1 Billion Rising, Scotland

tumblr_m8wusbe8ue1rqh50uo1_500

It takes guts, drive and determination to start a revolution. Fortunately Eve Ensler has enough for all of us. One Billion Rising is her brilliant idea and a revolution is exactly what she is trying to create. But it’s a revolution with a difference: no guns, no battles and definitely no violence. #1billionrising, #reasontorise @vday By Kate Higgins

Because One Billion Rising is about trying to end violence against women all round the world by persuading people to strike, dance and rise on 14 February. Why dance? Because “Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together. It’s dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive. It breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere at anytime with anyone and everyone. It’s free. No corporation can control it. It joins us and pushes us to go further. It’s contagious and it spreads quickly. It’s of the body. It’s transcendent.”

Which is possibly all a little other worldly and discomfiting for Scots but it makes its point. Dancing is something we can all join in with, to make a physical expression of our demands for a different world, one in which women do not live daily with the threat of violence. Sexual, physical and emotional violence stalk women wherever they live in the world. It’s used as a weapon of war, it’s used as a weapon of oppression and of persecution, at every level in women’s lives.

The new Chief Constable for the Scottish police force, Stephen House has chosen domestic abuse as his number one target. He needs to. Despite years of campaigning, the number of women who continue to experience domestic abuse grows. Reported incidents to the police rose 7% last year and the worrying thing is that the age of the victims and perpetrators is getting younger. Women are most at risk of being abused between the ages of 22 and 25 years.

More women are being raped and sexually assaulted too and the figures on children being sexually abused are also up. We live in a culture and society where sex sells everything and anything, where sexualisation begins at a younger and younger age and where we are having to teach children how to have healthy relationships with the opposite sex.

And we live in a culture where justice is hard to come by. Ask Frances Andrade’s family just how hard.

It’s not just at home, women all over the world live in fear of sexual abuse and violence, as Eve Ensler’s powerful blog testifies.

But it’s not just women’s problem to solve. Men are part of the solution – it’s not enough for men to say that’s not me, I don’t do that and turn away and get on with life. Men must take a stand and demand change too. Which is why the work of the Violence Reduction Unit in rolling out its Mentors in Violence programme is so important. It works with young people encouraging them to become bystanders, to object to inappropriate treatment of girls and young women they know, for the majority to stop being silent.

One Billion Rising is a global attempt to focus on a global problem. And it’s easy to get involved. Set up your own dancing strike or join an event near you. Spend some of 14 February challenging mores and attitudes by taking a public stand. Get up. Stand up. Dance.

One in every three women will be raped or beaten or abused in their lifetimes. That’s one billion women. And it’s one billion women too many.

Join One Billion Rising and take part in a global strike. Join women and men you know in saying enough. Dance and show your solidarity with women all over the world. And let’s all stop accepting violence against women and girls as a given.

There are events happening all over Scotland. A flashmob in St Andrew’s Square. A dance at the Constitutional Futures Forum gender equality event during the lunch hour.

A dance protest outside the Scottish Parliament. A Nia dance class in Burntisland. A street parade in Kirkcaldy. An evening event at Stereo in Glasgow. Lunchtime dance in Union Street, Aberdeen. And one on Bute. And a Zumba class in Beith in Ayrshire. An evening rising in Kelso and a street event in Forres. Communities large and small,all over Scotland, taking part.

Join them and on 14 February, strike, rise, dance.

To find out more, visit One Billion Rising. – [or see the great short film here]



Categories: Forms of Protest, Gender Equality, Human Rights, Identity, Women

Tags:

4 replies

  1. “But it’s not just women’s problem to solve. Men are part of the solution – it’s not enough for men to say that’s not me, I don’t do that and turn away and get on with life. Men must take a stand and demand change too.”

    I think men who naively think it cannot happen to them would be well advised to expend their energies in encouraging women to recognise that they have no right to assault men.

    Teaching young girls not to physically assault boys as well as the other way around would go a long way to reduce injuries to women who are injured in retaliation for a first strike attack by the often weaker woman.

  2. Thanks, Kate for bringing the V-day One Billion Rising to the fore – have signed up. A powerful blog indeed by Eve Ensler and a truly shocking film with an inspiring ending. The focus on domestic violence reduction by the police is a huge advance, as is the Mentors in Violence Programme. We might yet see the day when the enlightened youth will bring about a wider change of attitude in a society that tolerates jokes and jibes against women and brushes the real reasons for them under the carpet. I look forward to a report of the Constitutional Futures seminar and I’ll be dancing with my daughter, grand daughter and the women all over the globe on V-day.

  3. Like Wanvote, I’ll be dancing with my two daughters, sister and niece in solidarity. Thank you for bringing this event to my attention.

    Rising (Eve Ensler)

    This could have been anywhere
    And was
    Mexico City
    Manila
    Mumbai
    Manhattan
    Nighttime men
    waiting
    like wolves
    Drooling
    for prey
    behind
    that single dimly painted door
    paying nothing
    a couple of dollars
    or euros
    rupees
    or pesos
    to have her
    Enter her
    Eat her
    Devour her
    and throw away her bones.
    This could have been anywhere
    And was
    A Buddhist nun on a bus
    Trying to stay dry for the night
    A woman leader speaking out against
    The repressive government
    A young woman travelling with her boyfriend
    One lost her voice
    The other her following
    The last one her life

    This could have been anywhere and was
    Pink wooden crosses
    A stack of stones
    Red wilting carnations
    Empty chairs in a square
    Ribbons flying in a sultry wind
    I ask Anna Nighat Kamla Monique Tanisha Emily
    Why Why
    Porque Eran Mujeres
    Parce qu’elles étaient des femmes
    Because they were women
    Because they were women

    This could have been anywhere
    And was
    Where she got fired for being too beautiful
    Fined for drinking after she was raped
    A serious offer to marry her rapist
    Got told it was legitimate but not forcible
    This could have been anywhere
    They do such a thing
    When the girls go for fire wood
    Step into the lonely man’s car
    Drink a little too much at the college party
    Wake up with her uncle’s fingers inside
    Run from the screaming machete and guns
    Be taken at sunrise
    Get a bullet in the brain for learning the alphabet
    Be stoned for falling in love
    Be burned for seeing the future

    I am done
    Cataloguing these horrors
    Data Porn
    2 million women raped and tortured
    1 out of 3 women
    a woman raped every minute
    every second
    one out of 2
    one out of 5
    the same
    one
    one
    one
    I am done counting
    And recounting

    Its time to tell a new story
    It needs to be our story
    It needs to be outrageous and unexpected
    It needs to lose control in the middle
    It needs to be sexy and in our hips
    And our feet
    It needs to be angry and a little scary the way storms can be scary
    It needs to not ask permission
    Or get permits or set up offices
    Or make salaries
    It wont be recorded or bought or sold
    Or counted
    It needs to just happen
    It is not a question of inventing
    But remembering
    Buried under the leaves of trauma and sorrow
    Beneath the river of
    semen and squalor
    vaginas and labias
    shredded and extracted
    stolen
    body mines
    mined bodies
    It is not about asking now
    Or waiting
    It is about rising

    Raise your arm my sister my brother
    Raise your one
    Billion
    Your one heart
    Your one of us

    I used to be afraid of love
    It hurt too much
    What never happened
    What got ripped away
    The rape
    The wound
    And love
    I thought
    was salt
    But I was wrong
    I was wrong

    Step into the fire

    Raise your arm
    Raise your one
    Billion
    One
    One
    One
    Rising.
    Rising.
    Rising.

    Eve Ensler for One Billion Rising

  4. V-Day today! One Billion Rising worldwide campaign to end violence against women and girls. Thandie Newton, a V-Board member speaks to Jon Snow on channel 4 tonight. One man listening while the rest bury their heads in the sands as usual?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: