V to the Tenth!
“We just launched this Congo campaign in Glamour in August. The magazine ran an article that I wrote about the Democratic Republic of Congo and the atrocities being committed against women there, which is without a doubt the worst situation I’ve seen in the world. In a month we raised close to half a million dollars, and that had just come from individuals and foundations that read the article.
“Because there was a way for people to get involved — they could [help fund] the building of a house in the community that would protect raped women — it was very concrete. But also, people were very disturbed and upset; their hearts were opened by what was happening there. So part of it is like, ‘How do we connect people with what we’re doing and with the struggle of what we’re doing and let people know that they have power to change it?’”
Aside from hosting a V-Day event (a production of “The Vagina Monologues,” readings of the organization’s compilation book “A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer” or screenings of the documentary “Until the Violence Stops”), potential Vagina Warriors can sign on to do other, non-performance fundraising events; shop online at the V-Day store (www.store-vday.org); or subscribe to V-Mail, the V-Day newsletter.
The V-Day Web site is a pink-and-red treasure trove of news, history, event listings, press coverage, donation opportunities and other information presented in a way that draws the visitor not just into a URL but rather into the powerful embrace of the Vagina Warrior experience.
V-Day will mark its 10th anniversary this year with a convocation of Vagina Warriors in New Orleans in April that will feature V-Day activists from around the world and performances of “The Vagina Monologues” by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Sally Field, Marisa Tomei and Ellen Degeneres. And as it embarks on this milestone year, Ensler predicts a subtle shift in priorities for the organization. Or perhaps a more defined double-pronged effort. Righting individual wrongs on a personal level has always been a priority, but 10 years in it’s time to launch a more aggressive attack on underlying causes, what she sees as the “cultural, structural, patriarchal mindset that violence against women is acceptable.”
- People Magazine