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One Billion Rising: V-Day’s Eve Ensler Launches Global Day of Action, Dance Against Women’s Violence

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales speak with Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day, the global movement to end domestic violence, and the playwright behind "The Vagina Monologues."

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“We need to  OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, and UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, and your soul shattered. You need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape.

“There are approximately one billion women on the planet, one billion women on the planet, who have been violated.

ONE BILLION WOMEN.

"The time is now."

On February 14, 2013, we are calling one billion women, and all the men and people who love them, to walk out of their jobs, to walk out of their homes, to walk out of their schools, to walk out and strike and to find your group, find your posse, find your friends, find your stadium, and dance and dance, until the violence stops. Because we are over it.

AMY GOODMAN: Eve Ensler, "Over It." So, finally, One Billion Rising, talk about what the plan is.

EVE ENSLER: You know, it’s 14 years since we’ve been doing this work in V-Day, and I really believed we would end violence by now. I really did. I wanted that to be true. I am now seeing around the world the levels of violence, the insipid pushback against women’s rights everywhere. We haven’t ended patriarchy. We are still here. Patriarchy is still—the fact that, you know, we are still fighting in 2012 for birth control just seems—it’s hard to even articulate. The fact is, we have not busted this notion that the father still dominates in his authority over women and children and determines the rights of our lives, determines the rights of our futures and our bodies. We have to go further. We have to escalate. If we’re going to win this battle, if we’re going to actually free women, which is freeing men, which is allowing everybody a life of dignity and grace, and not walking in fear and terror, but—we have to go further and be disruptive and be dangerous.

AMY GOODMAN: So it’s one billion dancing?

EVE ENSLER: One billion dancing, wherever you are. I was in Australia when we announced it, and the Aboriginal women have already gotten their stadiums in Queensland. They’ll be dancing to Whitney Houston. All around the world—in Oklahoma, the Native women are going to be dancing to "Footloose." Everybody’s calling me with these wild and amazing ideas. In hours, 118 countries, thousands of people signed up. And I know we can get a billion people, a billion women, out on the streets, in the parks, in the deserts, in the fields, dancing, to say the time has come where women know that violence is over, and men join us in that struggle.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And those who want to join, where can they—what site could they go to?

EVE ENSLER: Vday.org. Come and sign up to be part of the one billion. You can send in your stories eventually. You can tell us what music you’re dancing to, who you’re dancing with, what you’re wearing when you dance. But the main thing is to know that if there are a billion of us who are all survivors, that’s a lot of people. We have the numbers. We have the majority. And if we are willing to be daring and bold, we can push it to the next level.

 
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