P.S. I forgot to point out another major flaw in the campaign--and that is the day designated for it, which is February 14th, Valentin's Day. Many Muslims believe that Valentine's Day is "haraam" (forbidden), and whether that's true or not, the point is that the selection of the day alone is not inclusive for all women out there and doesn't take into consideration the diverse cultures of the world. In Pakistan, specifically, these billboards appear during Valentine's Day that claim that "celebrating" Valentine's Day is forbidden; in fact, the clerics recently also issued statement that "Valentine's Day" is to be replaced with "Modesty Day" instead. So women who participate in the One Billion Rising campaign are potentially at risk, although I'd be interested to know how the campaign went in the Muslim countries that participated in it (Afghanistan was among them, for example).
Now, feel free to carry on with the following ...
The One Billion Rising Campaign, founded by The Vagina Monologue playwright Eve Ensler, is an apparently global campaign that invites women and men, but particularly women, to make a revolutionary stand against violence against women. According to their website,
On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.
But exactly how inclusive can this campaign be when it urges women to rise up and “dance” for one day in order to demand an end to violence against women? In Why I Won’t Support One Billion Rising, Natalie Gyte writes:
The primary problem with One Billion Rising is its refusal to name the root cause of women's inequality; its outright refusal to point the finger at a patriarchal system which cultivates masculinity and which uses the control and subjugation of women's bodies as an outlet for that machoism.” This is indeed a serious flaw of the campaign, since, as Gyte adds, “seeing footage on the news of women dancing in unison will do absolutely nothing to educate or deter a perpetrator or potential perpetrator.
Besides, what exactly does “come out and dance so that you may ‘rise’ above your terrifying experience(s) of sexual abuse and other gendered violence!” actually mean?