One Billion Rising is a global movement started by playwright and V- day founder Eve Ensler. Today on the 15th anniversary of V-day, in cities across the globe, survivors and allies are gathering in solidarity to bring awareness to the epidemic of violence against women by dancing flash mob style.
A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being
Like Slutwalk, One Billion Rising has feminist critics. While I was a vocal critic of Slutwalk, for a variety of reasons, One Billion Rising, while not perfect, does have an appeal to me as a survivor of violence. Sure, dancing isn’t going to prevent a man from committing an act of violence, but there is something very powerful about survivors and allies getting together to dance, because dancing is literally about the physical movement of your own body. There is liberation in that autonomy.
I would actually be interested in polling folks to see if there is a significant amount of overlap between the critics of Slutwalk and One Billion Rising. I agree with some of the critiques of One Billion Rising, namely, that it doesn’t actually address the causes of violence against women, it simply brings awareness. Obviously, bringing awareness to an issue is necessary, but it’s not sufficient in order to actually solve the problem. Dancing isn’t going to change rape culture, but if it makes a survivor feel free and in control of her body, if only for a few minutes today, dance on.
And let me know when One Billion men are rising.