On Thursday, February 14th, Speak About It, in collaboration with the Portland Flea-For-All and Gentle Hex, is sponsoring an amazing One Billion Rising event, LOVE LIKE WHOA. One Billion Rising is a global event that was started by V-Day, an international organization to help stop violence against women, in an effort to bring forth sexual violence awareness, as well as celebrate the 15th anniversary of the organization. I have been involved with Speak About It since its inaugural show in 2009, mainly as an actor, and I was involved with my college’s chapter of V-Day for four years. I really respect the V-Day organization and I’m excited to be a part of Speak About It in its support of V-Day and it’s participation in One Billion Rising.
I’ve always thought that Speak About It does an amazing job of connecting the students we perform for with their college communities. I feel as though Speak About It puts all students on the same page, and really strives to connect the students to each other as well as the resources on campus. Connecting the students encourages positive communication – something that is essential in any relationship as well as helpful in our promotion of healthy consent. Speak About It’s collaboration and support of V-Day is a perfect way to reiterate our support for local resources as well as recognize the amazing work other organizations are doing in an international collaboration to prevent sexual violence. Regardless of how you feel about flash mobs and dance parties being started in order to connect people surrounding this issue (which, personally I think is a unique and yet positive way of communicating the gravity of sexual violence), it is important to look at the roots of V-Day and the daily work and global mission. Eve Ensler, who wrote The Vagina Monologues and created V-Day, has not only been open about her own abuse, but has brought international attention to war torn countries and areas constantly effected by sexual violence. Celebrating the successes of V-Day, as well as bringing attention to the statistic that “one in three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime” is difficult in that you must find a balance between the heaviness of the subject and the positivity of the progress of the organization. V-Day is not blind to the terror and invasion of war, it is simply trying to find a way to open up discussion and bring attention to a global issue. Not everyone will agree, but I’m very pro whatever brings together men and women all over the country, and the world, that will spark interest and more awareness. Plus, any excuse to dance.
I look forward to seeing YOU on Valentine’s Day!