Everyone seems to have plans for Valentine's Day. Dinner with a special person, last minute chocolate purchases, and some are even planning on staying home with a tub of ice cream and some romance movies. Whatever your plans are, you will probably have some free time during the holiday where you just don't have anything to do. Here’s a suggestion on what to do with those spare moments of time: dance. This is what famous playwright, Eve Ensler, wants everyone to do this Valentine's Day. Take some time out of your day, leave your desk, job, or go home and just dance.
Ensler doesn’t want you to dance just because it is a fun activity; she wants you to dance as way to raise awareness about violence done to women all over the world. One in three women will be directly impacted by violence in their lifetime. That is one billion women and girls, violence isn't limited to a certain age. Even though the violence only impacts women directly, it spreads and creates ripples of unhappiness and fear, and soon everyone is touched by the violence in some way. It is time for the violence to stop; one billion is too big of a number to just be ignored and forgotten.
Violence is more than physical abuse. It is mental abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, holding women and girls down and back, and not letting them reach their full potential. When one portion of the human race is held back and abused, everyone suffers in some way. Humanity can only succeed when everyone has a chance to succeed without the fear of violence.
Events for 1 Billion Rising are taking place all over the world, in different communities, so find one near you and get involved. If you are a free spirit who does not like organized events, that’s okay too. You can dance on your own and raise awareness in your own way. This isn’t just for women to participate in either, men are more than welcome and encouraged to join, dance, and rise up. Violence against women affects men as well. The fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, and husbands of abused women are impacted when the women in their lives are hurt, violated, afraid, and held back.
The important thing about this event is for one billion people to rise up at the same time and through dance, say enough is enough. Lying back and doing nothing will not stop anything, but rising up shows strength. 1 Billion Rising shows strength in a number so big that it cannot be ignored. Will you rise up and dance?
For more information please visit the One Billion Rising website.
Photos by Tony Frantz