What Is V-Day?

V-Day is a global movement that supports anti-violence organizations throughout the world, helping them to continue and expand their core work on the ground, while drawing public attention to the larger fight to stop worldwide violence (including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual slavery) against women and girls. V-Day exists for no other reason than to stop violence against women. In ten years, the V-Day movement has raised over $70 million. V-Day was named one of Worth magazine’s “100 Best Charities” in 2001 and Marie Claire’s “Top Ten Charities” in 2006.

Poster for Nepal's First V-Day

V-Day stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women. Some of the highlights include the December 2003 V-Day delegation trip to Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan; the Afghan Women’s Summit; the V-Day documentary Until the Violence Stops, which premiered at Sundance in 2004; the March for the Missing and Murdered Women of Juarez; the March 2004 delegation to India; the Stop Rape Contest, the Indian Country Project, Love Your Tree, and the V-Day: UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS festivals. In 2008, V-Day celebrated its 10-year anniversary with V TO THE TENTH at the New Orleans Arena and Louisiana Superdome, featuring two days of speakers, art, performances, and wellness programs which were attended by over 30,000 women and men and raised over $700,000 for local efforts in New Orleans to end violence against women and girls.

In 2008, more than 4000 V-Day benefit events – produced by local volunteer activists and performed in theaters, community centers, houses of worship, and college campuses – took place around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls and raising funds for local groups within their communities.

To find V-Day events in your community, go here.

For more information about V-Day, go here.

By the way, the ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina!

Meet Eve Ensler

The following is copied from vday.org:

Eve Ensler

EVE ENSLER, playwright, performer, and activist, is the author of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, translated into over 45 languages and performed in over 130 countries, including sold-out runs at both Off-Broadway’s Westside Theater and on London’s West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment.) Her experience performing THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Ms. Ensler’s performance in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES can be seen in the HBO original documentary of the play (2002).

Ms. Ensler has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive. THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES is based on Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. With humor and grace the piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength.

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Abortion Doctor’s Killer’s Trial

Notice I didn’t write “alleged” killer in the title. That’s because Scott Roeder has confessed in court and in fact is eager to defend his actions. “Those children were in immediate danger if someone did not stop George Tiller,” Roeder told jurors. That a man can be proud that he killed another man is beyond me, no matter what the provocation.

AP Photo

Fortunately, the judge has thrown out the possible verdict of voluntary manslaughter which would have required the defense to show that Roeder had an unreasonable but honest belief that deadly force was justified. The judge also noted that abortion is legal in Kansas. Judge Wilbert also refused to allow a second-degree murder defense, which does not involve premeditation, because the evidence — and Roeder’s own testimony — clearly showed Roeder planned the shooting. Instead, Roeder is being charged with premeditated, first degree murder.

Roeder testified that he considered several different ways of stopping Dr. George Tiller from performing abortions, but finally decided that walking into his church and shooting him in the head was the simplest and most effective. He also testified that he had gone to the church on three other occasions, but that Dr. Tiller wasn’t present then. I guess he finally got “lucky” on May 31st, 2009.

At least one person who was watching the trial protested that Roeder wasn’t being given a fair one. “The very thing (the judge) is attempting to suppress, vigilantism … he is actually promoting it by not allowing Scott to have a fair trial,” Andrew Beacham said. Excuse me?

Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said that the trial shows that Roeder believes that the killing was justifiable homicide and that a guilty verdict might open the door  to a federal investigation and prosecution of any others who might be involved in similar acts. One can only hope. It’s about time that such a precedent is set.

Source: Associated Press story

Post Script: The jury returned a verdict of guilty in just 37 minutes!

Don’t Feed the Poor

South Carolina’s Lt. Governor Andre Bauer made some totally asinine statements at a town hall meeting the other day. Because I can’t believe what he said, I have to quote it verbatim:

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”

He then continued:

“I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina. You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch and I’ll show you the worst test scores, folks. It’s there, period. So how do you fix it? Well you say, ‘Look, if you receive goods or services from the government then you owe something back.'”

AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain
AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

As examples of what people should have to do if they receive public assistance he cited having to attend parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings. That sounds reasonable until you consider that it’s the rare person who is receiving straight welfare these days. Food stamps and free and reduced lunches make it possible for many working parents to make ends meet (if that). My children qualified for reduced lunches when I was holding down a full-time job. And since I was working the graveyard shift and sleeping during the day, I couldn’t make it to parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t involved in my children’s education.

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Does Feminism Cause Divorce?

I’ve never had a problem with marriage. In fact, I marry too easily.  If I’m in a serious and exclusive relationship and the guy wants to marry me, I concur. And so I find myself married once again.

[That’s not entirely true. I had to convince my first husband to marry me. But we were only 20 and now I can understand his reluctance. I should have been reluctant, too. But instead, I was pressuring him. I had just become a feminist the year before, but I didn’t then and still don’t think that being a feminist means you can’t be married.]

I’ve always married—or agreed to marry—rather precipitously. My first husband and I started dating in November and married the following July (much to my parents’ consternation—we didn’t inform them that we were getting married until two months before the wedding date). My second marriage occurred six months after my first divorce. I was single for four years after that, but only because my third husband wasn’t free to marry until then because of a protracted divorce. And my fourth, present and last husband and I had to wait three years for his fiance visa to come through.

Now that I reconsider, I have to admit that the man’s desire to marry might just have had a lot to do with my own openness to it. I never once said, “I’m not ready. Let’s wait a while.” The times when the marriages didn’t happen right away were because of outside forces, not my own reluctance. I’ve just never been cautious about getting married. And I have three divorces to show for it.

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Newsweek Roundup: All About Beauty

Generation Diva: How our obsession with beauty is changing our kids.

The Beauty Breakdown: What a lifetime of cosmetic maintenance will cost a modern diva.

Unattainable Beauty: The decade’s most egregious retouching scandals.

Through the Looking Glass: A former child model on the perils of growing up in front of the camera.

Heidi Montag, 3.0: Eleven things that deeply disturb us about the reality star’s surgical transformation.

Weighty Matters: Why skinny models are making us fat.