Friday, February 15, 2008

The Other V-Day

Now that Valentine's Day is a thing of the past, I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about another V-Day you may or may not have heard about. (Although this is not necessarily wedding-talk, it certainly relates to our freedoms and sexuality, and I thought it would be something that many of you bees and bee-readers would be interested in!)
V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.
Taken from The V-Day website:

During my undergraduate career at the University of Delaware, I was first introduced to V-Day when a friend of mine organized a performance of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence organizations. I happily contributed to the event by photographing the performance, and in the process I was moved and intrigued by the show and its purpose. It is daring and sometimes shocking, but overall it is honest, heartfelt, and unashamed and brings to light the important issues facing women everywhere who are victims of sexual violence. That same year I went to NYC to see an amazing performance of "The Vagina Monologues" at Madison Square Garden, with stars such as Oprah, Brooke Shields, Calista Flockhart, and Queen Latifah performing the monologues. It was beyond moving.

After that first year of watching from the sidelines through my camera lens, I got up the nerve to perform in the show my senior year at UD. It was exhilarating and wonderful to look out into the audience during my monologue to see the smiling, laughing, crying, beautiful faces of women who want to end the violence that so many women face. I performed in another production of the monologues two years ago, and no matter how many times I take part, the message never loses its meaning.

If you are hoping to make a donation to a charity in lieu of traditional favors at your wedding, I urge you to consider V-Day. Or, check out the V-Day website to find an upcoming event near you to support. You will not only be educating yourself, you will be entertained while contributing to an amazing cause. (In Pennsylvania alone, there are 73 V-Day events occurring this year! And I'm proud to announce that my alma mater Delaware has continued to keep V-Day alive on campus.) If you're lucky enough to live in New Orleans, get thee to a box office pronto to buy tickets for "V to the Tenth" on April 12 at the Superdome, the tenth anniversary performance of V-Day featuring such participants as Jennifer Hudson, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Marisa Tomei, Jessica Alba, Eve, Rosario Dawson, and Glenn Close.

As they say, V-Day until the violence stops!

No comments: