Friday, October 24, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls (Raining Jane)

If you do not already know and love the band Raining Jane, I suggest you stumble over to my HoneysuckleBlossom blog to discover their talents.

For those of you who are familiar with their music, did you know that these women are also out to improve the world for young girls? Yeah, I thought that might interest you (or else you would not be reading this blog).

In August 2001 a summer program was developed on the Portland State University campus. This was called the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls (RnRC4G). To understand how incredible this program is, check out their mission statement:

The Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls, a 501(c)3 non-profit, builds girls self-esteem through music creation and performance.
Providing workshops and technical training, we create leadership opportunities, cultivate a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourage social change and the development of life skills.

This amazing program has grown and developed with the help of many amazing people throughout the past seven years. The volunteers, teachers, musicians, and the community in general have established a place for young women to learn, not only music, but a safe and creative way to express and understand themselves.

In the summer of 2007, Raining Jane volunteered to teach and inspire these young women in Portland. I thank them for their contribution to this wonderful program, and even more so for introducing me to it. I am proud to spread the word about any course or group dedicated to improving the lives of young women.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Girl Effect

Check out this amazing video at

If you want to end poverty and help the developing world, the best thing you can do is invest time, energy, and funding into adolescent girls. It's called the Girl Effect, because girls are uniquely capable of investing in their communities and making the world better. But here are 10 things that stand in their way:

*Let's see some ID. Without a birthcertificate or an ID, a girl in the developing world doesn't know and can't prover her age, protect herself from child marriage, open a bank account, vote, or eventually get a job. That makes it hard to save the world.

*Illiteracy does not look good on a resume... 70% of the world's out-of-school children are girls. Girls deserve better. They deserve quality education and the safe environments and support that allow them to get to school on time and stay there through adolescence.

*...and pregnancy doesn't look good on a little girl. Child marriages are the norm in many cultures where women's bodies aren't considered their own property. Pregnancy is the leading cause of death for girls 15-18 years old. Girls have a right to be able to protect their health and their bodies.

*The face of HIV is increasingly young and female. When girls are educated about HIV, they stand a better chance of protecting themselves. but education is not enough. Girls need to be empowered and supported to make their own choices.

*A nice place to work would be nice. If girls have the skills for safe and decnet work, if they understand their rights, if they are financially literate and considered for nontraditional jobs at an appropriate age, if they get their fair share of training and internships, they will be armed and ready for economic independence.

*The check is in the mail but it's going to your brother. Only one-half of one cent of every aid dollar spent in the developing world is earmarked for girls. And yet when a girl has resources, she will reinvest them in her community at a much higher rate than a boy would. If the goal is health, wealth, and stability for all, a girl is the best investment.

*Adolescent girls aren't just "future women". They're girls. they deserve their own category. They need to be a distinct group when we talk about aid, education, sports, civic participation, health and economics. Yes, they are future mothers. But they actually live in the present.

*Laws were made to be enforced. Girls need advocates to write, speak up, lobby, and work to enforce good laws and change discriminatory policies.

*She should be a statistic. We won't know how to help girls until we know what's going on with them. Hey, all you governments and NGOs and social scientists: You're accountable! We need an annual girl report card for every country so we can keep track of which girls are thriving and which girls are not.

*Everyone gets on board or we're all overboard. Boys, girls, moms, dads. If we don't all rally to support girls, nothing is going to change. Not for them, and not for us. Change starts with you. So get going.

Ladies, we have got to do something! Please, PLEASE spread word about this amazing program. Send the link for the Girl Effect to every one you know. Talk to your daughters and sisters about what YOU can do.

Little Vitories

The community of Kapchorwa in Uganda has decided to outlaw female circumcision within their society!

Perhaps the most inspirational moment in this article was that "the campaign to end the practice has been alive in his community for several years, and that in the recent past, educated young women in Kapchorwa have shunned it."

The power of information and education should never be underestimated. I am proud to be an educated woman, and I want to celebrate my sisters in their accomplishment.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dear Friends

I have neglected this forum, and I am truly sorry. I seek to focus more on these blogs and articles in the future. Right now I am throwing some ideas around:
*I want to write about Sarah Palin, as she is a woman in the spotlight, but I am not sure how to go forward with the blog: what do I say? Do I discuss her political leanings? Do I only highlight the good, but ignore the bad? I cannot do that, and so I must take much more time to figure out her blog.
*I think I will write a few in the near future focusing on the amazing women in my personal life. Many show amazing strength every day, and they deserve highlighting as much as anyone else.
*My good friend Kelly is a history teacher, and she has a passion for women's history and women's rights that make me feel completely ignorant! I want her to visit and blog about some famous (and some practically unheard of) women in history who have paved the way for us.

If you would like to suggest someone (preferably with a specific example of why they deserve mention, and/or a link) please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kiera Knightley's stand

One of my first articles for this blog was on Keira Knightley; her dedication to her body and her placement as a role model. She is a beautiful and an impressive woman. She has recently earned even more respect from me.

Publicity photos for her upcoming film The Duchess are being released, but the editors want to digitally enlarge Ms. Knightley's breasts in the posters. Newspapers have reported that "movie bosses wanted the slender actress to appear more curvaceous, but 'she has insisted that her figure stay in its natural state. She is proud of her body and doesn’t want it altered.'" I am impressed that Keira would take this stand, partially because it is not truly that big of a deal and she will not let it slip. She is standing up against the stereotype of beauty, which shifts frequently and violently.

The actress was digitally altered in the advertisements for King Arthur in 2004.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Controversial Argument

Note: In many situations, if I had to admit it, I would consider myself conservative. I believe that people should live with the consequences of their actions. More than that, I believe that as a society we should work to prevent those actions which will require necessary consequences. But even having said all of that, even being pro-life (if I had choose one or the other), I still do not agree wholeheartedly with this law. Make no mistake, I personally feel that is a step in the painfully appropriate direction, but there is a long way to go.

In South Dakota they have passed a law concerning the necessity for informed consent in abortion. Starting now, in order for a woman to obtain an abortion in South Dakota she, and her doctor, must signed a written statement that states (among other things) that:
*the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;
*the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with the unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution;
*by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated;
*a description of all known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors to which the pregnant woman would be subjected to, including: (i) depression and related psychological distress, and (ii) increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.

The conservative side of me commends the direct and no-punches-pulled mentality of this law. I can respect that they wont sugar-coat the situation; they wont act like it is easy or healthy. That is a good thing, in my opinion. And hopefully it will cause some women to rethink their decision, especially in the case of those doing it for selfish reasons.

On the other hand, it is a poorly written law with many things left unconsidered. For example, how can you acknowledge that the fetus is a living human being without acknowledging the process as murder? If you believe it is a living human being, and you decide to halt its living, then that is murder. The definition of it, in fact. So that leaves a huge loophole gaping open. Is this a gateway law to considering abortion as murder, or is this a confused halfway attempt?

Many people could argue that this is just a "mean law" to make women feel guilty about doing what they have "the right to do". I want to understand that point of view, but for me personally it would be like saying it was mean to put criminals in jail. An almost arguable point that comes down to this: they made a choice. Consequences must be paid.

I don't expect everyone to agree with me; far from it. I just want to spark debate and conversation. This is an issue that affects women and families everywhere in one way or another. What do you think?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Degrade with the power of a hand grenade

This June the United States held the 'council president' position at the U.N. Council and we brought forth a powerful and devastating theme for debate: the use of sexual violence in war.
The council resolved unanimously that "sexual violence [is] a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instill fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group."
Eve Ensler, I pray you were there for this. In discussing such war-torn regions as Yugoslavia, Darfur, Rwanda, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert theorized that "it has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in an armed conflict".
The more surprising, and optimism-crushing, news is the rise in sexual abuse accusations against peace keepers and aide-workers. People who have been placed in the situation as care givers are taking advantage of the victims. It leaves you with a horrible feeling of "who can be trusted?"
This violence against women is devastating on immeasurable levels. According to Condoleezza Rice "we affirm that sexual violence profoundly affects not only the health and safety of women but the economic and social stability of their nations."
And while I am proud and encouraged that we are finally taking steps against this atrocity, I find myself wondering, "What took so long?"

Two Sides of One Coin: Side B (Babies)

Most stereotypes exist for a reason. Some seem to be maybe 1% true, while others hit the mark more often. One of the many stereotypes surrounding teenagers concerns their developing and rudimentary decision-making skills. I want to explore two ways this can majorly affect the health of young women (in the words of Young Jeezy) "sexually, mentally, physically, emotionally".

In Gloucester, Massachusetts "a pact [was] made by a group of teens to get pregnant and raise their babies together". None of these girls are over the age of 16. "...students were coming to the school clinic multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and 'seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were.' Some of the girls reacted to the news they were pregnant with high fives and plans for baby showers, Sullivan said. One of the fathers 'is a 24-year-old homeless guy,' Sullivan told the magazine.
Employees at the school categorized these girls as "girls who lack self-esteem and have a lack of love in their life." These girls, unlike those in Side A, are trying to become pregnant. They are hoping to bring someone into this world who will have no choice but to love them and depend on them. If only they understood just how dependant this person would be and just how much they still depend on their own parents.
These girls represent a large culture of young women who try to force love into their life by dangerous or ill advised means. Think of all of the poor girls who, as a result of sexual abuse, latch on to older men and seedy men or anyone who gives them the time of day. Imagine the underage prostitutes who think of their pimp with adoration because he is a man who feeds them, gives them a home and says he loves them. Think of the young women who grew up with parents who were absent, abusive, emotionally unavailable. We crave love and affection as humans and when we are denied it one place, we will simply find or create it elsewhere, however unhealthy.
What kind of message can we spread to these girls that will keep them from rushing into the harsh reality of adulthood? What can you do in your community?

Two Sides of One Coin: Side A (Abortion)

Most stereotypes exist for a reason. Some seem to be maybe 1% true, while others hit the mark more often. One of the many stereotypes surrounding teenagers concerns their developing and rudimentary decision-making skills. I want to explore two ways this can majorly affect the health of young women (in the words of Young Jeezy) "sexually, mentally, physically, emotionally".

In London the abortion rate for young women has reached a record high. This past year (2007) there were a recorded 163 abortions by girls under the age of 14. This statistic is frightening, but not nearly as terrible as the statistic for girls under the age of 16: 4,376! That means that there were over 4,200 abortions for girls age 14 through 16!

Professors and professionals are churning out ideas to aide this new situation. They are aiming to prevent the pregnancy. I do not wholeheartedly agree with Julie Bentley's statement: "Younger women are making different choices about their lives and choosing abortion over motherhood. But education and contraceptive services will stop them becoming pregnant in the first place." Surely this is oversimplified! While I believe that our youth deserve and need a better sex education program, I do NOT think that we can lie to ourselves and them by suggesting that know-how and a pill will keep them completely from harm. We, as adults, need to be teaching them about consequences, about chances and about "fairness". If a teenager read the statement "education and contraceptives WILL stop you from becoming pregnant" they would be wholly misinformed. Most birth control has a success rate of 99%, which of course means that 1% of the time it is unsuccessful. That doesn't sound like much, it really doesn't, but that is one time out of 100 that someone gets an unpleasant surprise.

We need to teach our youth about the consequences of their actions. We need to be truly honest, even blunt, to get the point across. Too often people of all ages view life with the "it could never happen to me" lens on, and it is truly dangerous. They need to understand cause and effect: pregnancy is a possible effect of sex. Abortion is a possible effect of pregnancy. But how many teenagers have thought ahead to the possibles effect of abortion? On their body? On their spirit? On their friends? On their family?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

America's Next Top Model Has Shape!


Tyra has been chomping at the bit to find a "plus-sized" model that could take home the gold, and she found her. Whitney was named America's Next Top Model for cycle 10!

This girl may be full-figured in the modeling world, but in the real world she is a gorgeous girl with a feminine shape. Curves used to be desirable in a woman and I am loving the return of the trend. Despite popular computer mottos of "You can never be too thin or too powerful" (blech) the pendulum is starting to swing back over to the juicy beauties of yesteryear!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Whitney, and the Plus Sized of ANTM

I have been cheering for Whitney since the beginning; not only because she is the "plus size" girl, but also because she is good at it and has fun! I say "plus size" in quotes because by real world standards she isn't very big. One thing I have come to notice is the difference in that definition. In the fashion world I would be overweight, or at least plus sized. I can handle that; being confident in my own beauty is a blessing and an honor I do not need the fashion industry to validate. However, I do love when they make 'exceptions' like those frequently made on America's next Top Model. It gives me a little faith in humanity and the ever-swinging pendulum of beauty standards.

Whitney has made it to the top four girls, and I am ecstatic! It makes the show that much more suspenseful for me. I believe she has made it farther than any other plus sized model on ANTM. I have only watched devoutly for the past three cycles, but I have seen episodes from almost all cycles. I want to dedicate this success to some other "big girls" and celebrate their beauty:

Friday, May 2, 2008

Lauren, aka Grags

We all have role models that we look up to, whether we openly acknowledge it or not. We generally look up to people who are farther along in the life experience department; people who have accomplished things we want, have found things we seek. More often than not it is someone older than us. Sometimes, though, if you are truly blessed you have inspirations and beauties of all ages around you.

My good friend Lauren is a prime example of a beautiful, strong, Christian woman. She has such conviction, not only in the deep spiritual sense, but also on a smaller scale: she gives herself incentives, like “I won’t eat this cookie until after I have cleaned my room”. How cute is that?! Cute as a button, that’s how cute!

This angel has worked in youth ministry for years now, finding a true calling to minister to and befriend teenagers. Lets be honest, not everyone has that much patience – do you? It takes quite a bit. She uses her gifts, not only as a minister but as an actress and amazing singer, to share her joy and her Lord with the world. She is lucky even – no, convicted enough – to go after the things God wants for her and be satisfied every day of her job. I can honestly say I don’t know what that feels like.

She has inspired me to do so much. I am making connections with some of our teenagers. I have set aside my pride (and shame) and used my life experiences to teach these girls, at least on a small scale. I look forward to the opportunity to continue in this. I pray that I can be half as inspiring and beautiful as Lauren and exude Christ’s light in this world of overwhelming darkness.

Plus, any delightful nerd who can proclaim that ‘Jesus is her Jedi master’ deserves a crown!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Many of you have (hopefully) seen the amazing video Dove put out last year, "Evolution", where they show how fashion images are created. If not, click on the video bar to the right of my blog.
Dove has done it again. This newer video, "Onslaught", has quite a powerful message as well.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Miss Bimbo

For every concerned doctor and terrified mother who watch young women destroy their bodies for popularity, there is someone happily, and not always intentionally, perpetuating the problem.

Welcome to the land of Miss Bimbo! "Become the most famous, beautiful, sought after bimbo across the Globe!"

"Find your own cool place to live. Find a fun job to pay for your needs and all the clothes a Bimbo could possibly want. Shop for the latest fashions and become the trendsetting bimbo in town! Become a socialite and skyrocket to the top of fame and popularity. Date that famous hottie you've had your eye on and show the Bimbo world the social starlet you are! Even resort to meds or plastic surgery. Stop at nothing to become the reigning bimbo!"

Stop at nothing. Even resort to meds or plastic surgery. STOP AT NOTHING!

This is the message that we teach young women in this country. The message in and of itself is not a bad one (hear me out). When we teach them to work towards their goals and dreams, we should impart the idea of 'Stop At Nothing'. They need to learn about hard work and persistence.

However, 'Stop At Nothing' is extreme thinking which can lead to promiscuous sex, adultery, drugs and other behaviors harmful to your psyche and body, especially in the entertainment field.

For this young generation, being "Famous" is the ultimate goal. Think about YouTube: Broadcast Yourself. How often do funny, horrifying or impressive videos wind up on major websites, television shows or even referenced in movies?

But let's talk more about this game. Let's talk about how the values it sets forth are permeating our youth. Dr. TimValko, a psychologist from Toledo, cites a comparison to a real world patient. "I just had a patient. One of her friends taught her how to vomit to lose weight so they would be attractive for other boys in her class. And she's in the fourth grade.” A nine year old with bulimia, and all for the attention of boys. This is the example set by this game.
The game's web promoter, Chris Evans, argues for the positive influences: “What about loving your bimbo? What about taking care of your bimbo? Sending it to university? The quality aspects of the game have been completely ignored.” My first big problem with this statement, for there are several, is the reference to the Bimbo as an "it". I realize that the game is intended to be compared to Tamagochi's, the hand-held electronic pet, but that is hardly an excuse for that mindset. Secondly, pretending that university is an expectation, even a possibility, is ridiculous seeing as how your Bimbo starts off with an IQ of 70. For those of you who are unaware, that is one point above mental retardation. "And you can't raise your I.Q. in the game," steams Valko.
The game has received quite a bit of attention from the medical profession. "This is as lethal as pro-anorexia websites," Dee Dawson, medical director at Rhodes Farm Clinic, which treats girls aged from eight to 18 who suffer eating disorders, told The Times. 'Players compete in beauty contests and send text messages to the site to earn currency in the game, which is then used to pay for lingerie, diet pills, breast enhancement and face lifts.'
One of the scary things about this phenomenon is that parents would be almost completely in the dark about it if it weren't for their phone bill. Although it is free to play, when the contestants run out of virtual dollars they have to send cell phone text messages costing $3 each or use PayPal to top up their accounts. This shows up as a cell phone charge which Daddy pays ( seems to fit into the theme of the game, doesn't it?)
This game is one of too many bricks in the wall between our youth and a healthy self-image. We have to work not only to tear down this wall, but to prevent more building.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Great Women Gone Missing

One week after authorities found the body of Katoucha Niane, in the River Seine, Waris Dirie was reported missing. Seeing as these women are both involved in the political battle against FGM, suspicions are rising. Dirie has since been found, but the mystery behind her disappearance remains.
Both of these African-born women used to be models in the French fashion world. They have also both undergone female genital mutilation, FGM, and since written books describing their ordeals. Dirie's book, "Desert Flower", shocked the world as a best seller. Katoucha's story, "Katoucha, In My Flesh" was published very recently, and given it's practically-post-humus release it will likely make quite a splash.
The autopsy for Katoucha revealed no signs of foul-play, but her family holds their suspicions. Given their common connection it seems likely that many people will suspect the "coincidental" nature of these cases.
Whether it is a coincidence or on purpose, I believe there is a silver lining: this story will make it into many news sources, bringing awareness to an issue that has been too long in the dark. Hopefully enough light will be shed to make a difference, no matter how small.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

FGM rages on in Sierra Leone

This disturbing visual hails from Sierra Leone where some 800 women paraded and protested their right to female genital mutilation. These women, ironically 185 miles east of Freetown, danced and sang a warning to outside governments and groups against "any attempt to take away our traditional ritual".

Mamie Banya, a member of the Bondo Society, claimed, "Any organisation that has accepted funds from overseas donors to wage war against FGM is fighting a losing battle. Let donors keep their money, we will keep our culture."

The ritual is regarded as "harmless" while it "promotes marital fidelity". One demonstrator even stated that "it has made us women be responsible housewives to our husbands". Women were actually using the phrase "we love FGM" during their protest. They say that if the process was outlawed in their region, as it is in many others all over Africa, they "will become uncontrollable". It is a very important part of their culture that they hold dear.

That is hard for an American to handle, especially when we hear so many stories of women who experienced it as children; women who were scared, in great pain, forced against all will to be cut by unsanitary tools. According to the July 12th issue of Women's Policy, Inc., written in 1996 mind you, in areas in the Sudan where antibiotics are not available, it is estimated that one-third of the girls undergoing FGM will die.

Another piece of this puzzle often left unmentioned is HIV. Many women, especially those who experience infibulation, the most severe and damaging form, are left with no sexual options other than anal intercourse to please their husbands. This radically increases the odds of catching and spreading the virus.

If you believe in prayer, please say one for these women. Those that are suffering from the practice against their will as well as those who fight desperately to maintain it.

Katoucha Niane

This Guinean-born model did many extraordinary things in her life. She experienced genital mutilation as a child. She ran away to Europe to be a model, where she became a muse for Yves Saint Lauren. She used her fame and status to speak out against FGM.

She was found dead in the Seine river this past week.

While some will specualte that this was an assasination for her efforts against female circumcision, the common theory is merely that she fell in the river while intoxicated. She lived in a houseboat, where her purse was found. The autopsy did not suggest foul play.

This beautiful, soulful woman experienced FGM at age nine. She later wrote a book, dedicated to her three children, that described the whole ordeal. "Katoucha, In My Flesh" was published last year.

Katoucha, like many women I deeply admire, used her pain, her suffering and her truth to help other women. Rather than hiding in pain and shame she acted out against a horrible crime. For that she deserved better than a meek ending in a watery grave. Let her story encourage you to share your pain with someone it can heal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Yes, this woman is skinnier than my personal opinion of beauty. This body affords her the opportunity to be on "America's Next Top Model" (one of my not-always-guilty pleasures). And that platform affords her the opportunity to spread awareness of a horrifying practice throughout the nation.
Fatima was born in Somalia, where she spent the majority of her life, up until the past seven years. When she was seven years old she was circumsized.
Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM, is extremely common in African and Middle Eastern countries, for different reasons. For some it is a rite of passage, for others a religious requirement. It is sometimes meant to prevent a woman from feeling sexual desire, therefore "protecting" her.
The process consists of the removal of the entire clitoris. Often the labia are sewn together as well.
Fatima wants to use this show as a platform to raise awareness of this horrible tradition. Girls of all young ages experience this, and the fatality rate is staggering. These procedures are often done amateurly, especially considering how many countries have now made it illegal. Even in England there is a huge subculture of this practice, given the rising percentage of Middle Eastern inhabitants.
I applaud Fatima for making her effort to change the world. Each of us has potential to do this; it is only a matter of trying.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ciudad Juarez

The headline that accompanied this picture reads as follows:
"A group of women wearing white dresses splashed in fake blood, proclaiming themselves Miss Juarez, Miss Atenco and Miss Michoacan in reference to places in Mexico where women have been raped or killed protest beside the stage where the Miss Universe's native dress fashion show was held in Mexico City, Sunday, May 20, 2007."
As you can tell, I am quite tardy in keeping with these events. This is especially true when you take into account that these horrendous rapes, kidnappings and murders started in 1993. Or at least that is when they started getting noticed.
There is no way of knowing for sure how many women have been kidnapped, humiliated, mutilated, raped and murdered on the soil of Juarez. And no one seems to be trying very hard to stop it. Well, that statement is too blanketted; no authority or government seems to be trying very hard. There are angels working day and night to protect these women. Esther Chavez Cano, for one, has made it her life's work to keep these women from danger and help them when it is too late. She founded Casa Amiga, a sort of safe house for these women. She is a Vagina Warrior and an angel.
There are many theories surrounding these crimes, but there is one at the fore-front: many believe that the attackers are sex-offenders from El Paso. Apparently the border between the two is laughably easy to cross; from American soil onto Mexican soil, at least. We are so busy "protecting our country from them", but we have given no thought to protecting them from us. Apparently El Paso has a very large population of sex offenders. Well, what better hunting ground for these men than an unpoliced desert of impoverished women who 'would not be missed' (from a legal and societal standpoint)? If there is any merit to this theory, and I fear there is quite a bit, than we need to take action. We need to set up serious perimeter protection. What police do exist in this region are so under paid that bribery is common, understood and accepted. This region is also a huge market for drug trafficking, bringing in more bribe money, more violent characters and fewer acting police.
Ask yourself, what can I do for these women? The easiest, and perhaps the best, is prayer. The next easiest, in my opinion, is spreading awareness. Obviously, donating your time and your money would be a big help. Just think, you could change someone's life today. Hell, you could save someone's life today!
Eve Ensler, of course, has commune with these women. She introduced me to a whole world of hurt that I could learn to heal. If you are interested in donating, her website is a great place to start. You can also go to the Casa Amiga website.

Monday, January 14, 2008

"V" to the Tenth

"Where I Want to Be"

Every year, mainly in the months of February and March, colleges, communities and companies perform 'The Vagina Monologues' all across our nation in a larger event called "V-Day". These groups use the show as a means to raise funds to stop violence against women, on everything from a local to an international scale. This is the tenth anniversary for this event, and Eve Ensler herself is throwing the biggest party.

In the original article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, one reads that New Orleans will be home to "The Big V-Easy", a weekend long soiree to celebrate women and to honor the struggles and victories of Katrina warriors. While this is all quite serious business, many aspects will be the mood light and silly. For example, the Superdome will be turned into a giant vagina. That's right, the Supergina. Eve's sense of fun and humor are part of what has made her project so contagious and world-changing.

Eve's star-studded performance will include Salma Hayek, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Hudson, Glenn Close, Julia Stiles, Ashley Judd, Marisa Tomei, Calpernia Addams, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington, Ellen DeGeneres, and musicians Joss Stone, Common, Eve, and Charmaine Neville. A few of these women have shown up in this very blog before for their beauty and bravery.

I would give quite a bit to be able to attend this event. Some of my fellow Vagina Warriors and I were hoping to make a road trip out of it. As it turns out, I will be unable to go but for happy reasons; I myself will be in a production of 'The Vagina Monologues' in my hometown. Of all of the reasons I could come up with, this is the best.

I hope you are as inspired by the work these women do as I am. I hope you get involved. Even if all you do is go to see a production of it, you have helped to spread awareness. To find an event near you, follow this link.