Saturday, February 16, 2008

What exactly does that V Stand For?

I am not really a fan of Valentine's Day. I understand that this is not a novel idea, as many people also dislike the category of holidays that come with expectations of consumption, manufactured affection, and inevitable feelings of exclusion for those who find themselves without a significant other.

Rather than boycotting Valentine's Day altogether, I offered to spread the love on my own terms - by volunteering at the V-Day benefit at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.

New friends at V-Day!

For those of you not familiar with V-Day, it is the organization founded by Eve Ensler. While I have been a fan of Ensler since the early days of The Vagina Monlogues, I really had no idea how influential she has become until I started doing a bit of research about her organization.

The woman of the hour - Eve Ensler

The goal of V-Day is to end violence against women by providing safety, helping women to reclaim their lives, and working to educate and change the practices currently threatening women all over the world.

To date, V-Day has raised over 15 million dollars. It is a true grassroots organization; money raised through benefits and performances of The Vagina Monologues is kept and used in the community where the money is raised. V-Day is empowering women and men all over the world to take a stand against violence.

This is the tenth anniversary of V-Day, and each year Ensler focuses on a certain area of the world. This year, Ensler centers the V-Day lens on New Orleans, and in April, V-Day will bring Superlove to the Superdome and will celebrate their 10th anniversary in style with their V to the Tenth Celebration.

Superlove will take place April 12-13th in New Orleans. The V to the Tenth performance will feature performances of The Vagina Monologues, V-Day activists from all over the world, and of course, celebrities - Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Jessica Alba, and Rosario Dawson to name just a few.

Consider attending the event or buying a ticket for a gulf coast resident to attend in your stead. Help to end violence against women all over the world - that's a "V" we can all stand for.

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