The WSU campus celebrated V-Day’s tenth anniversary last Wednesday by honoring women who commit themselves to the empowerment of females everywhere.
I have never been someone to advocate women’s rights, or to even wear pink for that matter. And hearing of the “The Vagina Monologues” invoked my initial response toward anything somewhat uncomfortable — laughter.
However, after taking a closer look at the activities and programs that V-Day participates in, their presence at the WSU campus is something to be appreciated.
V-Day is a global campaign that strives toward creating a world where violence against girls and women is not tolerated and no longer exists. The true and horrifying stories that are included in “The Vagina Monologues” are meant to inspire people to stop violence and give them the courage to speak out against it.
The counseling center also makes an appearance at showings of “The Vagina Monologues” to answer questions and offer assistance to any sexual assault victims who may need it.
Many girls and women are afraid to speak up if they have been assaulted. They may feel isolated and fail to seek help or even blame themselves for what happened. However, no female is alone in the fight against violence.
Although significant progress has been made in reducing violence against women, an overwhelming population of women in the U.S. have experienced a personal assault at some point in their life.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), within the past year one in 10 teens have reported being purposely physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Despite how outstanding these numbers may be, it is difficult to translate them to real life.
Instead, imagine your five closest female friends. I am sure I speak for everyone in saying that I never want to see any of my friends hurt. Sadly, one in five young women are sexually assaulted while they are in college, according to WHO. These alarming statistics mean that every person reading this column likely knows of someone who has been assaulted in some way.
Violence does not only affect the female population, but males, too. Recently V-Day has shifted its focus toward all gender violence by including male parts in the plays. The fight against violence encompasses both genders, and the obligation to stop it is a responsibility that should be shared by everyone.
I encourage the WSU student population to help the fight against gender violence by buying tickets in the CUB to attend “The Vagina Monologues,” which is shown Feb. 9 through 11 at 7 p.m. in Jones Theater. The money they raise is donated to Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse as well as Women and Girls of Haiti. An article last week in The Daily Evergreen reported V-Day WSU has raised $70,000 during its ten years of existence.
It is time that V-Day’s important message is heard and violence against girls and women is put to an end. Respecting women should not threaten men’s masculinity, but rather reinforce true manhood. Someone should turn that into a date dash t-shirt.