#India #1billionrising in vain -A woman who thrashed eve-teasers faces police charges #Vaw #WTFnews


One Billion Rising in Vain

A woman who thrashed eve-teasers on V-day faces police charges in Thiruvananthapuram

BY Shahina KK Open Magazine
TAGGED UNDER | women | eve-teasers | Thiruvananthpuram
IT HAPPENS
IN HER DEFENCE: Amrita Mohan believes the police action against her will deter other women from fighting back

IN HER DEFENCE: Amrita Mohan believes the police action against her will deter other women from fighting back

On 14 February, Amrita Mohan, a BA student of All Saints College, attended a One Billion Rising rally in Thiruvananthapuram, a global campaign to end violence against women. Later that night, she was having dinner at a roadside eatery at the venue, Shangumugham beach, with her family and friends. That’s when three men in a vehicle marked ‘Government of Kerala’ started making filthy comments about Amrita and her friend. Amrita ignored them for a while, but when they kept at it, she lost her cool. “There was an argument. There were several men eating at that outlet, but nobody supported us. When my father tried to intervene, one man in the group pushed him. That’s when I lost control,” she says.

What the eve-teasers didn’t know was that Amrita was an expert in martial arts. She first pulled the man on the driver’s seat out of the car and beat him up. When two others tried to attack her, she thrashed them too. By then, the crowd, too, had joined her and somebody called the police.

Amrita’s action was widely hailed by women’s organisations, individuals and the media as an example for other girls. But there has been a twist in the case. Two of three eve-teasers were contract drivers at the Income Tax Department. So, Amrita has now been booked, on directions of the judicial first class magistrate, under Sections 323,325 and 335 and 332 of the IPC for voluntarily causing hurt and deterring a public servant from discharging his ‘lawful duty’. This invites imprisonment for up to seven years and is a non-bailable offence. The eve-teasers have been charged with lighter, bailable offences.

Women’s organisations wonder how harassing women at night could be ‘lawful duty’. “The police are clearly biased. Though Amrita told them that the men were drunk, they were not taken to a hospital for a medical examination,” says Mercy Alexander, director of Saki Women’s Resource Centre in the city.

Amrita is determined to go ahead with her case against the men. “My only concern is that this action against me by the police and court will deter women. They will hesitate to resist when confronted with a similar situation,” she says.

Does Facebook have a problem with women? #Vaw #WTFnews


Facebook insists there’s no place on its site for hate speech or content that is threatening or incites violence. So why do images that seem to glorify rape and domestic violence keep appearing?

Facebook

Does Facebook have a problem with women? The question has been around since 2011 when Eve Ensler and Ms Magazine drew attention to the social networking site’s failure to remove misogynistic images that seemed to glorify rape and domestic violence.

Then the issue came back again with users taking to Twitter in recent weeks to express their anger at Facebook’s refusal to remove images that tried to make a joke of rape. Two in particular were widely circulated. One showed a woman bound and gagged on a sofa and a caption that read: “It’s not rape. If she really didn’t want to, she’d have said something.” The second showed a condom, beneath the words “Plan A”; an emergency contraceptive pill, “Plan B“; and then “Plan C”, a man pushing a woman with a bloodied face down the stairs.

The site’s community standards state: “Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech.” What is not clear, in spite of several high-profile campaigns and a Change.org petition that garnered more than 200,000 signatures, is how it makes that distinction. Over the past few years, women say they have been banned from the site and seen their pages removed for posting images of cupcakes iced like labia, pictures of breastfeeding mothers and photographs of women post-mastectomy.

Yet images currently appearing on the site include a joke about raping a disabled child, a joke about sex with an underage girl and image after image after image of women beaten, bloodied and black-eyed in graphic domestic violence “jokes”. There are countless groups with names such as “Sum sluts need their throats slit” and “Its Not ‘rape’ If They’re Dead And If They’re Alive Its Surprise Sex”. One of the worst images I came across in a brief search shows a woman’s flesh, with the words “Daddy f*cked me and I loved it” carved into it in freshly bleeding wounds.

A Facebook spokesperson insisted: “There is no place on Facebook for hate speech or content that is threatening or incites violence.”

Jules Hillier, executive director of policy and communications at Brook, the young people’s sexual health charity, says: “Social media can be brilliant, giving young women and young men a space for debate and discussion and giving organisations such as ours a route to provide information and advice. But it’s a double-edged sword. I only wish that facts and support circulated half as fast as myths, misinformation, bullying and abuse, all of which social media also opens up opportunities for.”

When I contacted Facebook to get a comment on the two images circulating on Twitter, the entire page (charmingly named “Butthurt? well. GET the FUCK OUT”) had been removed by the time they rang back. A spokesperson said it was not because the images contravened its terms, but because the administrator had failed to publicly associate his or her profile with the page. I can find no mention of this requirement in Facebook’s community standards, and it hardly mitigates the publication of such material anyway.

When I asked if the banned cupcake images could have been removed in error by an automated image scanner, the spokesperson said it was very unlikely. So it was a human decision to ban the image of a cupcake. Just as it is a human decision to allow pages such as “Teen SLUT pics” to continue to publish images of very young-looking girls, with no evidence they gave consent for their photographs to be used.

“We take reports of questionable and offensive content very seriously,” said the Facebook spokesperson. “However, we also want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others. Groups or pages that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs – even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some – do not by themselves violate our policies.”

There is a common argument that these pages are “harmless”, and those who do not like them should simply not look at them. But anyone whose friend “likes” one of these images can find it popping up without warning in their newsfeed timeline. Each image normalises gender-based violence, sending the message to both victims and perpetrators that ours is a culture that doesn’t take it seriously.

Feminist writer and activist Soraya Chemaly says: “It’s not about censorship in the end. It’s about choosing to define what is acceptable. Facebook clearly accepts representations of some forms of violence, namely violence against women, as qualitatively different from others.”

The Facebook spokesperson said: “It’s not Facebook’s job to define what is acceptable. We work hard to keep our users from direct harm, but in the end, censorship is not the solution to bad online behaviour or offensive beliefs. Having the freedom to debate serious issues like this is how we fight prejudice.”

For those who believe there is no relation between the treatment and perception of women in the real world and the cultural norms promoted by the most used social networking site on the planet, here is a selection of comments. Some are from those “harmless” Facebook pages. Some are from real women’s experiences, reported to the Everyday Sexism Project. And some are examples of the abuse that I have received, as a woman daring to write about women online.

“You have a choice to have sex, I have the choice to rape you.”

“If you don’t stop giving me shit I’ll pay four of my friends to gang rape you.”

“Go ahead, call the cops – they can’t un-rape you.”

“The only reason you have been put on this planet is so we can fuck you. Please die.”

Can you tell the difference?

 

• Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project

 

#1billionrising Campaign in Mumbai #Vaw


TNN | Feb 16, 2013, 12.00 AM IST

One Billion Rising campaign in Mumbai
Watch Farhan Akhtar perform, using Alive
The global One Billion Rising campaign to stop violence against women found expression in Mumbai at the Bandra amphitheatre, where actors, artistes and activists together joined hands in an event organised by the NGO Akshara.Mita Vashisht recited some verses of Kashmiri poetry, while Rahul Bose recited a message written by Eve Ensler. Students from Sophia College and TISS also performed and showcased videos created for the occasion.

The issues of sex workers, the transgendered, the disabled, dalits, lesbians and minority communities were also addressed. The highlight of the evening was Farhan Akhtar, who recited a poem and then sang a song. He also performed an encore after the crowd urged him to sing another number.

Talking about the evening, he said, “It is wonderful to see so many people here in support of this cause. I am very happy that I am here and that I could be a part of this movement.”

 

#1billionrising this Valentine’s Day against abuse #Delhi #Vaw


ByNaziya Alvi Rahman, TNN | Feb 11, 2013, 12.56 AM IST

In the backdrop of Nirbhaya gang rape, campaign’s Delhi-wing, called ‘Delhi Rising’ is already out on its feet mobilizing people for the event that will see flash mobs and mass dance protests at PVR Saket at 11 am and Parliament Street at 5pm.

NEW DELHI: ‘Strike, Dance, Rise’, that’s what one billion people from 199 countries, including India, will do on Valentine’s Day under the campaign – One Billion Rising. The campaign was started by playwright and activist Eve Ensler (known for her play The Vagina Monologues) against all forms of “sexual abuse”. The word “billion”, say the organizers, refers to the one billion women who are survivors of abuse.

In the backdrop of Nirbhaya gang rape, campaign’s Delhi-wing, called ‘Delhi Rising’ is already out on its feet mobilizing people for the event that will see flash mobs and mass dance protests at PVR Saket at 11 am and Parliament Street at 5pm. At noon the group will occupy spaces in different parts of Delhi and express them through dance.

The Delhi wing has been set up by a group of young women professionals who were part of the protests after Nirbhaya gang rape. The girls, however, were inspired to join Ensler’s movement after they heard her talking at Miranda House college in January 2013.

“While we were inspired by Ensler, she said the outrage and protest that followed in Delhi after the gang rape left her inspired. She said she did not expect such a huge movement and unity in Delhi against gender-based violence,” said Sakshi Bhalla (25) a development worker and a dancer, who is a core member of the group. They are now being helped by noted NGOs like Sangat and Jagori to mobilize people for the February 14 event.

“While the NGO’s are taking care of offline mobilizing, we are creating awareness via social media sites… A Facebook page giving details of the movement was created on January 9.

We also uploaded ‘Delhi Rising -I and II’ videos on YouTube,” said Shruti Singh (25), a board game designer and another core member of the movement.

The team also came up with an anthem condemning acts of violence against women. The song was sung by Bollywood singers Shilpa Rao and Benny Dayal. “We’re asking everyone in Delhi to join the global strike, reclaim the streets, create a space for dialogue and engage. We’re asking everyone not to forget and continue to intervene in their local area of influence to bring about change,” Singh said.

The video DR-I, which they claim has already got viewership running into a few thousands, share experiences of young Delhi women who have faced all kinds of abuse at home and in public.

“One of the girls talks about how she was molested in a DTC bus but she did not raise voice as being teased is considered acceptable in Delhi. However, now we want to raise our voice against even a minor form of tease,” Singh added.

The second video shows male perspective. “It gives details of how in a patriarchal system we expect men to be stronger than women. It also has experiences of men who after Nirbhaya incident sense an outrage in all women around them and feel ashamed of their so called ‘masculinity’. Men in our group will stand up to redefine the concept of masculinity,” said Sudeep Pagedar (24) a consultant with a government institute.

 

#MUMBAI- One billion Rising for freedom from fear #1billionrising #reasontorise #vaw #menrise


meeta

By Kamayani Bali Mahabal, 13TH fEB 2013

tOMMORROW is   Februray  14  what does it stand stand for? Valentine day, right ?, no there is  another connotation attached to it, this year globallY it will be the  Violence free- day. The movement is aptly named ‘One Billion  Rising’, and it has been started by feminist writer, Eve Ensler, who
wrote and performed ‘The Vagina Monologues‘, 15 years ago.
The figure of one billion has been worked out on the basis of  available statistics that one out of three women on this earth will
experience violence in her lifetime, which means a staggering one  billion women on this planet would be impacted by violence. “Rise and  dance” is the vociferous message of One Billion Rising – a global campaign demanding the end of violence against women.On February 14, there will be 13, 000 organizations in  192 countries around the world  holding noisy, energetic events encouraging “activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, women and men” to “strike, dance and rise”. In > India many cities and  groups are part of OBR both from urban and  rural areas

Women are not a homogenous group, The majority of the world’s poorest > people are women, who are further affected by discrimination if they  belong to minority groups. Women suffer disproportionately from  discriminatory labour practices and are frequently forced into  underground or informal sectors. Women who are discriminated against  on the basis of both gender and caste  are frequently subject to  violence. In armed conflicts, women are sometimes explicitly targeted  because of their ethnic background. Rape and other forms of violence  against women have been used as weapons of war in conflicts throughout history. Violence against women has been a major trope of the women’s > movement in India, right from the incidents of rape against women like  Mathura and Rameeza Bee in the 1970s. Over the last few months, especially after the Delhi Gang Rape , One Billion Rising campaign, we  have  revisited this theme , coming together to recommend to Justice  verma committee,. In  Mumbai  what t is unique about this is event  is  being ‘ most diverse and inclusive”, we have women representing variosy  marginalized sections of our society- the disabled, dalit, sexual > minorities, muslims ,participating to say  no to violence, and to also give a message that women with different needs have different rights

In  Mumbai , several woman organizations, youth groups and Bollywood  celebrities have come together to show  Mumbai’s ‘ solidarity towards  a violence-free city. The campaign one billion rising- Freedom from  fear, on 14th February will be the beginning of
These one billion rising- Freedom from fear is calling  all Mumbaikars  to join the mass event, which has rainbow hues of music, dance, poetry, and Rap.  Farhan Akhtar will be singing  and  reciting his  poem penned after the Delhi Gang Rape incident. Meeta
Vashisht will do an excerpt from the renowned performance of ‘ lal  dedh,   Young rappers including women rapper will showcase their talent on the  issue. and Swanmg group will perfomr. Maa ni main nahi darna .  Rahul Bose  would recite Man prayer.

Swaang cultural group will for the first time perform live tehir protest song maa ni meri which they wrote after delhi Gang Rape

The program  will end with the  flash dance Indian National anthem of ‘ break the  chains” adapted in Hindi. and we will dance on it

NOT TO MISS COME JOIN US ENTRY FREE

Youc an find video here

and the mP3 youc an find here

https://soundcloud.com/kractivist/one-billion-rising-indian

 In a patriarchal society like ours, the demands for a  non-discriminatory mindset and a gender sensitive society are not  going to be achieved in day or a month or even a year. It needs  consistent and self-directed actions by all of us without delaying or deferring the responsibility on each other, and one billion rising Freedom from fear is one such attempt towards a continuous process of changing mind sets . Let us make it a great event highlighting women’s rights and equality in the city, all are invited and entry is free

CALLING MUMBAI JOIN US

BANDRA AMPHITHEATRE, BANDSTAND, NEAR TAJ LANDSEND  5.30PM ONWARDS

for mroe information contact kamayani 9820749204

PL JOIN US ON FACEBOOK- https://www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingMumbai

PL RSVP EVENT-https://www.facebook.com/events/158240337660310/

 

MC Manmeet lambasts YO YO Honey Singh and his #Rap #Vaw #1billionrising #protest #Foe


Manmeet Kaur the bubbly , lively ,  woman rapper , a  Japaite ,   set the stage on fire  at the program  ON 26TH jAN 2013, at Ambedkar bhavan  bhavan in Mumbai. The program on freedom of expression ‘ bOl ke lab azaad hain tere”.  T he program in support of freedom of speech and expression in Indian Constitution, A crusade for creativity – speak, your lips are free, had a plethora creative and artistic presentations in form of skits, songs, and dance .

No Indian can keep quiet, when the freedom of his country is for sale.

While the most lethal epidemic is spreading in the world, only a few humans stand resolute against the enemy of humanity and are determined to remain altruistic. At any given point of time, such people are only a small handful. Dictators consider them as a major threat, hence they first try to woo them to join the thieves’ guild and be one of them. If all fails, they are offered a high post in the governmental machinery, a position of power or even monetary funds, in order to silence their noble quest for ever. If these measures fail, they construct new prisons for these humane persons and try to crucify them.

What is going on today? There is a constitution in this country, albeit without a soul. All pillars of democracy are dilapidated. Only those who have financial capital, rule the media and can brag and pontificate on anything. The supporters of Brahmanism and under-belly of capitalism keep blabbering nonsense incessantly. Those who are misleading the society by screaming utter lies have been given freedom of expression; and those, who write and speak the truth are forcefully silenced either by means of the police power or by the side-kick fascist organisations. But these moves are no more a secret.

In video below Manmeet gives a very apt reply to Yo Yo Honey Singh and his rap music .

JOIN US FOR MUSICAL ACTIVISM HERE  JUSTICE AND PEACE FOR ALL

BLOCK FEB 14TH, FOR  ONE BILLION RISING MUMBAI, Manmeet and more  performnces hip hop, rap, belly dancing, flash dance

Here  is manmeeet singh, rapping on Yo Yo Honey Singh

 

#India- global ‘feminist tsunami’ is here #1billionrising #Vaw #reasontorise


Does Our Sassiness Upset You?

Stirred by Eve Ensler, women across India, many defying the men who would confine them, are part of a global ‘feminist tsunami’, writes Revati Laul
Revati Laul

January 17, 2013, Issue 4 Volume 10

Rediscovering freedom Students protest against the Delhi gangrape

Rediscovering freedom Students protest against the Delhi gangrape Photo: Dijeshwar Singh

AT A PACKED auditorium in New Delhi last week, Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues got onto the stage. “I’m tired of data porn.” It was time to move conversations about women out of the space of victimhood and into the space of celebration. “I am an emotional creature,” she said, reading from another of her plays. “Don’t tell me not to cry. / To calm it down / Not to be so extreme / To be reasonable. / I am an emotional creature. / It’s how the Earth got made. / How the wind continues to pollinate. / You don’t tell the Atlantic Ocean to behave.”

The call to celebrate being a woman has, since July last year, become an international movement called One Billion Rising. One in every three women in the world is raped or beaten each year, which adds up to a billion. Ensler reasoned, if women across the world rise as a collective, patriarchy can, and will, be smashed. Women and quite a few men across the world have been paying attention and 182 countries have signed up. From the Philippines to Cancun, Congo and the Caribbean. Jane Fonda to Robert Redford, Alice Walker and the Dalai Lama. To celebrate womanhood, vaginahood as potent, sexy and cerebral and the source of all creation. Of pleasure. And orgasms.

Now, with the spontaneous rising in India following the Delhi gangrape, India has become the movement’s main fulcrum. The call is to strike, dance, rise and reclaim Valentine’s Day as Vagina-Day or Victory-Day to combat violence against women.

In India, and indeed across all of South Asia, the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign is being spearheaded by the feisty feminist Kamla Bhasin, who says it will be the unleashing of a feminist tsunami. She described the event with characteristic wit and candour as she sat with one leg set rigidly in a cast from a recent accident in Kabul. “This cast nearly reaches my vagina and is having its own dialogue with it,” she remarked, knowing full well how that would go down. “As someone in the last century said, you can’t be dead serious all the time. You have to lighten up and have a good laugh.” Which is why, apart from her books on Exploring Masculinity and several on gender education, she’s written songs that are now being used by groups across the country to dance as they prepare for V-Day. One song — a rewrite of a feudal folk song from Punjab — sends a terse message to all those who think of women as the second sex: “The weaker sex that we women are, can’t take no heavy housework too far; not alone can households run, being weaker, meeker second rung.” (Balley balley bhai aurat toh kamzor cheez hai, ghar ke bojh voh sahegi na akele, aurat toh kamzor cheez hai). A campaign placard on the One Billion Rising website sums up the movement poignantly — ‘Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.’

Women across the subcontinent are now using V-Day as an opportunity to rachet up already existing campaigns for real change — on the law and on governance. And social change from the inside out. Rukmini Panda, of the National Alliance of Women in Odisha, proudly declared that “this is a war.” It’s made students in Hyderabad make their own One Billion Rising video that opens with a man. And a young man from Delhi University say — “Let’s stop men from venturing out after dark. That will keep all genders safe.” It’s made the womens’ group Ekta, in Tamil Nadu, conduct a safety audit for the city of Madurai to map what is unsafe for women so that it can be changed. It’s made the Young Womens’ Christian Association, or the YWCA, in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl plan a walk with sex workers, where all women dress like sex workers in solidarity. In Delhi, the YWCA is working towards an allnight concert of, by and for women in Delhi on V-Day. And in Madhya Pradesh, the movement has made thousands of women and men turn out for a ‘one million hands’ solidarity meeting in Bhopal, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was forced to accept two demands. That the dysfunctional helpline, 1081, would be resuscitated; and a special womens’ cell would be set up to do a budgetary analysis of what proportion of the state’s finances are being spent on the upliftment of women.

On V-Day, people from grassroots movements have planned special panchayats across all districts of Madhya Pradesh on the issue of violence against women, where a resolution will be passed. And 10,000 people will block the road set aside for VIPs in Bhopal where women will speak of violence committed against them. Far bolder, however, are the strident steps 50,000 women from Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh have pledged to take on that day. A pledge to step out of their homes and talk of rape. These are women from villages where patriarchal men have forbidden them from even mentioning the R word. In this setting, where upper caste women have been raped repeatedly, there is now a rising from the Dalit women.

 

OBR founder Eve Ensler

OBR founder Eve Ensler Photo: Ankit Agrawal

IN GUJARAT, Indian classical dancer and staunch activist Mallika Sarabhai has fused One Billion Rising with a feminism that is her own. A travelling performance called Women With Broken Wingsthat is a collaboration with Swiss pianist Elizabeth Sombart. The performance takes you through 12 stages of womanhood, from birth to the discovery of the body, its violation, death and the hope for a resurrection. At a conversation on violence against women at Delhi University’s Miranda House, she shook her captive student audience out of their comfort zone by showing them the patriarchy in their midst. A beautiful woman was in a meditative trance in the forest, and a one-eyed monkey was watching as he did some yoga of his own. Lord Indra descended from sky and was struck by her beauty. She was oblivious of him, occupied as she was with her pranayam. An incensed Indra raped her. The monkey was shocked. And the woman’s husband was outraged because his honour as an upper caste man had been sullied. He asked Vishnu to make Indra pay. Indra was summoned and made to perform an animal sacrifice as penance for which a horse was killed. He was thereby absolved of his sin. As was the Brahmin man. The woman wasn’t worthy of consideration. The performance ended with Sarabhai turning to her audience with the last thoughts of the one-eyed monkey — “Humans have a very strange system of justice.”

For many women and men who have now pledged to participate in One Billion Rising, celebrating sexuality is a secondary goal. For them, V-Day is the victory over silence and an opportunity to convert outrage into concrete action. In this pledge alone, women across the country have caused the ground beneath our feet as a nation, to shift. Wherever things go from here, they will, most likely, not be as they were before. The gates are now being pried open. The gatekeepers forced to leave.

“…to speak of them out loud, to speak of their hunger and pain and loneliness and humour, to make them visible so they cannot be ravaged in the dark without great consequence.”

―Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues

Revati Laul is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.
revati@tehelka.com

 

#India- Immortalising broken wings #dance #Vaw #Justice #1billionrising


TANUSHREE GANGOPADHYAY, The Hind Jan 18,2013

Swiss pianist Elizabeth Sombart and Indian dancer Mallika Sarabhai.
Swiss pianist Elizabeth Sombart and Indian dancer Mallika Sarabhai.

A dance to commemorate women battling gender violence.

 If music be the food of love, play on, wrote Shakespeare. Swiss pianist Elizabeth Sombart’s music comes from her love for all the “assassinated” women of the world, whose memory she wants to honour. As she plays she asks listeners to “come light a star in the memory of a woman or girl you know who was killed. Give her name and we shall together build a celestial memorial for her”.

Elizabeth is as good as her word. Recently in India, she described her project ‘Women with Broken Wings’: “There are so many war memorials the world over. All of them are for men. There’s no space to commemorate the billions of women whose lives are snuffed out, who are raped or are victims of other kinds of gender violence.” Her memorial (womenwithbrokenwings.org) strives to raise global consciousness on crimes against the women “whose wings were broken. With this simple action, we shall help remember and bring about a change.” She relates a poignant story of a Lebanese teenager who had expressed her admiration for the Web site. Ironically and tragically, a month later she became a victim of honour killing by her brother.

In the backdrop of the murderous gangrape in Delhi recently and the fury in its wake, Elizabeth’s collaborative ballet with renowned Indian danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, director of the Ahmedabad-based Darpana Dance Academy, comes at the right time.

Titled ‘Women with Broken Wings’, it premiered in Ahmedabad last fortnight. Pointing out that violence against women remains unabated. Mallika says her experience of three decades had convinced her that more than “serious talk” cultural programmes worked better in raising public consciousness. Her dance, accompanied by Elizabeth on the piano, portrays the 11 states of mind of the assaulted woman — birth; discovery and exploration; the inner and outer worlds; unknown fears and self-discovery; betrayal and breakdown; lament; fleeing and failing; the soul’s cry; the march of the martyrs; consolation; and, finally, the way forward.

The performance, choreographed by Yadavan Chandran and Mallika Sarabhai, held the audience spellbound. One vignette depicting carefree childhood, where Mallika enacts a girl playing hopscotch, is particularly poignant. Elizabeth’s rendition of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 17The Tempest, was apt for the section ‘Unknown Fears and Self-Discovery’. Her interpretation of Chopin for both ‘Betrayal and Breakdown’ and ‘Lament’ was truly extraordinary. The ‘March of the Martyrs’ was followed by silence in a mark of respect. The performance ended on a positive note, with ‘The Way Forward’ exuding hope.

The work resonated perfectly with the One Billion Rising (OBR) international campaign against violence spearheaded by renowned playwright and actor Eve Ensler. As Mallika explains, “Our common interest got us to collaborate and participate in the OBR campaign.” She now plans to organise a garba dance by over 20,000 people, including children, to mark the culmination of OBR on February 14, also celebrated as Valentine’s Day or the international day of love.

“Since the OBR call is to dance against violence, garba is the most relevant in Gujarat, and artists will compose songs for us. Every woman here dances it during Navratri. Gujarat is a State where hundreds of rapes take place, where innumerable women are burnt because of dowry, and where violence on women is rapidly increasing. This is also a State where lots of villages are without girls because of rampant sex-selective abortions. We need to end this genocide and gendercide urgently, and we are using our abilities and art to do this,” she says.

The ballet performance in Delhi last week was followed by Eve Ensler’s dramatic rendering of vignettes from her play I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, at an event hosted by Sangat, which is coordinating OBR’s South Asia campaign. The ballet next travelled to Chandigarh (Punjab) and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala).

Delighted with the collaboration, Elizabeth stresses that there is no place for ego in music: “I dedicate every note to each woman who has suffered violence, and there are at least 100,000 notes in a ballet like this. So I believe I am honouring 100,000 women each time I play it.”

© Women’s Feature Service

 

 

Eva Ensler- I am an Emotional Creature #Poetry #1billionrising #Vaw


 

 

 

At the One Billion Rising event yesterday in Delhi, she performed one of her poems.

I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE

I love being a girl.
I can feel what you’re feeling
as you’re feeling it inside
the feeling
before.
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
I know when your girlfriend’s really pissed off
even though she appears to give you what
you want.
I know when a storm is coming.
I can feel the invisible stirrings in the air.
I can tell you he won’t call back.
It’s a vibe I share.

I am an emotional creature.
I love that I do not take things lightly.
Everything is intense to me.
The way I walk in the street.
The way my mother wakes me up.
The way I hear bad news.
The way it’s unbearable when I lose.

I am an emotional creature.
I am connected to everything and everyone.
I was born like that.
Don’t you dare say all negative that it’s a
teenage thing
or it’s only only because I’m a girl.
These feelings make me better.
They make me ready.
They make me present.
They make me strong.

I am an emotional creature.
There is a particular way of knowing.
It’s like the older women somehow forgot.
I rejoice that it’s still in my body.

I know when the coconut’s about to fall.
I know that we’ve pushed the earth too far.
I know my father isn’t coming back.
That no one’s prepared for the fire.
I know that lipstick means
more than show.
I know that boys feel super-insecure
and so-called terrorists are made, not born.
I know that one kiss can take
away all my decision-making ability
and sometimes, you know, it should.

This is not extreme.
It’s a girl thing.
What we would all be
if the big door inside us flew open.
Don’t tell me not to cry.
To calm it down
Not to be so extreme
To be reasonable.
I am an emotional creature.
It’s how the earth got made.
How the wind continues to pollinate.
You don’t tell the Atlantic ocean
to behave.

I am an emotional creature.
Why would you want to shut me down
or turn me off?
I am your remaining memory.
I am connecting you to your source.
Nothing’s been diluted.
Nothing’s leaked out.
I can take you back.

I love that I can feel the inside
of the feelings in you,
even if it stops my life
even if it hurts too much
or takes me off track
even if it breaks my heart.
It makes me responsible.
I am an emotional
I am an emotional, devotional,
incandotional, creature.
And I love, hear me,
love love love
being a girl.

Scream if you are being sexually harassed, says Eve Ensler #Vaw


TNN Jan 5, 2013, 03.00AM IST

MUMBAI: Scream if you are being sexually harassed on a bus (or any public place), or at the workplace. “Screaming draws attention to what a man is doing, and if women start using it as self-defence, sexual harassment at the workplace will stop,” said Eve Ensler, playwright, actor and activist.

The author of Vagina Monologues and initiator of the One Billion Rising campaign against sexual harassment was speaking at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Savitri Phule Gender Resource Centre, which was celebrating the birth anniversary of Phule on Friday.

Ensler said she learned the screaming technique from two Kenyan women who teach self-defence.

Violence against women, she said, whether subtle (leering) or extreme (rape) sustains patriarchy and women have been trained to be quiet or make the best of the situation.

“We live in silence. Everything is allowed to happen as we choose to be silent,” she said, adding, “We are trained neither to protect ourselves nor our sisters and we are always afraid of losing our husband’s affections, promotions and afraid of being stigmatized.”

To fight sexual harassment, she said, women must band together as harassment is personal and thus not allowed to become political.

Ensler said she was sexually abused by her father and though her family knew about it, they chose to keep quiet. “Years later, when I came out and spoke publicly about it, my mother apologized, saying she had sacrificed me. I do not blame my family as they were part of a power structure trying to survive.”

For such “sacrifices” to stop, she said, women must stand up for each other. “We can’t do it alone as it is too scary. We get too isolated and can get hurt. But if we are unified, then they can’t hurt us,” she said.

“So, if you hear a woman scream, you scream too,” she signed off.

 

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