V-Day and ONE BILLION RISING

Because V-Day can be about your Valentine or your Vagina or your Valentine’s Vagina or whatever you want it to be.

My Fabulous Nerds – this  2 PM posting time is not working out is it? At least not on Wednesdays as I am about to publish this about 40 minutes before midnight. Oh well, I’m gonna work on it for you. Promise.

ANYWAY, as you may or may not know, Valentine’s Day is one of my top three favorite holidays (along with Groundhog Day and Thanksgiving). Hey! Don’t think I don’t see the doubt in your face FabNerds. I know what you are thinking “But Jessica, you’re SINGLE – how can you love this overly-commercialized, patriarchal, first-world, cheese-fest that is designed to make independent women feel bad about the fact that they don’t have a husband?”

FabNerds, you are getting cynical on me! Here is my quick argument:

1- My favorite colors have and will ALWAYS be Pink and Red. By the end of January, walking into CVS is like walking into my brain.

2- What’s wrong with a little cheesy commercialism? I am known to enjoy the occasional silliness and I think that as long as you observe the world around you with a grain of salt and know that not everything is always going to be sunshine and rainbows for everyone then why can’t you buy the dancing Snoopy if he makes you smile?

Now is that so bad?

3- I’ve never believed that Valentine’s Day was just about being with your significant other. Growing up (with my crazy, awesome feminist parents) it was impressed upon me that Valentine’s Day was about taking stalk of ALL THE LOVE in your life: Love for your family, your friends, your job, your plant, yourself, whatever! It’s not really patriarchal when you thinking about it like that.

AND SPEAKING OF PATRIARCHY! 

This brings me to the other type of V-DAY in this post. Fifteen years ago, Eve Ensler, of Vagina Monologues fame (a play I am very proud to say I have been in twice) started V-Day, an organization to end violence in women in girls across the world. Today (for it is after midnight now and officially February 14th) V-Day asks all of us to stand up for ONE BILLION WOMEN on this planet that are raped and beaten in their lifetime. It is a day to raise awareness, stand together, and demand an end to violence against women. Here’s what the website says:

“What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.

ONE BILLION RISING IS:

A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being”

Now, there are lots of ways to participate in this movement today. Many are listed on onebillionrising.org, but the simplest things you can do is to are:

A- Tweet using the hastag #1billionrising. Get it trending people!

B- Sharing it with your friends on Facebook!

C- Change any or all of your profile pictures to the One Billion Rising Logo that is at the top of this post. (I just did on FB and Twitter)

D- Share this blog post or ANY blog post about One Billion Rising on any social media platform of your choice. Or just share the website. Share like the lives of women across the globe depend on it. Because they do.

So, let’s not make Valentine’s Day just about Hallmark cards and chocolate -though I still think those are great things. But this day is more than that. It is about a Global Love and the best way I can think to demonstrate that today is to support women and help bring an end to violence. I’ll let Eve have the final word for today.

Happy Valentines,

Jess

 

 

15 Days of Feminism: Day 14- What I think Feminism is Today

 

I think we know each other well enough by now to explain why I have been such an advocate for SlutWalk (which is TOMORROW!) and explaining Feminism lately. A couple of weeks ago on facebook I posted an, admittedly out-of-context, quote from Lady Gaga saying that she hates feminists – to which I asked how anyone could like her after something like that.

Well, I’m sure you know what happened next. My humble little facebook status blew up all over everyone’s news feeds and people were commenting left and right about what it means to be a feminist and why we’re still called feminists and why we would still need feminism today…and all that more or less pissed me off and I wrote that first post explaining SlutWalk and the 15 Days of Feminism.

How can people think there’s no place for feminism today? I think we need it now more than ever. Now that we are finally working to fight against Rape Culture (which to quote SlutWalk is the fight against: Misogyny, Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Class Exploitation, Ableism, Ageism,Fatphobia, Xenophobia, Colonialism, Imperialism, Poverty, Police  Brutality, Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence, and Street Harassment). Now that there are some many ways to get our voices heard (hello, internet), why wouldn’t we say anything.

And for those of you think that this is all ridiculous, please watch the video below and then watch the video of Feministing.com‘s founder Jessica Valenti explain SlutWalk – hopefully that will answer some more questions as to why this is important.

So there’s all that- and then look what happen’s when people try to speak out (sorry, I’m using another vid of Jessica Valenti; I’m trying not to look like I’m endorsing her, but I actually agree with most everything she says, so I guess I am endorsing her):

Yeah, there’s no need for feminism anymore. The world is totally free of misogyny and prejudice and discrimination – now please excuse me for a second, I have to go brush my pet unicorn’s licorice mane with a diamond-encrusted comb.

(because everything in the world is perfect so there is no need to voice my opinion.)

Luckily, there are many people who understand the importance of feminism today and they are Doing. Something. About it. Women are speaking up and speaking out and embracing feminism. This is hopefully where everyone is headed.

I’ll see you at SlutWalk NYC,

Jessica