One Billion Rising

1BillionRising

This year, for the first time in four years, I’m not involved in any V-Day events. I have no Vagina Monologues rehearsals to go to, no vagina cupcakes to make and no tickets to sell. I feel a bit weird about that. This year is the 15th anniversary of V-Day. I did my first V-Day event five years ago this year. Getting involved in something like that can feel really powerful. Suddenly it feels possible that you could change the world – you could re-educate people, get everyone to start being nicer to each other and treat each other with respect. The Vagina Monologues really does make people see things in a new way and I really felt that that first year. We did the show on our college campus and meet a lot of the audience in the bar afterwards, men and women who were all fired up and ready to take down the patriarchy!

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t change over night and terrible things keep happening to women all over the world. In 2008, the V-Day Spotlight Charity was New Orleans. The next time I did it, it was the Democratic Republic of Congo and the stories coming out of that country would just make you want to give up on the entire human race. Stories of entire villages of women being raped, from six month old girls to women in their sixties. Don’t let anyone tell you rape is about sex or desire. It’s not. It’s about power. It’s about putting people in their place. The terrible stories from the Congo make that very clear.

Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and founder of V-Day, is not the type of woman who gives up. Instead of throwing her hands in the air, V-Day built the City of Joy – a place where women could be safe and recover from the violence that had been done to them. Eve Ensler believes in changing the world because she seen it happen. This year she’s launched One Billion Rising – a worldwide uprising to protest the fact that one in three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime and a declaration that that needs to change.

There will be men and women dancing for change on the streets of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Tipperary. They will be joining people rising in 190 countries worldwide. So get out there, dance your socks off and feel like you could change the world. It’s a good feeling, even if it only lasts an hour or two, you still feel like you’re achieved something.

Details of all the Irish events are here.

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