February 13, 2011

Hooray for V-Day!

Posted in News at 4:42 pm by brittanylschmidt

Although today is Valentine’s Day, many only celebrate with chocolate and cards from a loved one.  Well, V-Day can be celebrated for a multitude of reasons.  Today, is the celebration of V-Day, the global movement to stop violence against women.

According to V-day, their goal is to create dialogue and shatter taboos around violence against women and girls through thousands of events in over 140 countries.


In 1994, Eve Ensler wrote a play called, “The Vagina Monologues.”  It is a compilation of monologues that were gathered through interviews with women around the world.  They are true stories of women who have been affected positively and negatively from having a vagina and being a women.  Since 1998, Eve has allowed groups around the world to perform the Vagina Monologues in order to educate and get others involved.

The University of Wisconsin took advantage of this once-a-year opportunity and reproduced, “The Vagina Monologues,” by Eve Ensler at the Union this past weekend.  Here is a video created by the women who were involved in reproducing the show this year.

Jenny, an actress in the play, said, “I think there are a lot of things in here everybody secretly thinks about but never talk about, women especially, and then never talk about with men and I think it is time that people talk about these things out loud.”

Many women have been subjected to sexual assault through vaginal abuse.  Acccording to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, one in six women will be sexually assaulted as opposed to one in 33 men.

College women are four times more likely to be sexually abused.

Because the title has the word vagina in it, men may find it unnecessary to read the book.  Many assume it has a strong feminist attitude that bashes men.  It is important to note that the script doesn’t play favorites, it focuses on female empowerment — something that deserves encouragement from both men and women.

While this book has a feminist viewpoint behind it, the voice of the play is not the overwhelming feminist tone that most people think about.  To some, feminism accompanies the vision of a bra -burning, radical and butch woman who refuses to shave her legs.

Well for others, feminism refers to women who are confident in themselves.  Women who not only believe in women’s rights but are cognoscenti of what opportunities and privileges they have obtained over centuries.  Ideally, feminism doesn’t just mean women understanding the struggles and opportunities that have arisen in the past, but it also means men understanding and believing in women’s rights.

Women and men can both participate in celebrating V-Day tomorrow.  Many will continue to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense with chocolate and roses, but it can be celebrated with putting an end to violence against women too.

I did an interview with the women who were involved with reproducing The Vagina Monologues this year at the UW and why they think it is so important.  Feel free to check it out.

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