I met, watched and most valuably heard Eve Ensler at The Cafe De Paris in London last week but I first came across Eve Ensler after reading about The Vagina Monologues. It’s been running in theatres globally since 1996 and comprises of monologues dealing with different aspects of the female experience. In particular the important physical ones that rarely get discussed in the open and rarely in the same sentence; sex, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm plus the many names that are given to a ‘vagina’. In my eyes she’s like a conduit, opening our eyes and ears to what was staring and shouting at us all along but is so ‘normalised’ in our society that to our detriment, we grow up with it’s white noise and only add to the collusion with the Elephant in the room.
All that is, happens to, and is part of our bodies needs to be felt, acknowledged and discussed in order for us to be in control of our own physical selves and in order to have societies that respect and protect it’s girls and women..
Enough from me, read what Eve says below.
Attacking the Silence
“The truth is shocking. According to the United Nations, one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime. Although sources of violence may seem diverse, women’s responses sound tragically similar. Besides the pain and strength you will hear in their survival stories, the themes that resound across cultures and geographies are of the indifference of authorities, the familial instinct of denial, and the lack of public outrage about the violence that millions of women experience every day.
V-Day was born of the belief that until these themes are addressed, these violations named and taken up by whole communities as an unacceptable desecration of human dignity, the violence will continue. “Sourced from the V-Day website
“This February 14 2013, V-Day will be 15 years old. It was never our intention to be around that long. Our mission was to end violence against women and girls, and so we planned to be out of business years ago.
We have had enormous victories in these years. We have broken taboos, spoken the word “vagina” in 50 languages in 140 countries, called up stories and truths about violence against women, breaking the silence, supported amazing activists across the planet who have created and changed laws. But we have not fulfilled our mission to end violence against women and girls. In fact the UN says that one out of three women on the planet will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. That is one billion women plus. That is simply insane and unacceptable.
So this V-Day we knew we had to go further; we knew we had to escalate our efforts to break through the patriarchal wall of oppression and denial, to transform the mindset that has normalised this violence, to bring women survivors into their bodies, their strength, their determination, their energy and power and to dance up the will of the world to finally make violence against women unacceptable.
So less than a year ago, we announced One Billion Rising, a call for the one billion women and all the men who love them to walk out of their jobs, schools, offices, homes on Feb 14, 2013 and strike, rise and dance!
Nothing we have ever done has spread so fast and happened so easily. Our motto was “not branding but expanding”: a global action to be carried out locally. Every city, town, village, person would determine what they were rising for – to end FGM, to remember their daughter’s rape, to stop sex slavery, to educate young boys and girls about non-violence sexual relations.
One Billion Rising is happening big time, one Billion size. It is happening in 205 countries. It is happening where women will risk their lives to dance and where women have never danced before. It is happening in all 7,000 islands of the Philippines and in over 50 cities in Turkey. There are 100 risings in Italy, 135 risings in UK and thousands in North America. We are expecting 25 million to rise in Bangladesh, and it’s hard to imagine the numbers in India but they will be massive.
It has brought together coalitions of groups and individuals that have never worked together before, galvanised new people and groups and associations and masses of men who were not engaged before but now see violence as their issue – and all of this putting violence against women to the centre of the global discussion.
One Billion Rising has also shown that violence against women is not a national, tribal, ethnic, religious issue but a global phenomena, and the rising will give survivors the confidence of knowing that violence is not their fault or their country’s fault or their families fault.” Sourced from The Guardian
I believe ‘Eve’ should be taught at school.
Watch and share this powerful TedTalk & share with you friends, daughters, sisters, mothers, sons, brothers, partners, husbands.
See the VDay website here
Follow Eve on twitter here