International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone. I hope that you have a good one.

Personally, my day is shit. We’re having the worst snowfall of the entire winter today, and that means I can no longer volunteer at/attend Rochester V-Day tonight. Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region is sponsoring a performance of The Vagina Monologues. I was really looking forward to it, and I’ve never seen the play live before. But I live 45 minutes away, and decided that since we’ll have about zero visibility tonight, icy roads, and I would have to drive on the thruway that gets most treacherous in bad weather, I would rather live. But if you live closer and can make it, go! Tickets are still available at the door. The volunteers have all worked really hard, the cast is great (I saw part of the group last week performing A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer), and the money raised is going to our amazing Rape Crisis Services.

So yeah, I’m kind of mopey. But feel free to cheer me up with some good feminist happenings.

Here’s something that made me smile. Yesterday, Eve Ensler was in New Orleans to promote the 10th anniversary celebration of V-Day in the city next month (partial funds from all V-Days are going to support the women of New Orleans). She met with Mayor Ray Nagin, and he had this supportive if slightly bumbling message about his feelings on V-Day:

Mayor Nagin began his comments at the news conference by saying, “How am I gonna stand up and say, I’m a ‘vagina-friendly’ Mayor to these cameras after ‘Chocolate City’ and some of the other stuff that I’ve done. But you know what? I’m in.”

“She (Ensler) started describing the event, and you know what, I’m a guy and I’ve heard about the Vagina Monologues but I don’t know what was going on. I didn’t know anything about it and she started to describe this event – look, you know I’ve got a script and I’m not following it – and I was absolutely blown away at how awesome this work is. I mean, she is doing God’s work. So, I stand before you, a vagina-friendly Mayor. I am in! And you know what? It is so appropriate right now. New Orleans, Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz, you know, but it is the birthplace of so many tremendous women.”

Hehe. Okay, so maybe he should have stuck to that script. He probably could have done better than saying “I am in!” after declaring his vagina-friendliness. But since “vagina” is still such a taboo word, I imagine that a politician using it would be prone to such Freudian slips. (And this is about a million times better than Bush proclaiming his support for the right of OB/GYNs to “celebrate their love with women.”) I think that he meant no offense, and I take none. In fact, I’m rather happy to see such enthusiastic support from a prominent male public official for a subject so ridiculously unmentionable, for the event and for women. Good for you, Mayor Nagin. Though, just between you and me, I recommend that you start rehearsing speeches before you give them.

0 thoughts on “International Women’s Day

  1. Tali

    Here’s some feminist happenings that will (hopefully) cheer you up.

    I went to DC this weekend with a political advocacy group for Reform Judaism – sounds iffy, I know, but I swear it’s not. It was about 250 high school students from around the country. We got to pick different seminars to take, and then could pick a topic – reproductive rights, gay rights, health care, homelessness, AIDS, etc. – to research in greater depth and lobby for on Capitol Hill. Not only did a bajillion people choose to take the “Reducing the Rollback of Reproductive Rights” seminar, but that group included several guys. High school age guys. Awesome.

    I (unsurprisingly) chose to work on reproductive rights, and I got to go to Senator Kerry’s office, thank him for co-sponsoring the Prevention Through Affordable Access Act and the Responsible Education About Life Act (about providing funding for comprehensive sex-ed, despite the misleading title), and ask him to co-sponsor the Freedom of Choice Act. The legislative correspondent I talked to said that she would bring up the Freedom of Choice act with Kerry. And I was incredibly impressed with the amount of young men and women who chose to focus on reproductive rights. It was truly awesome to see.


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