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Feminists Capitalize On Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day usually conjures up images of romantic love when people exchange gifts of flowers, candy and cards. But for some, Valentine’s Day means V-Day, a movement started by Eve Ensler, author of the popular play, “The Vagina Monologues.”

The play is a series of stories initially told by women around the world. They reflect some of the inequities for women, especially in third world countries.

Some of the stories are funny, others are sad. But all of them are memorable.

Rebekah Ensley, who is directing the play at San Diego City College, described the symbolism of the title.

“The reason she uses the vagina as a tool is because it’s impactful and ever changing. And ultimately, it gives life. The fact that basic human rights are being taken away from women in certain countries is appalling. It needs to be talked about,” she said.

Eve Ensler wrote the play in 1994. She releases the rights to it from February until April every year so that local groups can stage it for free.

The mission of the show is to make people take an active role in their own communities to end violence against girls and women. Today there are 5,800 V-Day events annually.

Teresa Elliott is the event coordinator for V-Day at City College.

“It creates a new community of people who are more aware of what’s going on around them. If you see the show in a third world country where female mutilation is taking place and you hear happy and inspiring stories of women who’ve overcome, that’ll give you hope. If you live in America and hear those stories, you’re going to be more educated now, because a lot of people don’t know what’s going on over there. They have no idea. The play is going to engage you,” she said.

“The Vagina Monologues” runs February 24 and 25 at City College’s Saville Theatre. All proceeds are directed to charities that help female victims of violence.

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