Saving the Women of the World
(a history of me and my short skirts)
2008 will mark the 10th anniversary of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues and the movement it spurred. I had the honor of being in a staged version of the Monologues about five years ago and loved every moment of being a part of such a phenomenal movement.
It was also a lot of fun to come out on that stage and say:
“My short skirt is not an invitation, a provocation, an indication that I want it, that I need it, or that I hook. My short skirt is not begging for it. It does not want you to rip it off me or pull it down… My short skirt, believe it or not, has nothing to do with you.”
In its 9 year history, V-Day, the activist and advocacy movement inspired by the Vagina Monologues, has accomplished a lot:
Using art and activism, V-Day has educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 5000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, and Iraq.
The 10 year annivesary will culiminate in a huge celebration in New Orleans next April.
In the meantime, in each issue of O Magazine, Ensler asks for four movers and shakers from around the globe to share their earth-fixing ideas. Here are some recent ideas that I especially loved:
From Edwidge Danticat (for a bonus, pick up her book: Breath, Eyes, Memory): “I would teach every child to read and write, give them access to stories about their potential, their power, their ability to contribute to the world. I would tell them that the future is as infinite as their dreams, and when they don’t quite reach it, they are not failing but rehearsing… I would send each child to school and pray that she or he learns, among many other things, to speak even when silence is the law, to cry even when tears are condemned, and to laugh whenever laughter is crucial.”
From Kavita Ramdas (President of the Global Fund for Women): We can put poverty in the United States in half simply by guaranteeing that women earn equal pay for equal work… encourage your congressional representatives to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women which provide the basis for ensuring women’s equal access to education, health, and employment. A hundred and eighty-five countries have done so, but not ours.