Many of you may think that I am wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day and I do wish that you all have a great day with your loved ones whether single or attached. However, today I am thinking of the other V day. Today is the day of ‘One Billion Rising’.
Violence against women is not something that occurs in one country. It is a worldwide epidemic. We are living in a time when a woman is raped and beaten to death in India, where she is put on trial herself rather than her rapist. A time in which the police insinuate that it is a woman’s fault if she has been sexually harassed and where in the UK alone an average of 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. And new statistics keep emerging; one suggesting that 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. This is almost a hundred years after women gained the vote in the UK, an act that reinforced the fact that we are equal citizens. These acts of violence suggest otherwise.
The fact that this seems to be a peripheral issue, as my new favourite hero Rosario Dawson put it, is horrific given that we are in 2013. So, this is why I believe that V day may be my new favourite holiday. Personally, I view it as a chance to show strength and solidarity without shouting and without violence but through an activity I get a lot of joy from. As I dance around my room to my favourite songs I count every one of my blessings that I have not truly suffered at the hands of a man, that I have managed to get out of situations that were potentially harmful to me, and for the fact that I feel like a happy and confident woman. Not every woman is as lucky as me and I hope that this day is a chance for all of us to show our irrepressible strength through something as simple as dancing and to remind us (both genders) that as human beings we should be treating each other with kindness and respect. I don’t believe that this is too much to ask and I also don’t think that this should be an annual occasion; but an everyday one. So, whilst I happily eat my Chinese food and watch a Whitney Houston film tonight I will be thinking up some new dance moves for my every day tribute to ‘One Billion Rising.’ Rise with me. It’s about time.
By Susie Taylor; currently boogying on down in her living room to India Arie: