Friday, February 15, 2013

Billion Rise to Fight Violence Against Women and Girls

Around the World, A 'Billion Rise' to Fight Violence Against Women and Girls

Leveraging V-Day, activists on all continents dance and celebrate the power of women to stand up and speak out

- Jon Queally, staff writer
Around 2,000 Filipino women and human rights activists parade the streets of Manila as part of a global campaign to end violence against women on Thursday. One Billion Rising was initiated by Vagina Monologues playwright Eve Ensler to end violence against women by raising awareness through creative action and dance. (Image: One Billion Rising)Across the globe today women are dancing, striking, and in other ways "rising" to call attention to the plight of violence against women and girls across the many cultures of the planet.
Long celebrated as Valentine's Day in many cultures and leveraged for the last fifteen years by women's rights activists in the "V-Day movement," today's actions are a culmination of the "One Billion Rising" campaign spearheaded by author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler and champions equal rights and an end to violence against women and young girls.
“February 14, 2013 will change the world not because it is a day of magic, although there are indeed mystical elements surrounding this campaign. It will change the world because the preparation for it and organizing for it has already created an energetic wind or wave igniting existing efforts to end violence against women and create new ones,” said Ensler in a statement.
Ensler says the campaign has brought together broad and unexpected coalitions of groups and individuals that have never worked together before, including young people and men previously unaware of how deep the problem of violence against women has been.
"We are rising together because it is in our connectedness, in our stomping feet and uncontrollable hips that the path and energy will be created to bring in a new world," Ensler said, referring to the campaign's focus on dance and public protest. "We will galvanize the will and the passion of everyone rising around the world to create change.”
According to the group, planned actions for the day include:
In Paris, the Women’s Coalition of the French Parliament is rising. The Minister of Women’s rights and hundreds of groups in India, students, teachers, and thousands of people are speaking out, and new laws and prevention education are being introduced.  Over 100 events are taking place in Italy.  InGermany, more than 100 events are planned around the country including a flash mob at the Brandenburg Gate. In Bosnia, a network of organizations and individuals in Sarajevo plan a dancing parade along the riverside, public squares and busy places.  From the north of Europe to the south, thousands of activists have planned events large and small. In Bangladesh, over 25 million are expected to rise and will form human dancing chains across the country.  The One Billion Rising anthem "Break the Chain" has been translated into Spanish, Farsi, Hindu, and many more languages.  In Cape Town,Soweto, and Johannesburg, teen girls are touring schools and teaching the flash mob dance, and all over Africa local TV stations are showing the "Break the Chain" video leading up to the rising.
The Guardian is also offering live and ongoing coverage of actions here.
The 'Break the Chain' anthem, which is has been learned by millions and will be performed at many of the events today can be viewed here:
The breadth and diversity of actions happening is being tracked on Twitter using the #1billionrising hashtag:

Confession of an Ex-Wife Beater

Confession of an Ex-Wife Beater
I beat her because she loved me
I beat her
Gouged my fingers into her eyes
Stomped her on the floor
Because she loved my dirty drawers
I beat her
Put my hands on her throat and squeezed
Until her eyes looked like marbles
I beat her
Because she loved me
Because she gave me a child
That looked just like me
I beat her
Because I stood trembling
Watching the child ooze from her womb
I beat her
Because she wouldn’t give me some pussy
I tore her panties off and took the pussy
I beat her
Then said to her, “Baby, I love you so much.
You’re so precious to me, let me kiss you.”
And she let me
Then I beat her for letting me
Because I was drunk
Too much rum
I beat her
Too much weed
I beat her
Too much coke
I beat her
My you are so precious to me
I beat her
My I love you so much baby
I beat her
Because she was faithful
Because she was patient
I beat her
While my child stood terrified
I beat her
Kicked her
Sat on her
Punched her in the mouth
In my madness
Because she said the wrong word
Because she said nothing
Because she said the right word
Because she said too many words
Because she had a thought
Independent of mine
I beat her
Knocked her too the floor
Because she called the police
I beat her
How could she call the white man on me
As Black as I was
I beat her
Because she called her mama
I beat her
Because she called the operator
I beat her
Because she picked up the telephone
I beat her
Because she left me and I found her hiding in the closet
I beat her because I took her to Mexico and she wasn’t happy
I beat her because I took her to New York
And she didn’t smile
I beat her
Because I was sick
And she told me so.
I beat her.
--Marvin X, from In the Name of Love, Laney College Theatre, 1981
I Shot Him
I shot him
Because he loved me
He loved me so much he came home smelling
Like his other bitch’s pussy
I shot him
I didn’t kill him
But I shot him
Because I got the phone bill
And saw he’d called his other bitch
On my birthday
I shot him
Cause I got papers on him
Yeah, I got papers on the motherfucker
To use his filthy language
I shot him
And I ain’t sharing him with nobody
I don’t care what the Muslims say
Bout a nigguh can have four wives
I don’t care what the Holy Qur’an say
I don’t care bout the African tradition of polygamy
I don’t care how many mo women it is for every man
I shot him
I don’t care if women are turning lesbian and bisexual
Cause they don’t want no man
I want my man. I love my man
But I shot him!
--Marvin X, from In the Name of Love, Laney College Theatre, 1981

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