves" by the Islamic fundamentalist regime.
Following the press conference, Close expressed hope that the V-Day event would draw men as well as women. "It's not about feminism," she said. "It's about humanism."