(Actress Jane Fonda at One Billion Rising rally in West Hollywood Feb 14. Photo by Joshua Barash)
Feb. 14 is not just Valentine’s Day. In fact, since 1998, it is also V-Day—a global movement to end violence against women and girls inspired by Eve Ensler‘s play, The Vagina Monologues. Ensler started the movement after women approached her following her performance and told her about their experiences with rape, sexual assault and incest. The movement grew to include female genital mutilation and sex trafficking—which is basically sexual slavery. One Billion Rising is a global effort to oppose sexual violence through dance, as actress Jane Fonda said during a rally with Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei in West Hollywood:
We are asking you to take a pledge that in the coming year ... you will do at least one thing to stop violence against women and girls. ... It can mean never ever, ever voting for a politician who trivializes rape ...
Why we’re dancing is because dancing is the opposite of violence. Dancing is joyful, and beautiful and sexy and holy and it gives you energy and empowerment and it’s a great way in our soul to express ourselves. ... We’re going to dance and chant and sing and say enough already. This is too much. One out of three women are raped or beaten in their lifetime and we have to stop it.”
The city of West Hollywood will celebrate the 15th anniversary of V-Day with a series of events starting tomorrow, Sat. Feb. 16. (See more below). This video was shot and produced by Renee Sotile & Mary Jo Godges of Traipsing Thru Films:
WeHo press release:
The City of West Hollywood will celebrate the 15th Anniversary of V-Day by hosting a series of events including MENding Monologues on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 8 p.m. in the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.
Inspired by Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues, this 90-minute show explores gender violence issues from a male perspective. Created by writer and performer Derek Dujardin, The MENding Monologues is at the forefront of a new theater movement that is helping men find their voice and speak out against violence. In the process, Mr. Dujardin is helping countless men heal by getting in touch with what the true cost of violence is to their relationships. Using first-person monologues and hard-hitting slam poetry based on true stories, the MENding Monologues will empower and inspire audience members to make tangible changes both personally and in their communities. Featured performers include the 2007 and 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion Ed Mabrey and West Hollywood singer/songwriter Julie Neumark. The performance will be followed by a next-day Writing Workshop on Sunday, February 17, 2013 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the West Hollywood Park Auditorium. The Writing Workshop will be conducted by MENding Monologues actors.