"You Too" and Stuff...

If it's "a penny for your thoughts" but you have to "put your two cents in", someone is making a penny somewhere.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Vagina Warrior

It's not a porn name...let me explain. Eve Ensler is a feminist and an activist for females all over the world, especially those who have experienced violence in their lives. In 1998, Eve debuted a play entitled, "The Vagina Monologues." She had interviewed women all over the world about their experiences and opinions on sexuality and turned their stories into a series of monologues. As women who were seeing the play began to tell their own horror stories of being raped, mutilated, and molested, Eve decided that the play must serve a greater purpose. Out of this came V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day invites college groups, volunteers, professional actors, local theater companies, etc. to perform "The Vagina Monologues." It's amazing to think that the same play is being performed all over the world on the same day. All proceeds of each performance are split among local organizations committed to eliminatinating violence against women in their community. In the past 7 years, V-Day has been performed in 76 countries and has raised over $25 million.

Now about the "Vagina Warrior" thing...Last year, "The Vagina Monologues" was performed on V-Day in 1,100 communities. At each performance, communities honored their own "Vagina Warriors", those people who have witnessed or experienced violence and then have done work to make sure that no one else in the community has to go through it. These people included counselors, doctors, police officers, volunteers, and many, many more. This year, at each performance, 3 "Vagina Warriors" from the community will be honored and recognized for the work they do to eliminate violence against females.

Which brings me to the exciting part...This year, yours truly has been named a "Vagina Warrior" and will be honored at the University of Illinois at Springfield's performance of the "The Vagina Monologues" for all the work I have done with victims of domestic violence. It's such an honor that I can't even express into words what it means to me. The most fulfilling part of my job is knowing that I'm making a difference. There isn't anyone to thank for this honor except the "Vagina Warriors", those noticed and those unsung, who have led the way. They've acknowledged a problem, faced challenges, sometimes have experienced pain, but have not given up on their goals. Of course, I wouldn't be who I am without my mother, who is constantly inspiring me to continue "fighting the good fight", no matter how hard it gets or how tired I become.

Please, please, please call up those females who are important in your lives, your grandmothers, aunts, cousins, mothers, friends, and take them to see "The Vagina Monolgues" in your area on March 5, a.k.a. "V-Day 2005." I challenge you to let yourselves be moved, to be shocked, to laugh, to cry, to be transformed, never to look at the women around you (or your vagina for that matter...) in the same way again.

For a listing of performances in your area, look here...

p.s. Congrats to Mary and the other anonymous "Vagina Warrior"...see ya next Saturday!


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