Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jul 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Repurposing V-Day

news vdayThis Feb. 14, a global uprising and local event take aim at violence against women

One in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime, according to the United Nations, and one in three women will be physically or sexually abused by an intimate partner.

This means that there are around one billion women affected by gender-based violence in the world, and that there should be one billion people taking a stand against it, says Santa Cruz resident Kate Roberts. This was the inspiration behind One Billion Rising, a gathering that will take place in 182 countries across the globe on Feb. 14. Founder Eve Ensler, who is best known for penning the 1994 flagship feminist work “The Vagina Monologues,” planned One Billion Rising to celebrate the 15th anniversary of V-Day, an anti-violence against women event held on Valentine’s Day each year.

“We hear about [violence against women] all the time, and you don’t have to look very far, sadly, to see the effects,” says Roberts, who organized the Santa Cruz outpost of One Billion Rising after hearing Ensler interviewed on the radio last fall. 

Although One Billion Rising was conceived long before the recent high-profile rapes in India or Steubenville, Ohio, or the U.S. Congress’ failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, these current events have sparked activism, awareness and dialogue that Roberts says will be expressed through the upcoming event.

“This is a good avenue for those who are angry to channel this energy into thinking about what we can do going forward [and] turning it into positive actions,” she says. 

The family-friendly Santa Cruz event will begin at Pacific Avenue’s Memorial Plaza at 5 p.m., when participants will hold a candlelight vigil for victims of violence and walk to the Museum of Art & History (MAH). The a cappella stylings of the local all-female group Yala Lati will kick off festivities at the MAH, followed by brief speeches including one from Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant, who will proclaim Feb. 14, 2013 as Violence Against Women Awareness Day.   

“And then we dance,” says Roberts. Dance is at the heart of all One Billion Rising gatherings happening across the globe, although it may seem like a misplaced activity for an event about such a grim topic.

“People say, ‘this is such a terrible subject and you’re going to dance?’” says Roberts. “It seems incongruent in some sense. But the idea is that we are going to rise up and basically focus that energy and frustration and anger that all of this stuff is going on and turn it into something positive.”

The theatrical, energetic element of public dance is an Ensler trademark.

“Dancing is a way of celebrating the resiliency of the spirit,” explains Roberts.

The MAH atrium will first be hit by a flash mob (people can learn the dance at onebillionrising.org), and then freeform dancing fun. The event will wrap up by 7 p.m., in time for attendees to celebrate other Valentine’s Day plans—after all, the “V” in Ensler’s “V-Day” stands for victory, vagina, and Valentine. That this annual rally about crimes against women lands on the popular holiday for love and romance is no accident.

“The idea of love and compassion for our fellow human beings and the complete contrast of all of the violence against women on this day is very powerful,” says Roberts.

Although the event is free, any donations that are collected will be divvied up among the Survivors Healing Center, Walnut Avenue Women’s Center, Women’s Crisis Support - Defensa de Mujeres, and local nonprofit Rising International. Each of these partner organizations will have tables at the MAH with information about volunteer and donation opportunities. 

Attendees will have the chance to have their portrait taken at the event with a sign explaining why they have joined the rising. As for Roberts, she says her reason is that, “I want women to know that they aren’t alone. That they have options, and that there is help for them.” 

Santa Cruz’s One Billion Rising takes place Thursday, Feb. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Entry is free, but donations will be accepted. Visit onebillionrising.org to learn more.

PHOTO by Kate Roberts.

Comments (1)Add Comment
Interesting...
written by JoeSC, February 14, 2013
Let's hold a candlelight vigil for victims of physical violence and rape...

NOW DANCE PARTY!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Jailbreak with Reality

‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ revisits one of the most notorious studies of all time
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover