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One Billion Still Rising?

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Source: FRIDA Blog

by Barbora Němcová

Last year on February 14, women and men around the world “shook the earth through dance to end violence against women and girls.” One Billion Rising began in 2012 as part of the V-Day movement initiated by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, and has grown strong ever since. But it hasn’t grown without criticism. Probably the most vocal and cited critic of the movement last year was Natalie Gyte in her ‘Why I Won’t Support One Billion Rising’. Reactions around the world have been mixed; some agree with Gyte’s criticism,others don’t, yet others ask more questions.

There are many issues to discuss, starting with: Is asking people to dance enough? Gyte claims that ”[i]n asking women to dance in order to overcome violence and rape, focus is displaced and root causes are overlooked;” but Natasha Jackson argues: “The goal of this campaign, like most campaigns, appears  to be chiefly about raising awareness, gaining support from those who have influence, and finding creative ways to be visible and impactful. […] Social change comes about through the understanding of and an appreciation for a multi-faceted approach.”

Much has been said and argued, but the questions remain: Is this is an appropriate and effective way of raising awareness about gender-based violence? What’s the impact of One Billion Rising events? Have you taken part in any of them? Where do you stand? Share your thoughts!

And for those of you interested in learning more about last year’s events, feminist activism and using art to raise awareness, enjoy the very first Dare to Use the F-Word podcast co-produced by the Barnard Center for Research on Women and Barnard College Communications:

You can find the podcast on FRIDA’s website

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