On a fashion note, I've been wearing this bow sideways for a few days now! Wear your headbands sideways (across the back of your head instead of over the top) to reinvent the ubiquitous accessory.
This was going to be a fashion week post, but there's been an intervention! I went to an incredible performance of the Vagina Monologues today, and in honor of V-Day, and everything it stands for, I wanted to draw your attention to a slightly different subject today: Stopping Violence Against Women!
V-Day was started as a movement against violence against women and girls across the globe, more than ten years ago. V stands for "Victory, Valentine, and Vagina." Far more than a purely fundraising or prevention effort, it has educated millions, and continuously fought for the rights of women to feel safe, beautiful, and powerful.
This production featured 16 volunteer actors, who read monologues written by actual women interviewed about their vaginas and experiences. Some of the stories were absolutely hilarious, from the "dominatrix sex worker" whose job was to elicit moans from other women (accompanied by on-the-spot demonstration of all the varying types of moaning) to the "72-year-old" who hadn't checked "down there" since 1954.
But the most powerful monologues were the stories about abuse, and more significantly- unspeakable sexual violence being conducted on a global scale. The emphasis this year is on the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a complete violation of human nature has been happening for 12 years. The kind of things happening over there are hardly comprehensible. 9-month babies raped....pregnant women slaughtered along with their premature fetuses...
What kind of 21st century are we living in, where this is allowed to happen?
How have I been so blind? Not only has this war been condoned for more than a decade, but the root of it is a battle for Congo resources that currently feed our modern technology. How many people in our country are aware that HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of women have been brutalized in the process of producing our cell phones?
No matter where you are in life, how old you are, or what country you live in: this is an issue cannot be ignored.
Personally, my work addresses the fundamental. I believe the most significant and long-lasting change is conducted at the foundational level. My personal work addresses the way people think, and eradicating ignorance. The very fact that such reprehensible acts are committed is a flaw in human thinking. The fact that soldiers, who are human and came out of their mothers' bodies, can participate in violating the most basic of human tenets- the dignity of existence itself- is, I believe, the most dangerous philosophical error that stands today.
The only thing that comes close is the ability of our developed nations, governments, and individuals to blatantly ignore the issue.
I am grateful to V-Day for bringing these issues to light, for me. And I wanted to share them with you all, in hope of raising awareness, and perhaps even inspiring someone to take action. We can all fight in our own way, be it speaking out for those in need, volunteering, or standing up for ourselves.
"When you bring consciousness to anything, things begin to shift."
-Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day
Other noteworthy quotes by Eve:
"We focus on fixing our bodies. We spend $40 billion a year on beauty products. What if we actually took that money, took that time, took that energy and started fixing the world?"
"Be bolder, speak louder, give everything. ...The door is open. It's as if we have one limb through, now if we can get our bodies through, it will never close again."
One of the best ways to begin is to be confident in your own selves! On a related note, I have started practicing Kundalini Yoga, which is a form of yoga about focusing the mind and honoring the self, engaging with a higher consciousness. It has been invigorating so far, after only two classes. I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance!
"May the long-time sun shine upon you.
All love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on."
-"Long Time Sun," traditional Irish blessing & ending song to every Kundalini class
Through self-empowerment, we become capable of bringing light to the world. Always embrace the potential within you! I may be an idealist, but if the world's thinking shifts even one individual at a time, I believe that even the most dire of problems will be dissolved.
Would love to hear what you all think on these important issues.