18th October 2013
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Connecticut College has participated in V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls for 11 years…
AND NOW, they have opened up the discussion to men. Diverse Men, of all different sexual orientations, stepped up to the camera to give candid one-liners about the strength of vaginas.
Now, with my mind as skeptical as it is in circumstances like these (how many of them were paid to do this? Do they really practice what they preach? Were they scripted? Was this for class credit?), I would rather dismiss the skepticism and encourage you to watch this.
It was so simple, hilarious at times, but even uncomfortable for me at certain moments. That happened to be what I think is linked to a cinema verité style of documenting someone’s character and natural response to what is being asked of them. We see them swinging back and forth, arms crossed, and tension, tension, tension. It is not an easy question to answer so immediately, but once they think about it, the answers are all there.
In my school, I try to encourage my girls to be comfortable with the word VAGINA. There is not much you can do with a three year old as they have limited awareness of the symbolic representation of their femininity through their genitalia (THANK GOD!.. hold off on the deep-dives of philosophical and gender-associative discursiveness until you are in puberty. Life is plaguing enough in that respect). Nonetheless, I use it scientifically and try and familiarize them with what should be a natural word.
This video brought that home for me. It also reignited a flame that used to burn so strongly: Justice for Women’s Rights.
In other words, are you wearing purple these days? Are you aware of the statistics of gender-based violence? Do you understand the ties that disempowered women in abusive relationships have with lack of self-esteem, confidence, or respect? This is not to isolate such a lack-thereof as the sole cause of violence against women. HECK NO! However, there is a lot to be said about women who ARE aware of their self worth and who would never tolerate the degradation that some women have to endure everyday of their lives (sometimes even to their last breath).
So, I thought it was amazing that this girl exposed the reverse. Why are men so uncomfortable with talking about the vagina? Why are men so hesitant to be vocal about their respect for them? Still, this piece gives the opportunity to showcase the fabulous aspects of having a vagina:
" Vaginas make the world go round."
"Vaginas are the future."
"LOVE the taste. I LOVE the taste."
"WHY AREN’T VAGINAS IMPORTANT? THAT IS THE REAL QUESTION.”
The youth present in this video should be an indication that something HAS changed over the years, but the advocacy mission of the video should also make you aware that we still have a long way to go. My favorite sentiment is by one interviewee who made the comparison to testicles and how they are so weak whereas vaginas push forward life.
LIFE has been a central value and theme in this human-rights developed medium. How can life exist without the nurturing passageway of the vagina? The place where conception, arguably, is even being considered (if you are engaging in sex for that reason).
As I am typing, I am chatting to a male friend of mine whom also believes that this piece has a feel of hilarity to it and it makes us both want to do The Vagina Dance. (There never is a reason not to dance).
In summation, and as a long-time fan of The Vagina Monologues since I was 17, Ensler’s prose as a direct influence over this propaganda is really appreciated. It sparked an amazing feeling of passion in me that I have long since been avoiding, and I am glad to see that it still exists and even moved me to open up this blog again for further discussion.
Domestic Violence can be eradicated, I am convinced, once we start opening up discussions like this in schools, in our homes, in our communities, and more- expanding to a global discourse. The age of viral media could facilitate this to an incredible degree of effectiveness. Of course, though, that is a different chapter on systemic and educational influences over socially acceptable behaviours, bodily comfort, feminism, and other taboo words.
1st July 2013
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Only back from #vacation for 12 hours, and I am already missing the #beauty of #RhodeIsland ‘s #beaches where i can rest mt #feetand #natural #landscapes and its residents. (#melancholy #reflections) (at Block Island, RI)
1st July 2013
So many #drafts! #beerloversparadise in #Westerly #RhodeIsland . #laststop on vacation