Tis the season. Hope ya’ll had a fine Valentine’s Day. I received an email from a good friend stating that because of me, she no longer thinks of Valentine’s Day as just that, but also V-Day. Vagina. Valentine. Victory. You know. The V-Day movement to stop violence against women. That friend of mine made me feel pretty darn good, as I have felt a bit guilty about my inability to commit to a V-Day project this year, especially because it’s the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the V-Day movement.
Valentine’s Day marked the beginning of V-Season. For those of you new to the movement, the V-Season lasts from Valentine’s day to International Women’s Day, March 8th. During this season women (and men can help too!) put on benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues to raise money and awareness to stop violence against women and girls. This year the season lasts a little longer, well into the end of March. This is in order to celebrate ‘V to the Tenth’ with a culminating event in the Super Dome in New Orleans at the end of April. The spotlight campaign this year is on The Women of New Orleans and the Gulf South.
On Valentine’s Day, Ali and I searched the news to see what was being said about the beginning of V-Season. Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda were interviewed on The Today Show. View the excerpt of her clip here, taken from youtube because the version on the MSNBC site cut out her ‘vulgarity’. The big word she used was – gasp – cunt. The most disturbing thing to me is not that she said the word ‘cunt’ on national television, it is that there had to be an apology issued in order not to offend the American viewers. The reason I find this so ridiculous is that Jane Fonda was referring to a monologue entitled ‘Cunt’ from The Vagina Monologues, which she had been approached by Eve to perform and had declined. This was before she became involved in the V-Day movement. The word was not being used in a vulgar way. It’s amazing how far forward we have come, yet still have to go. Ten years ago even the word vagina was taboo. And people are still afraid to say it. But as a society we have no problem with saying ‘dick’, ‘cock’, or ‘penis’? What is that? Here ends my rant due to lack of energy and the need to make dinner.
There are further video clips of the interview with Eve and Jane found here including an article about The Vagina Monologues fifteen years on.
Saturday marked International Women’s Day which usually brings the season to an end. As I mentioned, there are still events going on throughout the month of March and anyone can attend the event in New Orleans in April. Stop by the V-Day website to find out where there are events going on near you. Or just take a look at all the amazing things women around the world have done together to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.