Our three performances, held at the YWCA's Kuumba Library, were completely sold out with over 250 tickets sold and nearly $4500 raised! Boston GLOW feels incredibly privileged to have been a part of the VDAY movement again this year and to have helped bring its message to the Boston community. As with all of our endeavors, this success could not have been possible without the time, dedication and tireless work of our volunteers.
Our cast of 30 performers, ranging in age from 16-40, spent 6 weeks rehearsing and collaborating to make this performance our best yet. Our youth performance featured 20 young people from The City School. Our team of volunteers, which totaled 18 women and men, stepped up to every challenge we presented - from constructing a giant fabric vagina, baking vagina cupcakes and chocolate vagina lollipops to collecting tickets, selling raffle tickets and greeting guests.
As happens every year, we were in awe of the response from each audience - the laughter, standing ovations and tremendously positive feedback reinforced for us once again why the Vagina Monologues are so powerful. We were thrilled to see a male contingent in the crowd again this year. This show unites women across a common theme but also illuminates for the male audience some of the experiences women share and endure across geographies, ages and cultures. As ever, we hope these performances have helped spark dialog about the issues facing women every day and the importance of addressing these issues to make a better, safer world and future for women.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Vagina Monologues is a play written by activist Eve Ensler, based on dozens of interviews Ensler conducted with women about the experience of being female - from sexuality and social stigmas to rape and abuse. Four years after the play first launched in 1994, with funds raised at a celebrity performance of the Monologues, Ensler founded V-Day. The mission of V-Day is a fairly simple one: "it demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998 today includes over 5,800 V-Day events annually."
This year's Monologues also spotlighted the plight of women in the Congo, the most dangerous place on the planet to be a woman or girl. V-Day 2012 highlights a commitment to creating City of Joy, "a transformational community for Congolese women survivors of sexual violence, conceived, created and developed by the women on the ground. City of Joy will support women survivors of sexual violence to heal and provide them with opportunities to develop their leadership through innovative programming."
Finally, this year's Monologues announced a global call to action, called ONE BILLION RISING:
There are 7 billion people on the planet. Half are women. One third of them will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
Planned for 2.14.13, ONE BILLION RISING is a global movement that invites one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to violence against women, across every country. Participants, encouraged to sign up here, pledge the following:
"I refuse to watch as more than one billion women experience violence on the planet. I'm joining V-Day on 02.14.13 in a global strike to demand an end to the violence."
Please join Boston GLOW in support of ONE BILLION RISING and learn more about the V-Day campaign. Thank you to everyone who attended the performances and helped support the V-DAY mission in Boston - we are thrilled with the outcome and can't wait to do it again next year.
About the YWCA Boston
"We are an organization of firsts. We were the first YWCA in the United States, established by leaders in the abolition and suffrage movemet to address critical social justice issues of the time. We were the first organization in Boston tackle professional and economic empowerment for women, and among the first to fight for racial and gender equality."
About the Young Black Women's Society of Boston
"Founded in Boston in 2005, the Young Black Women’s Society Inc. (YBWS), was established to provide a platform for women and girls of color to further develop their personal, professional and civic lives. YBWS sought out to be “The Society” for this demographic, providing relevant programming, activities and personal connections that complement their future goals and aspirations. We welcome you to learn about our organization and join our movement as we affect change and strive for advancement and access in Greater Boston and beyond!"