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of vaginas and valentines

pussy.jpgFirst they came for our Christmas season and turned it into an anti-consumer holiday. I just laughed. Next, they came for Columbus Day and turned it into a day to feel picked on and left out. I just laughed. Then they came for Thanksgiving and Easter and made them into animal activist events. And yes, I just laughed. Now they are coming for Valentineís Day and with that, they are coming for your vagina. I am not laughing.
V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a palpable energy, a fierce catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop worldwide violence against women and girls including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sexual slavery. V-Day provides funding to create and nurture innovative programs to stop the violence.
The sentiments are altruistic and thoughtful. But they are co-opting yet another holiday to get their word out. Valentineís Day is now Violence Day. Sure, the ďeventĒ is meant to take place all year long, which is all well and good, but the bulk of the campaigns and actions are scheduled to coincide with Valentineís Day. The ďVagina WarriorsĒ will be out in full force, trampling on your candy, flowers and paper hearts to make sure you know that your vagina belongs to you. Part of the V-Day campaign involves a traveling show of The Vagina Monologues, coming to a high school near you. Yes, a high school. Iím all about sex education and information, but I donít think itís necessary to have some kind of female empowerment festival where women dress up as vaginas and talk to teenagers. Thatís not sex education, thatís feminist brainwashing. One scene - The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could - involves a description of a teen-aged girl having sex with an older woman, with the ultimate message being that itís a good, nice thing. The 16 year old girl actually says - in one adaptation -, ďif it was rape, it was a good rape.Ē If that was an older man having sex with a teen aged girl, there would be an uproar. So why is it ok to show young girls that having sex with an adult woman while you are under the age of consent is a beautiful thing? Apparently, the The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina. Victory over violence is great. But using The Vagina Monologues as the basis for your activism is turning the idea of being in charge of oneís one body into a beat down on men. Why canít one be a strong feminist without hating males? Just as not all women are victims of violence and abuse, not all men are violent abusers. Why does everything have to be black and white? Good or bad? Man v. woman? Why canít I share my vagina and not feel like Iím going to be an affront to all good women if I do? Call me silly, but I thought Valentineís Day is a day to, you know....put your vagina to use with your loving, non-abusive male companion. While itís nice that these women want to honor people who have done so much for the world struggle with violence against women, being hailed as a Vagina Warrior probably takes a little pride out of being the reciepient. I can see the entry a high school reunion booklet: Mary Williams: Married, mother of four, CEO of Williams Marketing and a Vagina Warrior. Hey, thatís funny. Mary was such a prude in high school. I had no idea she was out crusading with her vagina! Heh. Vagina is a funny word if you say it a lot. Right, Beavis.? m not a big sucker for all the frills and lace trappings of Valentineís Day, but I certainly donít want to see it turned into a day when we eschew the cards and flowers for group sessions dealing with violence and vaginas. There are 365 days in a year. Why do these activists always insist on taking an already existing holiday and turning it into a crusade? Not for nothing, but there are no holidays in August, you know. Maybe we could make August the Official Month of Activism. You can have all your black dot sneaker days and kill your television days and wear your vagina on your sleeve and take back your penis days in one month. Want to celebrate the anniversary of the day Mumia was jailed? Got an idea for a festival honoring Che and Marx? August is your month. Just keep your vagina warriors away from my Valentineís Day.

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» A what now? from Inoperable Terran
Michele is unimpressed with the latest efforts to recast Valentine's Day as Hate All Men Day.... [Read More]

» Yes, THAT Dio. from d-42.com: the electronic home of Josh Cohen
Still down 24-11. Why aren't you voting for me? Remember when John Hawkins did "Wesley Clark in Quotes"? Well, now he's doing it for John Kerry. Michele of A Small Victory grumps about V-Day. Not Valentine's Day, but V-Day. I... [Read More]

» Wednesday, 01-28-2004 from Tiger: Raggin' & Rantin'
Tiger Bites™ is a listing of links to those posts I found during the day that I thought were excellent, either passin' along some important information, displayin' great insight into some topic, bein' of special interest, or just a bit... [Read More]

» Dread from Interrobang?!
Valentine's Day is in two and a half weeks. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck. And no, that doesn't mean I'm gonna get it six... [Read More]

Comments

My vagina is NOT happy about this.

C*nts!

It's a proven tactic. The Christians did it when they moved into Celtic England and began co-opting the seasonal festivals for their own purposes.

Based on the referral percentage I'm seing for "antidisestablishmentarianism", I predict that you are going to get so many search engine hits on this as to distort your statistical standing.

Oh, and Rich, you forgot the word Commandos after that other "C-word".

Personally, I'm just hung up on what a "Vagina Day" card is going to look like....

While I am every bit as riled by angry, man-hating extremist feminists as the next guy, I really don't give a damn about Valentine's Day.

I'm not celibate, I'm not asexual, but I'm...relationship challenged. In my 25 years on this planet, I've never had a special someone to celebrate V-day with. I happen to be one of those bitter, cynical, spiteful singles, too. You know, the ones who go to our friends' weddings and wind up sitting in a corner somewhere, with the rest of our ilk, drinking as much as humanly possible before the free bar runs out.

Anyway, V-Day is just a creation by Hallmark to sell more products. It has the nifty side effect of making terminally single people look like the unwanted, unneeded and unappreciated refuse of humanity that we already knew ourselves to be. I don't care if that is a bug and not a feature, the womynists can have the damn holiday for all I care.

As far as I'm concerned, it's just another excuse to get drunk.

The Vagina Monologues started as a project to celebrate the vagina. It was light-hearted, kind of witty. I loved it. But something has happened along the way ... and you have hit the nail on the head, Michele.

NOW - the project is all about the VIOLENCE done to vaginas, as opposed to a happy sexy celebration. I went to the big shindig at Madison Square Garden a couple years back, expecting a laugh-riot, a fun time, and instead found myself surrounded by a bunch of shrieking women, angry about violence against women, and angry about their vaginas.

Wow. What a nice way to pathologize a body part. Total turn-off.

While Valentine's Day isn't exactly my favorite holiday, I have to agree with Michele that this whole phenomenon of appropriating established holidays for various political causes needs to stop. The end result is usually a backlash against the perpetrators, anyway. Activists of all stripes need to wise up to the fact that berating people is an ineffective method of supporting their cause.

"Why canít I share my vagina and not feel like Iím going to be an affront to all good women if I do?"

Don't worry, Michele, we won't think you're an affront to all good women. Share your vagina! I know, I know, you've only got labia for Treacher. sniff

Charlie, you beat me to it. After recently buying a birthday card for my brother (Birthday-brother is after Birthday-aunt and Birthday-Boss's Child), it struck me that there simply aren't enough weirdly hyper-specific greeting cards.

So, Hallmark, are you listening? Maybe they're already churning out cards for categories such as "Vagina Day - Angry", "Vagina Day - Pissed Off", "Vagina Day - Seething With Rage," "Vagina Day - Can't Stop Saying Vagina." Additional tie-ins include musical cards (What tunes would they play? Discuss), and vagina-specific gift items (Really, you don't need me to spell that one out).

A: "Can you help me with this one crossword clue?"

B: "Sure, what's the clue?"

A: "It's a four letter word referring to a woman, and ends in 'UNT'."

B: "AUNT?"

A: "Oh! Of course!" (Quickly erases, and writes the letter A)

;)

Charlie: Personally, I'm just hung up on what a "Vagina Day" card is going to look like....

The newer ones will be harder to open. The more popular ones will be easier to open, however.

I don't know what a Vagina Day card would look like, but I'm sure it would be fun to open. I think Vagina Day is a great idea. I'll be diving into it, head first, celebrating it all the way.

how very un-vagina-otic of all of you. because, of course, if you're don't support the war on violence against vaginas, you're condone it.

[/ sarcasm]

Freud would have had such a field day with this, it's really too bad he's not around. It would be so amusing to see some Freud lookin' dude get up on stage and start psychoanalyzing these fruitloops. Ten to one there would rapidly be some violence, but since it wouldn't be against a vagina it no doubt wouldn't count.

Myria

Well, there's always "Steak and BJ Day", I guess...

Steak optional :)

This will be the 18th Valentine's Day that my wife and I have celebrated together. I remember it sucking badly as a holiday when single, though.

You are right, however. The last thing I want to hear about on our romantic night out is Vagina Warriors. Earth Day activists made their own day, and it worked out. I wish others would do the same.

D

Rich, come on...

Please be more politically correct and say
"C U Next Tuesday" when utilizing that word.

Geez.

In all seriousness, I can't stand the moving holidays into "movements" thing either. It gets annoying. Holidays are holidays - take a number and put your cause on another day - hell, keep it the same day but don't make everyone change what they want to do because your politicking seems more important at the moment.

Typically this is done to draw attention to events and causes - most of the time it just causes the reaction that Michele has, IMHO.

i went to last year's v-day production of the vagina monologues at my high school. it actually wasn't a rabid angry-feminist fest as i was concerned it might be... it was actually quite entertaining.

alas, after the show, they had a table where they were selling chocolate vaginas. i kid you not. i bought one, but couldn't bring myself to eat it because i didn't know when (if ever) i'd have a chance to buy another one.

Well, Greg, if they're going to make musical V-day cards, they certainly have to have one that plays "Cat Scratch Fever."

I have the perfect topic for the Vagina Day Fair.
Click my name.

Hell, counter protest.

I move we make it VIAGRA day (not that I need it, never have, hope I never do).

so nyah.

Ok, well I guess this is a vagina-oid question.
What do you prefer, Michelle, "blogger" or "bloggress"? Is one REALLY more vagina friendly than the other?

// I have way too much free time on my hands to even thing about this crap!

I came in to post something, cute, and possibly full of de l'esprit d'escalier. "Staircase wit",
but, this entire thing has me giggling now, and I could never top the comment about the "Newer Vigina cards vs. the more popular versions..too funny! Thanks for the giggles, and am I wrong, but, doesn't the heart association already claim V-Day!??

Feh. Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday. It's stupid. We don't need a holiday to tell our loved ones we love them.

My brother always called it "VD Day."

Let's face it, the Vagina Monologues aren't going to be in too many high schools, especially in the non-cosmopolitan towns.

You're worrying over nothing here. Tempest in a teapot. Nobody's going to let VD Day be co-opted. The Hallmark Squad is probably all OVER this one. Watch out, I hear they can talk in rhymes.

In my former life, I was a secretary. Care to guess which week and usually day was chosen for "Take Your Daughter to School Day?"

I never had to watch anyone but, grrrrr.

Why do I start humming the Oscar Meyer jingle when I see something about The Vagina Monologues?

My vagina has a first name, it's...

And why is it a monologue? Do they only talk but never listen? Or is it similar to something out of a play? "To shave or not to shave. That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler..."

I hesitate to jump in on this because I'm not a regular reader. However, I feel compelled to say something.

The Vagina Monologues, as distasteful as the whole idea seems to many, is intended to be a celebration of women's sexualities. If you've read the monlogues or been able to see the show, you might be surprised at how lighthearted the whole thing is.

However, to do a the show on a day you want to raise awareness about sexual violence and raise money for local anti-violence associations without ever mentioning the common violence that women experience, emotionally and physically, seems rather irreverent.

Rather than turning the show into another weep-fest, this pro-feminist show was intended to showcase humor and wit, something feminists have long been accused of not having. I think they do a rather good job. And I don't find it to be "man-hating" at all. In fact, several men at the local show last year were invited to write their own monologues about their understanding of female sexuality. Although I didn't see them, I read transcripts, and they proved to be quite funny and insightful.

As far as the teen/adult sex goes, I'll have to go back and reread my copy. I'm afraid I don't remember that. But I hope that no one goes knocking it before they've seen it.

The Monologues do a great job of allowing regular people across the country to show their talents onstage and raise money for an honorable cause. I think this is a good thing any day of the year.

With regards.

Read that as "But I hope that no one goes knocking the show before they've seen it."