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One Billion Rising
February 13, 2013 10:09 PM   Subscribe

What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION. Watch live, from around the globe, as women and men demand an end to violence against women.

One Billion Rising - a short film (Shows violence against women - could be triggering)
Founded by Eve Ensler, the V-Day campaigns are a call to action based on the United Nations statistics that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.
posted by what's her name (51 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is an interesting movement, to me, because even in my funny little backwoods of Canada (where this stuff is a substantial problem) it has managed to make quite an impact, and it does seem to have genuinely united the men's and women's movements, at least for the moment. So more power to them!
posted by unSane at 10:16 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


(for example, half the money raised from one of the events is going to funding a men's group, which means that someone I know might actually get paid for once)
posted by unSane at 10:18 PM on February 13, 2013


Jokes about battered wives or puny husbands (who didn't retaliate) used to be a staple of comedy acts. Those acts were still around when I was growing up, but people my age didn't laugh at them and you could see they made many other people uncomfortable. We still tolerate sexist humour a lot more than we tolerate jokes about race but the idea that violence against women is amusing is pretty well dead. So we've come that far, at least.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:28 PM on February 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Pass.

This sort of mass event, like Live8 or Dance for Cancer or whatever is more about feeling good about yourself than anything constructive.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:32 PM on February 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


This sort of mass event, like Live8 or Dance for Cancer or whatever is more about feeling good about yourself than anything constructive.

That's certainly not true where I am. I'm the last person you'd expect to have much good to say about this kind of thing but it is directly benefiting people on the sharp edge round here.
posted by unSane at 10:43 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I find this video of a OBR teaser flash mob in SF to be very affecting: http://onebillionrising.org/blog/entry/san-francisco-flash-mob-promo-video There are countries where women are treated terribly, but even in the U.S. there's something wonderful about seeing young women dancing and celebrating the message that their bodies are holy.

Here's the schedule for the livestreams from around the world: https://plus.google.com/events/ct61cu4t2kligkj398j31hvft7c

And I think if dancing makes rape victims at the City of Joy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo feel good about themselves, then that is constructive.
posted by jjwiseman at 10:45 PM on February 13, 2013


I don't know what to feel about scheduling an event like this on Valentine's Day. I love my wife. Beating and raping women is bad. I love my wife. Beating and raping women is bad.

Where's the middle?

I have the same problem with flowers. I give them when I feel love, but also at funerals.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:51 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have the same problem with flowers. I give them when I feel love, but also at funerals.

Also, they're dying plant gonads. So that's kind of weird.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:43 PM on February 13, 2013 [19 favorites]


Considering that The Violence Against Women Act was not extended after it expired in 2011, and was just this past week re-approved, I think this is a VERY timely event!

Turns out there are a heap of demonstrations, celebrations, and at least one Flash Mob planned in my area here in LA for tomorrow - THANKS!

My family was looking for something meaningful to do tomorrow. This is it!
posted by jbenben at 11:46 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


“This sort of mass event, like Live8 or Dance for Cancer or whatever is more about feeling good about yourself than anything constructive.”

It breaks the silence, gets people together, creates the possibility of doing
something that is more constructive. That’s the way things begin, people
are social like that. Many will go home satisfied that they did their good deed
for the day...but... a few others will be inspired to task.
posted by quazichimp at 12:10 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dr. Mukwege is speaking on the livestream now from the DRC.
posted by jjwiseman at 12:52 AM on February 14, 2013


one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

This statistic, followed by this comment:

This sort of mass event [...] is more about feeling good about yourself than anything constructive.

show precisely why such campaigns are still important.

I'll spell it out since not only was the comment made, it was favorited: the "mass event" that should be sniggered and jeered at is that at least one sixth of the human race (that's one third times one half, women are actually slightly more than a half but we'll go for the simpler calculation) will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

Sometimes I wonder if people grasp the full impact of the statistic. Look around you. Anywhere in the world. How many women do you see? One in three of them has been beaten or raped. If you get to know them better, you find out that the statistic holds true, even anecdotally. I know it always has for men and women I've spoken with (I know several men who suffered abuse in their families and churches). And even when I don't know if others have been through that? Well, I have.

If you don't like participating openly, fine. I found out there's a new women's shelter in my city, and that they accept donations, monetary and clothing. I know where I'm going this weekend.
posted by fraula at 1:37 AM on February 14, 2013 [23 favorites]


I predict this will fall some way short of one billion people.

Am I supposed to have heard of this before?
Because I haven't, which is unusual. I can think of several people who would have made it a point of telling me about it endlessly.
posted by Mezentian at 1:38 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, I'm broadly in favor of anything that shifts the Overton window re women's rights, so I can't really criticize this. On the other hand, I'm not a fan. Partly because their website makes it impossible to figure out what this actually is until you wade through a ton of sugary inspiring! inspiring! inspiring! rhetoric. But also because the smother-it-in-positivity thing creeps me out a little. I mean, my reaction to rape and violence against women is not joyous, sexual, dangerous solidarity or whatever rhetoric they use. And I don't think it would necessarily be better if it was. (Though not worse either, I guess.) You know the saying "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture"? Dancing about rape is like camping about architecture. For me, at least.

Maybe what bothers me is their use of the word "rising" as a noun all over the place. That term's very strongly associated with armed rebellion (most famously) and they seem to be purposefully calling up those associations in the way they use it. Dancing is not the same. It seriously is not. You cannot get people's attention with dancing in the same way you can get it with guns. Not that I think we should be using guns -- it just irritates me that they're making a metaphor with their language that I don't think they can cover with their results.

But, of course, "Why dancing? Why not marching?" is the kind of thing that produces totally pointless infighting among people who basically agree with each other. Maybe it's just not for me, and what gets under my skin is the way they promote the universal application of it. Shit, maybe I just shouldn't comment at all on well-intentioned events whose framing I find sick-making for whatever reason. I dunno.
posted by ostro at 1:43 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


the "mass event" that should be sniggered and jeered at is that at least one sixth of the human race (that's one third times one half, women are actually slightly more than a half but we'll go for the simpler calculation) will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

Well, no, that's the cause the event is supposedly there to raise awareness off, but the way you put it is just the bog standard "but it's for a good cause" defence. Nobody here is disputing the awefullness of the problem, nor will you find many people outside of MeFi in favour of rape either.

My impression of this event is that it reduces the whole complex problem of rape and sexual assault to symbol politics, awareness raising of the kind that doesn't actually raise awareness of the real problem, but simplifies it.

It's this year's Kony 2012 campaign.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:54 AM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


> We still tolerate sexist humour a lot more than we tolerate jokes about race but the idea that violence against women is amusing is pretty well dead.

Seth MacFarlane is doing his best to keep the flame alive.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:10 AM on February 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I've been following the Guardian live coverage and I'm impressed. Pulling something off on this scale is a remarkable achievement and it seems to be reaching places like Somalia to a far greater extent than I would have expected.

Up with this sort of thing, I say.
posted by Segundus at 4:36 AM on February 14, 2013


Thanks for posting this. I wouldn't have known about it otherwise, despite being knee-deep in activists and women on my FB feed, and on about a billion women's rights email lists. (I find it seriously odd that none of those email lists have mentioned this, or have buried it enough that I didn't see it.) It sounds like a good thing, probably not with as constructive results as I'd like but still worth doing.

I'm curious why they chose to go with violent rhetoric (revolution etc.) given their cause. It made more sense for Occupy. The events close to me seem to be blunting that quite deliberately (nothing threatening about a Wine and Chocolate Rising or Soft Women Rising).

I'd like to attend one but I can't just call out of work on a moment's notice.
posted by joannemerriam at 5:27 AM on February 14, 2013


In my own family, recently, there's been instances of men bashing and intimidating women and when I display absolute shock and disgust and question how these men think that it's in any way acceptable I'm greeted with surprise that I find it so objectionable. I give them a gobful and express exactly how and why it should always be considered not only unacceptable but also demeaning to the men who are using this as some twisted example of dominant manhood but still, sometimes I'm lost for words which is not helpful, I know.

It sucks and even though it's not socially acceptable to talk about it's still happening. There are so many people out there who think that bashing women is acceptable as some kind of perverse equality of the sexes thing - the mindset seems to be that if guys are prepared to bash a man for giving them shit then why should a woman be exempted if she's shitting them in the same way? We're all equal now, right?

When confronted with this mindset, which I've only experienced personally very recently (lucky me!), I sometimes gibber incoherently, it's true. I'm experiencing it now. I know it's wrong. I've taught my sons that it's wrong and by god I'll be devastated if they ever forget what I've said. Men don't hit women because they more often than not are physically stronger than them so it's almost never a fair fight. Also, once it's done things can very rarely be on an equal footing again. There is such denial on the aggressor's part as to how seriously it affects those who've been abused.

I was unaware of this event. I'm all in favour of publicizing it. There are a lot of people who need to hear about it and who need to really question themselves.
posted by h00py at 5:36 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not to derail, but I think anyone who hits a woman because they would hit a man in the same situation has two problems. Maybe they should stop hitting anyone and act like an adult.
posted by squinty at 5:43 AM on February 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Derail? Or sensible advice?
I vote the latter.
posted by Mezentian at 5:46 AM on February 14, 2013


While Rhianna goes back publically with Chris Brown. Yep. Great spokesperson there. It just reinforces the problem that women go back/defend their abusers. I cannot believe the Violence Against Women Act did not get renewed and that's disgusting. Bills like that should not have an expiration date.
posted by stormpooper at 6:08 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my own family, recently, there's been instances of men bashing and intimidating women and when I display absolute shock and disgust and question how these men think that it's in any way acceptable I'm greeted with surprise that I find it so objectionable. I give them a gobful and express exactly how and why it should always be considered not only unacceptable but also demeaning to the men who are using this as some twisted example of dominant manhood but still, sometimes I'm lost for words which is not helpful, I know.

Helping make sure that people know it isn't acceptable already makes you awesome. The exact words are less important than that.
posted by jaduncan at 6:23 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


We still tolerate sexist humour a lot more than we tolerate jokes about race but the idea that violence against women is amusing is pretty well dead.

We may have made progress, but sadly there's still a long way to go. Follow @everydaysexism on Twitter for depressing examples of what's still going on. I read this "There's nothing like jokes about recently murdered women to brighten the office." on their feed literally just before opening this thread.
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:28 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Considering that The Violence Against Women Act was not extended after it expired in 2011, and was just this past week re-approved, I think this is a VERY timely event!

No, it was not re-approved. This is very important to note.

A version passed the Senate 78-22, where it had previously done so unanimously. All 22 were Republicans, not a single one of them was a woman; 2 of them had been co-sponsors of the previous reauthorization, and several of them had voted for it as either Senators or Representatives. The rest (including GOP "savior" Marco Rubio) are all garden-variety Tea Party troglodytes. It has a dubious future in the House for essentially the same bullshit reasons it had problems in the Senate, i.e., it protects GLBT and Native American victims (by not protecting non-tribal members from tribal law), although there are new excuses being generated every week, including "tax-and-spend liberalism" and "how can we be unfair to the woefully-oppressed white guy population." It also used to be blocked because it covered illegal immigrants, but that was shifted into the immigration reform bill.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:32 AM on February 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


It also used to be blocked because it covered illegal immigrants

That makes sense, because abuse vicitims are never those who can't go to the police for some reason or have a less powerful place in society and also UNKNOWN REASONS.

From outside this looks like about as good a political idea as opposing the Against Child Abuse Bill, but I'm sure I'm missing something.
posted by jaduncan at 6:38 AM on February 14, 2013


This sort of mass event ... is more about feeling good about yourself than anything constructive.
For a lot of women, feeling good about yourself is a critical, constructive first step.
posted by drlith at 6:48 AM on February 14, 2013 [7 favorites]



This sort of mass event ... is more about feeling good about yourself than anything constructive.



I'm all activist-y and I didn't hear about this until yesterday. That tells me that it's organized by people outside the usual channels (at least around here) and it'sfor people outside the usual channels - people who might not go to some other type of rally or event, especially one that had maybe more sophisticated analysis and political goals. And that is basically okay!

I've been around movement stuff long enough to know that there's always lots of pieces to things - the big, "inspiration" rallies that speak to people who are not already active just as much as the "constructive" things - especially when something real is happening. Now, you can certainly have a piece of feel-good bullcrap that takes energy from an already-existing mass movement and sanitizes it - like some mainstream AIDS activism did IMO - but here there is no mass movement to demobilize. And this is people acting on something that affects them personally - it's not like LiveAid or something where it's all "a moral person would go to this event to prove that they are moral". That's a big difference.

It's interesting that, after years of quiet among ordinary people, huge numbers are feeling it important to gather and say something, and something relatively positive instead of "our problems are the result of [auslanders of one kind or another]".
posted by Frowner at 7:24 AM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


And we still woke up to the news of Oscar Pistorius' being arrested on charges of shooting his girlfriend to death. Ugh.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:36 AM on February 14, 2013


Wait. WHAT THE FUCK is that super triggering short film trying to achieve?
posted by azarbayejani at 7:40 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That tells me that it's organized by people outside the usual channels (at least around here) and it'sfor people outside the usual channels - people who might not go to some other type of rally or event, especially one that had maybe more sophisticated analysis and political goals.

I know this specific campaign is new, but Eve Ensler's been doing Valentine's Day (V-Day) performances of her Vagina Monologues (usually with proceeds donated to charities supporting women's interests) for a long time now. I wouldn't say that it's outside the usual channels.
posted by gladly at 8:28 AM on February 14, 2013


I know this specific campaign is new, but Eve Ensler's been doing Valentine's Day (V-Day) performances of her Vagina Monologues (usually with proceeds donated to charities supporting women's interests) for a long time now. I wouldn't say that it's outside the usual channels.

See, to me the Vagina Monologues stuff is so far outside the usual channels of activism, whether non-profit-led or grassroots, as to barely count as activism or draw activists - although I stress that things do not have to be in "the usual channels" to be legitimate. I know lots of people who work on reproductive health and freedom issues, but I don't know anyone who goes to that type of event; I know many people who work on, say, organizing among women immigrants, but none of them go to that type of event. It's always struck me as sort of a deracinated "rah rah up with women and you should feel good about your body" thing that isn't about producing direct political change. It always seems like sort of a starter event, intellectually - if you're in a situation where "I am working on the ideas that merely having a vagina does not mean that I am repulsive and tainted and that sexual put-downs and sexual assault are not okay", that's not the same headspace as "we are working to get the cops to stop harassing sex workers" or "we're working on the driver's license campaign because undocumented women need drivers' licenses to have more social power".
posted by Frowner at 9:08 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


azarbayejani, I think it is kind of vindicating in that it acknowledges that violations of women's rights happen globally on multiple spheres while also rejecting the idea that we should self-identify as victims because this is reality and everyone just has to live with it. It's powerful in that sense; there's acknowledgement of and flat rejection of the violations of women's rights. I can get behind that much more easily than the more abstract, theory flavors of contemporary Western feminism. It's still pretty triggering, and very emotionally manipulative, but I think Frowner's right that this project isn't for people who are super-activist-y.

I really don't know what, if anything, it'll accomplish, but even if it all boils down to a, "Fuck yeah, human rights!" party for already privileged people, I can't really see anything wrong with that.
posted by byanyothername at 9:21 AM on February 14, 2013


On average, 35 assaults happen before the police are called. Domestic violence kills two women a week in the UK. (warning, triggering advert for Women's Aid.)
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:40 AM on February 14, 2013


If you watch the livestreams of women dancing in the Congo, Manila, South Africa, New Delhi, etc., it looks nothing like a party for privileged people.

Also, there's a straight line from the Vagina Monologues through Eve Ensler to V-Day opening safe houses in Kenya for victims of female genital mutilation, safe houses for victims of domestic abuse in Egypt, and the City of Joy in DRC, where women go to live after being treated by Dr. Denis Mukwege, the "world's leading expert on how to repair the internal physical damage caused by gang rape".

A dance party isn't bad, and it doesn't prevent V-Day from taking concrete steps around the world that are pretty far from "rah rah" activism--I'm sure it helps them raise funds and awareness so they can continue to do those things.
posted by jjwiseman at 12:16 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apologies for posting my arguably derail-y comment on Pistorius. Hearing the news today angered me so much, realizing that this talented athlete and role model for disabled people is prone to the same violent tendencies as many other men. This is what movements like this one are up against. This instinct of men to inflict violence on the women they are closest to seems so ingrained into our reptilian brains, that I despair that it will ever be exorcised completely.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 12:23 PM on February 14, 2013


Ostro: "Maybe what bothers me is their use of the word "rising" as a noun all over the place. That term's very strongly associated with armed rebellion (most famously) and they seem to be purposefully calling up those associations in the way they use it. Dancing is not the same. It seriously is not."

Joannemerriam: "I'm curious why they chose to go with violent rhetoric (revolution etc.) given their cause. It made more sense for Occupy."

Standing up for women's right to live free from fear, violence, harassment and discrimination is a revolutionary activity.

I don't think we appreciate just how revolutionary it is. We inhabit a world where the hierarchy of sex/gender is so prevalent that we accept it the way we do air. It's part of our reality. To reject it is subversive and incredibly difficult.

Since this is a comment, not an essay, I'll pick two current examples.

1. The American political-religious right is starting to lose the battle against LGB* rights (case in point: recent victories for same-sex marriage in several states). Some of the leaders have even acknowledged this. And polls have shown that younger Americans (under thirty) mostly approve of same-sex marriage. It's just not that big a deal to them.

At the very same time, the same group is attacking and often succeeding in restricting women's right to control their bodies. I'm referring not only to the high-profile struggles over abortion rights and access, but stuff that's less visible, and more insidious: the fact that people like Rick Santorum get away with unscientific bullshit like claiming that the Pill is an abortifacient, despite scientific evidence to the contrary; various Republican politicians and candidates for office making statements about rape that range from vile counterfactual crap (the idea that a woman's body shuts down and won't conceive during a rape, so implicitly a woman who gets pregnant isn't really raped) to stuff that is simply vile, like stating that rape has to be violent enough to leave physical injuries in order to count as real rape or "rape rape." Then there are cases I've read about in sources such as the New York Times story where a woman was arrested because a nurse thought she tried to induce a miscarriage by falling down a flight of stairs, or another case where a judge ordered a pregnant single mother into bed rest when she refused (she had other children to care for and support).

2. This also applies to my own country, Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday "brushed off renewed calls for a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women" and "urged anyone with information about them to report it to the appropriate authorities." This in the context of a report where women alleged mistreatment and rape at the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It's really striking (as well as appalling) that this sort of statements are made, and these actions occurring, in two of the more progressive nations of the world.

I've worked as a volunteer for an organization that teaches women to defend themselves for more than ten years, and I've come to notice just how ubiquitous the oppression of women, including violence, is, even though my life is incredibly privileged (white, middle class, non-immigrant, educated). The case mentioned upthread, where Oscar Pistorius allegedly murdered his girlfriend? I can read about that sort of case in my paper once or twice a month. It gets a couple of column inches at most.

I watched the video in the OP - the one that shows violence against women - and I cried. Watch it. The video depicts a revolution. Women all over the world being exploited, dominated, hurt, in one case by other women. And then every single one of them stands up for herself, says, "No, I won't take this. I don't deserve this." The office worker throws paper in the face of the man sexually harassing her. The abused partner flees with her child. The sweatshop worker and her fellow labourers confront their manager. The woman suffering genital mutilation at the hands of other woman breaks free. And many women, all over the world, dancing in an act of joy, celebration, self-assertion.

I've heard so many women tell stories of how they survived discrimination and violence in self-defence classes, and every single one of them cried. When my turn came - and eventually it did, despite the fact that I've never actually been assaulted - I cried too.

We don't want to hit, to hurt, to be violent, to kill to protect ourselves. We just want to live our lives free from violence and oppression.

That's why we're dancing. If we ever succeed, it will be, eventually, a joyful revolution, one that frees everyone from the constraints of a matrix that chains all of us, so that whoever we are - male, female, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, black, white, yellow, brown or any other descriptor - we can live free from fear.

Do I believe it's going to ever happen? I just know I can't bear to live in the world as it is without trying to change it.

(I guess this turned out to be an essay after all.)
posted by Schadenfreudian at 12:32 PM on February 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


My impression of this event is that it reduces the whole complex problem of rape and sexual assault to symbol politics, awareness raising of the kind that doesn't actually raise awareness of the real problem, but simplifies it.

It sounds like you're looking at violence against women as a problem that is to be understood. The more comprehensive and deeper the understanding (and probably the more complex the explanation), the better.

Others are looking at violence against women as a problem to be stopped. Whatever is effective at reducing it is good. A simple message can be much more effective than a complicated explanation.

Speaking for myself, the few times I've gotten together with large crowds of people who are all calling for the same thing I was, I've come away with greater resolve and hope. I hope these events lead to the same for those who attend.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:41 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I watched the video in the OP - the one that shows violence against women - and I cried. Watch it. The video depicts a revolution. Women all over the world being exploited, dominated, hurt, in one case by other women. And then every single one of them stands up for herself, says, "No, I won't take this. I don't deserve this." The office worker throws paper in the face of the man sexually harassing her. The abused partner flees with her child. The sweatshop worker and her fellow labourers confront their manager. The woman suffering genital mutilation at the hands of other woman breaks free. And many women, all over the world, dancing in an act of joy, celebration, self-assertion.

Joy, celebration and self-assertion are not enough. Saying "No, I won't take this" is usually not going to be enough. Think about what's likely to happen, in the world we live in now, to women who stand up in the way the women in the video do -- there are good reasons why women don't usually react that way, that can't be put down to cowardice or self-hatred or whatever the opposite of celebration and self-assertion is. It seems almost victim-blamey to me. Joy and dancing and whatnot are good in themselves, but centering a big public campaign around them and claiming that they can "shake the world into a new consciousness" runs the risk of sending the message "If Tinkerbell's still dying, it's because you aren't clapping hard enough."
posted by ostro at 1:08 PM on February 14, 2013


Naah, I'm saying that violence against women is something you can't stop with a worldwide dance party and that this sort of thing is in danger of making it all about something happening far away from you, rather than it being a local problem with local solutions.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:11 PM on February 14, 2013


Ostro, I agree with you that Joy, celebration and self-assertion are not enough. I see the video (and the flashmob dances and associated events) as a vision and a rallying cry.

The video (to me) communicates one, that violence against and oppression of women is happening to women all over the world, sometimes at the hands of other women; two, that it is desirable and possible to rise up against these things; and three, that women together can create a joyous revolution.

Think about what's likely to happen, in the world we live in now, to women who stand up in the way the women in the video do -- there are good reasons why women don't usually react that way, that can't be put down to cowardice or self-hatred or whatever the opposite of celebration and self-assertion is. It seems almost victim-blamey to me.

A good point, and one I can speak to. What happens is that when women act as they have been taught: be nice, polite, act in socially approved ways, don't antagonize - they get harrassed, assaulted (sexually or otherwise), and often blamed for what happens to them. When they fight back (at least against violence and sexual assault), they have a better chance of getting away unharmed or with less harm done to them.

I base this on statistics (apologize for not having them handy at the moment) and the lived experience of myself and dozens of women I've heard give firsthand stories.

Does fighting back look the way it did in the video? Not literally. But do women fight against rapists and abusive partners and get away? Yes. Do they stand up to abusive employers in sweatshop conditions and confront and organize? Yes. Do they always succeed? Of course not. But if they (we) continue to accept the current state of affairs, women are going to continue to get beaten, raped, killed, harrassed, oppressed. If we fight back, we have a chance of changing it.


We cannot simply "dance the world into a new consciousness" any more than we can combat cancer through positive thinking alone. But we can raise consciousness through dance (and marching, shouting, leafletting, listening, talking to others). This can lead to actions that change the world on a micro level and perhaps a macro level as well.

On a small scale, in my own life, I've witnessed women transform their outlook and lives by learning that they are strong enough to fight back against violence, smart enough to avoid it whenever possible, fast enough to get away before things get dangerous for them, and perhaps most importantly, that they have the right to protect themselves and that they are worth protecting. Some of these women have used the skills they learned to fight back. Many have managed to avoid suffering (or inflicting violence in self-defence) because of what they learned.

(As an afterthought - aside from the one video I've referred to, I've found the One Billion Rising communications to be rather confused and confusing, so I can see why you've gotten the impression you have.)
posted by Schadenfreudian at 1:43 PM on February 14, 2013


Martinwisse:
Naah, I'm saying that violence against women is something you can't stop with a worldwide dance party...

The dance party is about raising consciousness and illustrating possibility. It's a call to action and the start of change, not change itself.

...and that this sort of thing is in danger of making it all about something happening far away from you, rather than it being a local problem with local solutions.


Something happening far away from you? Have you watched the video? It shows women all over the globe in a variety of situations. This isn't about "oppressed East Asian sweatshop workers" or "rape victims" or "African women suffering FGM" - it's about all of them, and more. If you include the women who are shown dancing-as-activism, it includes many more cultures, countries ages and races/ethnic groups.

Like a lot of endemic problems, violence against women and oppression of women is a global problem that demands both global and local solutions. I've been working on local stuff for a long time. It's nice to see some global consciousness-raising.

And by the way, it's more than just a dance party. If you can wade through some of the confusing stuff (as I've said above, the communications besides that one video are rather confusing), you may find out that there's some fundraising and activism going along with the dance party. In my city, there's a fundraising dance:

From the local OBR page:
Note: Profits from OBR Toronto will be donated to a local beneficiary, TBD. The recipient will be an organization/individual committed to being a force for change in the fight to combat violence against women and girls.
posted by Schadenfreudian at 1:50 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: a "Fuck yeah, human rights!" party for already privileged people.
posted by herbplarfegan at 2:22 PM on February 14, 2013


Here is the UN data:
"Secretary Generals in depth study" is the top of the download list:
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/SGstudyvaw.htm
Table 2 pg 51 seems to be the juice.
TLDR is the prevalence report available here: http://endviolence.un.org/factsheets.shtml

Summary:
As far as I can tell on quick review, the majority of the abuse is by partners and husbands.
Difficult to untangle the data, but my quick estimate is well over 80%.

USA, Australia, UK and Germany seem to be around 25% chance of a woman being sexually or physically abused in their lifetime. Far more than I would have expected, again the vast majority is by husbands and partners. It's good to see UN and other groups talking a strong position to effect change positive on this.

If anyone with more time and better skills with data than me would like to give a better summary of the situation that would be helpful. It's good to be accurately informed.
posted by Dr Ew at 2:24 PM on February 14, 2013


Interesting article at HuffPo: Why I Won't Support One Billion Rising.
posted by crossoverman at 5:37 PM on February 14, 2013


When I was with this I did it with my choir, so we did not dance - but nonetheless, it was awesome. Here we are, for anyone who's interested!
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 10:05 PM on February 14, 2013




As expected, the House GOP won't reauthorize the Senate VAWA bill because of teh gayz and injuns.

Totally no War on Women here.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:53 AM on February 23, 2013


Looks like the 3rd violation of the Hastert Rule in this Congress may actually be the VAWA reauthorization, although of course not without a significant number of assholes being assholes:
The Rules Committee instead sent the House GOP’s version of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor with a key caveat: if that legislation fails, then the Senate-passed version will get an up-or-down vote.

The big admission implicit in this latest move is that House GOP leaders don’t believe they have the votes to pass their version of the bill but that the Senate version is likely to pass the chamber. So this way they’ll give House conservatives the first bite at the apple as a way of saving face and still resolve an issue that has hurt them politically.

Here’s how Democrats expect it to play out.

After the House finishes debating the GOP-version of the bill on Wednesday and Thursday, it will get a vote, but will fail to muster enough votes for passage due to conservative and Democratic opposition. So the Senate-passed bill will get a vote instead, and Democrats as well as a faction of more moderate Republicans will carry it to victory. Then it will go straight to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

“[Rules Committee Chairman] Pete Sessions laid it out in not so many words that this is what the majority’s plan is,” a House Democratic aide said Tuesday evening. “They’re anticipating that their version gets voted down. But it’s clear the Senate bill will pass with flying colors.”

A House Republican leadership aide didn’t dispute this characterization, but said that after the Rules Committee meeting Tuesday, the House “is still expected to take up a strong Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization later this week.”
Remember, in 2005 VAWA was reauthorized unanimously in the Senate and 415-4 in the House. This year it was 78-22 in the Senate, and will almost assuredly get well under 400 votes in the House.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:25 AM on February 27, 2013


N.H. Lawmaker Says Some People Might ‘Like Being In Abusive Relationships’

Two guesses as to the gender and political affiliation of the person who said this, and the first don't count.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:49 AM on February 27, 2013


House Gives Final Passage To Expanded Violence Against Women Act

The good news is that it passed with every Democrat and 87 Republicans. The bad news is that it didn't even break 300 votes. Every single Rep who voted against it was a Republican, including several 2014 Senate candidates (King, Broun). That's still pretty fucking pathetic.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:31 AM on February 28, 2013


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