Trigger warning: depicts violence, sexual harassment, and rape against women.
Valentine’s Day is conventionally a day of paper-crafted cards, chocolates, and flowers. It’s a day for couples to celebrate their time together and singles to overindulge in a quart of ice cream. But this year, I ask you, consider something a little more.
For 15 years, Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues has been spreading messages about women’s struggles, joys, and questions. This year she has gone a step further. Her One Billion Rising campaign aims to direct more attention to violence against women.
While I think it’s a little silly to encourage people to dance to end violence, I think any effort is a step in the right direction. Women worldwide are locked in a struggle for their basic rights, and those rights are violated, in every way imaginable, by trusted lovers, friends, neighbors, communities, and strangers. Violence against women is not something that just happens to “those other people”–though I certainly hope it does not happen to you or those you love–but, unfortunately, is in every community. (In fact, I’m sad to say, a woman or girl you know probably has suffered at least some kind of violence.)
It’s time for it to end. Join today with people worldwide and step up to say “This is not acceptable anymore,” and let’s begin to remake the world into a better, more equal, safer place.