Comunidad y Cultura Local
Both Sides / Who cares about Valentine's Day? Let's dance for V-day!
Diario de Xalapa
18 de febrero de 2013

Remedios Aguirre Sullivan / Diario de Xalapa

February 14th, All around the world-One Billion Rising, people rising to end violence against women around the globe. People risingin dance, in song, and looking for ways to express their opposition to the violence one in three women in the world will experience in their lifetimes.

Playwright, performer, and activist Eve Ensler, is best known for "The Vagina Monologues", a play written by her in 1996, translated into 48 languages and performed in on international stages with much success. Mexico City holds a record for the number of continuous performances of Ensler's play in a translation by Susana Moscatel and Eric Merino, and directed by Abby Epstein. That's how V-Day started. Inspired by her experience with the Vagina Monologues, Ensler began a journey of fundraising for female survivors of violence and sexual abuse. She also incorporated art and film into the activist movement.

February 14th, 2013, was the 15th anniversary of V-Day. By the way, V stands for Victory, Vagina and Valentine, in case you were wondering. Ensler promoted the idea of a global rising that took place in over 200 countries around the world. The Internet is now flooded with videos, photos and coverage on the events held everywhere. San Francisco's very well-orchestrated massive flash mob, a woman dancing in her kitchen and posted on YouTube, a small group of students in Alaska, women in the Philippines, you name it! People rising everywhere and in every way.

Reach Counseling Services, a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin working to end sexual violence, got the ball rolling to stage a flash mob in the city of Oshkosh. The Women's Center and student organizations on campus at UW Oshkosh were quick to join and together, put on considerable size group dancing "Break the Chain", the anthem of One Billion Rising. Black, red and pink, the emblematic colors of this dance protest filled the student union at noon on V-day.

Xalapa had its own One Billion Rising flash mob on the afternoon of February 14th. Ixchel Ortiz Vidal called upon people in Xalapa to raise in protest of sexual violence against children and violence against women.

This February 14th, I truly experienced, the power of love. The world shook with the loving voices of people asking for the violence against women to end.

Here's my wishlist for next year's V-day: I hope people dance again, and One Billion Rising becomes an annual way of honoring women's rights. I hope to see red, pink and black everywhere. I hope we all sing and dance the same song, putting aside the colors and messages of our organizations and unite in a world dance for women.