Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Today is V-Day

Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues, and V-Day

The overwhelming response to productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues led in 1998 to the establishment of V-Day
On Valentines Day, 1998, Eve, with a group of women in New York City, established V-Day. Set up as a 501(c)(3) and originally staffed by volunteers, the organization's seed money came from a star-studded, sold out benefit performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, a show that raised $250,000 in a single evening.
V-Day's mission is simple. 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.
Performance is just the beginning. V-Day stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women.*
As the V-Day website says, "The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine, and Vagina."** 

Check out the website, and if you can't find a production near you, you can buy the book! (And performances of many of the monologues from a wide variety of productions are posted on YouTube.)

Update, 14 February 2018: Today is V20, the 20th anniversary of V-Day. Along with its companion group, One Billion Rising, "the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history," the theme of both V-Day and One Billion Rising is "Rise. Resist. Unite."

Have a strong day, resisters!

Update, 14 February 2021: Eve Ensler has recently changed her name to "V."

*The website has changed a great deal over the years--this is the language from the site in 2015, when this post was first published.

**As of 2021, the "V" in "V-Day" stands for "Voices, Victory, Valentine, and Vagina."