We at V-Day are SO OVER IT this week! From the rape pages on Facebook that are finally getting the attention they REQUIRE, to the Penn State predator and unconscionable institutional neglect that went on for years, to at least four women reporting sexual harassment by Presidential Candidate Herman Cain - there is so very much to be OVER! Today's V-Mail brings together Eve's latest essay, a statement from V-Day on Facebook rape pages, and strong new writings from Dan Zirin, Kevin Powell, and Mark Matousek.
Be OVER IT with us so together we can END IT!
READ New Huffington Post Essay from Eve "OVER IT!"
Eve gathered her feelings and thoughts together in this new Huffington Post piece entitled "OVER IT!" Read it and join us as we begin a major call to action moving towards V-Day's 15th Anniversary.
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I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.
I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.
I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.
I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don't have a sense of humor, and women don't have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don't think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.
I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.
I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.
I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.
V-Day Releases A Statement On The Facebook Rape Pages
V-Day joins thousands of activists around the world and organizations like Change.org to urge Facebook to remove all pages that employ sexual intimidation, threat or terrorism expressed in either serious or jocular language.
These pages make Facebook an unsafe place for women and normalize rape and violence against women further traumatizing women and girls in a climate where one out of three are already beaten or raped in their lifetime. Facebook should police pages like these with the same fervor and priority that they have so swiftly removed other pages in the past.
As a movement, V-Day celebrates free speech (we did after all grow out of the play The Vagina Monologues) however Facebook needs to monitor the difference between self-expression and self-expression that violates another being. If we have learned anything in the last 14 years, we know the power of language.
We believe Facebook has a rare opportunity to enhance the current dialogue as you have access to so many users. A nuanced conversation about context, content, and the ramifications of rape-language on women's safety and security could have deep and lasting impact on the ways in which online users communicate globally.
V-Day founder Eve Ensler states, "V-Day calls on Facebook to facilitate a community where women's voices and beings are not muted and traumatized but instead liberated and cherished. Let these terrible pages be where the future of women gets rewritten and let Facebook lead the way."
To Better Understand This Week's Events, We Turn To Dave Zirin In The Nation, Kevin Powell On His Eponymous Blog, & Mark Matousek In The Huffington Post
READ Dave Zirin "must read" essay in The Nation "Penn State and Berkeley: A Tale of Two Protests," in which he states: "November 9 was a generational wake-up call to every student on every campus in this country. Which side are you on? Do you defend the ugliest manifestations of unchecked power or do you fight for a better world with an altogether different set of values? Do you stand with the Thugs of Penn State or do you stand with Occupiers of Berkeley? It's fear vs. hope, and the stakes are a hell of a lot higher than a BCS bowl."
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We just had to share activist, writer Kevin Powell's latest blog post "Joe Paterno, Herman Cain, Men, Sex and Power" which walks us through this week's events seen through Kevin's eyes. Here's a snippet - "What Herman Cain and the disgraced male leaders of Penn State have in common is the issue of power and privilege we men not only wield like our birthright, but which has come to be so inextricably linked to our identities. So much so, in fact, that many of us, regardless of race, class, religion and, in some cases, even sexual orientation or physical abilities, don't even realize what a disaster manhood is when it is unapologetically invested in power, privilege, patriarchy, sexism, and a reckless disregard for the safety and sanity of others, especially women and children..."
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In an insightful and captivating new Huffington Post article, Mark Matousek, V-Men Column Curator, activist, and author of Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good, weighs in on the allegations at Penn State, suggesting that: "The Paterno Effect -- the soft-minded notion that bystanders are anything less than culpable for crimes they know about -- is an ethical dinosaur that must die. When we turn our eyes from injustice and suffering, we actively participate in evil..."
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