by Sydney Levine
VDay: Valentine’s Day. It’s the day of couples and love, and the ingenious celebration of GALentine’s Day: Uteruses Before Duderuses (thank you Amy Poehler). But there is another, deeply significant event occurring on the day of love, and it is called VDay. VDay is a day dedicated to honoring women and girls who are victims of physical and sexual violence. The day is marked all over the world by performances of The Vagina Monologues, wearing pink, red, or white, and a global dance movement to rise against injustice. The organization itself, aptly named VDay, has affected more than one billion lives in its quest to end sexual violence against women.
Sounds like something Pitzer College would be spearheading at the Claremonts, right?
Yet, surprisingly, Pitzer does not have an event marking this important day. Claremont McKenna College is hosting the 7C-wide event on Saturday, culminating in the Moment of Motion, when everyone gathered will dance and move in solidarity with violence survivors. I was curious about Pitzer’s lack of anything commemorating the day, so I asked around to gauge other people’s reactions.
Pitzer sophomore Sabrina Sohail expressed some concerns. “That is surprising,” Sohail said. “I would definitely like to see something like that happening at Pitzer.”
Many others expressed similar sentiments, so I contacted Pitzer’s feminist coalition, known as FemCo. According to Maeve Williams, one of the leaders of FemCo, the group has “given CMC funding and been to their events associated with it, but doesn’t put on an event ourselves.”
Still, nearly everyone I asked was unaware of the event. “I would have liked to see more advertising, because I didn’t really hear about it,” Pitzer sophomore Jordon Lim said of the event. “It’s necessary in making a safer campus.”
It’s important to raise awareness of violence against women and girls, because the Untied States is no exception to it—women and girls suffer worldwide, not just in the Global South, as American media often implies. VDay is one day out of the year in which survivors of such violence are honored, but the organization is active year round in its efforts to eliminate violence. Ending violence against women and girls is more than just a few events in one day, but every day of consciousness and activism brings us closer to a world without violence.
To learn more and get involved, visit the organization’s website, http://www.vday.org/old-index.html .
To learn more about One Billion Rising, visit http://www.onebillionrising.org/.