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Off the Record: Nile FM

One Billion Rising: Why I Rise

Now, you might have expected our resident Bitch, Sally Sampson, to have an alternative Valentine’s Day planned (she does). Not because she doesn’t like hearts & teddy bears (she doesn’t) but because something more important is going down this Feb 14.

So Valentine’s Day is coming up! February 14th…the day people love to dread.

I’m not going to lie… I’ve hated Valentine’s Day since adolescence. Primarily, because I’ve been single since I left my mother’s womb and it always feels like a rigged beauty pageant that I’m never going to win. Anyway, year after year, I’ve wallowed in abject bitterness sitting on the couch, watching The Notebook and eating sacrilegious amounts of cookie dough ice cream (yum!)…but this year, I’m happy to announce, I’m doing something different!

This year February 14th is not just going to be the most important day for florists and chocolate vendors worldwide; it is also going to be a day of international solidarity and sisterhood. How you ask? Three words: One Billion Rising.

V-Day is a charity pioneered, many years ago, by activist and writer of the epic play The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler. Its aim is to end violence against women worldwide and, this year on February 14th, in an act of international refusal, one billion women and those who love women have been called upon to say no to violence by taking to the streets and dancing.

The number comes from a recent UN statistic that states that 1 in 3 women in their lifetimes will be beaten or raped, which corresponds to one billion women. One Billion Rising, therefore, is a strong response to that harsh reality. It’s a statement that screams, ‘No, we’re not going to stand by the side-lines and watch this happen.’

I know resisting via dance may seem frivolous to some, but all I will say is that the arts have always been the forerunners to change and they have long been underestimated in terms of the role that they can play in bringing issues to the public eye. And ending violence against women worldwide should be on everyone’s agenda, right at the top!

So on Valentine’s Day, on February the 14th, I am RISING! BITCH Central, my movement to empower women and give them a voice in our community, is going to be taking a stand and DANCING, yes DANCING in solidarity to help end violence against women worldwide.

If you still don’t understand why I am rising…maybe this will clarify things:

One Billion.

One in Three

Which one of us will it be?

That gets beaten or raped

In her lifetime?

It’s not my statistic,

It’s the UN’s so

Take it up with them.

All I know is I look around

And I can’t imagine.

It’s either one of my two sisters

Or me. God, is that the only option?

Or is there someone out there

who’ll take action?

Someone who’ll stand up?

Who is it that’ll stop,

This insanity, this mayhem, this throbbing pain,

Running through our veins

Diluting our humanity,

To our eternal shame.

People waiting for tomorrow,

Waiting for later

Waiting for it to affect us

Leaving those in distress.

As we let ourselves regress.

As women retreat into themselves

As they dig a small hole within and hide

As they give up hope entirely,

We are happy being blind.

“Don’t burst my bubble,

If I don’t care, let me be,

This stuff will always happen

How can you not see?

It is hopeless.”

I don’t see it that way.

I don’t believe you.

I don’t care about your bubble.

I don’t care if I cause you trouble

I don’t care. I don’t care if that’s all you have to say.

Call me an optimist.

Call me naïve.

Call me narrow-minded.

Call me mentally diseased.

But can I ask you something?

Have you been groped in public by hands with no faces and been unable to say a word? I have.

Have you been underestimated on account of your gender?  I have.

Have you witnessed domestic abuse in homes you never expected to see it in? I have.

Have your friends recounted their rape horror stories to you as you sat in silence?  Mine have.

So don’t tell me, it’s hopeless!

Don’t tell me you’re sick of my feminist crap,

Don’t tell me you don’t have time.

That we never shut up, because

We are fighting for our lives.

We are fighting for your lives.

Your mothers, your sisters,

Your friends.

It could be one of them.

So why wait?

Why put off till tomorrow,

What needs to be done today,

And what should’ve been done

Yesterday. Many yesterdays ago.

One Billion Women.

One Billion Sisters.

That’s not something I can live with.

And so I rise.

I rise now.

I rise today.

I rise in protest.

I take to the streets

And I dance because

I am not alone.

We dance together.

We dance in the face of it all.

One Billion Women

Are being raped and abused

In their lifetimes,

But One Billion Women

Are Rising

And reminding the world

That we are a force to be reckoned with;

We are an uprising!

On February Fourteenth,

When the world is celebrating romance,

We are going to STRIKE, DANCE, RISE.

We are ONE BILLION RISING.

We cannot be ignored.

Not now. Not anymore.

I invite you to join us: whatever you’re doing, and wherever you are meant to be going, come and show your support. The exact time and location have yet to be confirmed, but will be during the week.

Here is the link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/255706181231078/

Please tell your friends and let’s take a stand together. Be a part of ONE BILLION RISING-CAIRO!

If you have stories, pictures, comments, or anything at all you wish to share, I’m starting a community of BITCHES! Like the Facebook page, follow @BitCent, tell your friends, and let’s get this movement started to give BITCHES a voice. Are you afraid of being known as a BITCH? No? Then let the world know as well!