Are you excited? I know I am. Anxious, even. How can we not be?
There are reminders of it everywhere. It’s just over a week until
the day things I’d rather forget but must confront are proudly
expressed by the masses. And no, it’s not that I’m single. And no,
it’s not Valentines Day.
In 1998, Feb. 14 became the day where we demanded that violence
“When all women live in safety, no longer fearing violence or
the threat of violence, then V-day will be known as Victory over
Violence Day,” proudly proclaims V-day’s Web site.
Despite the necessity of confronting the harsh reality of
violence against women, V-day actually has a pretty uplifting and
empowering story behind it – one that I am happy to share with
Let’s go way back to 1998, when Spice World rocked the planet
for girls and adolescent boys alike, Justin Timberlake was just
experimenting with ripping off his own clothing in front of large
audiences and, ironically, Britney Spears’ “Hit Me, Baby One More
Time” topped Billboard charts, providing young girls in Catholic
schoolgirl outfits everywhere with an anthem.
Fortunately, in this atmosphere that so blatantly expected women
to be sexual for the pleasure of others, a one-woman show was
challenging the norm. Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” was
gaining popularity and acclaim for allowing women to say the
dreaded v-word aloud – vagina – but more importantly for reclaiming
their own sexuality.
It was something many people hadn’t even thought about before.
Have you? The hypocrisy in a society that will air a video like
“Hit Me, Baby One More time” on the Disney Channel but is afraid to
utter the technical name of an anatomical body part.
Eve Ensler wasn’t afraid to talk about vaginas. In fact, Ensler
wasn’t afraid to shout it, over and over and over again. But this
story is not about Ensler.
This story is about the millions of women who were awakened by
Ensler’s play. The play is based off interviews of women across the
globe. There are stories of rape, violence, incest and genital
mutilation, but there are also stories of men who appreciate and
respect women, and women empowering themselves.
Millions of women have come forth with their stories since being
inspired by “The Vagina Monologues.” Ensler has described it as a
“Vagina Miracle.” And Ensler made the commitment in 1998 to harness
that power, making Valentine’s Day V-day “until the violence
CSU is even playing a role in this movement. The Lory Student
Center Theatre will host the show Feb. 14 and 15. All proceeds will
go CSU’s Office of Women’s Programs and Studies to enlightening
programming through the year.
“There’s still a lot of awareness that needs to be raised about
what women go through. It’s not only personal, but interpersonal.
You gain insight into the experience of others,” says Frances
Southwick, co-director, co-producer and performer in the “Vagina
“The Vagina Monologues” are difficult to describe as anything
but an experience – an experience that has this V-day participant
excited for more than just “Be mine” sweethearts this Valentine’s
Marika is on the board of Women’s Programs and Studies. She is
the news director for KCSU.