home what'snew resources ask amy news activism antiviolence events marketplace aboutus
 
 


Until the Violence Stops
Provided by V-Day


Eve Enslerís SUPERLOVE V-Welcome Speech
(April 11, 2008, V to the Tenth, New Orleans)
By Eve Ensler

FRIDAY MORNING WELCOME - SUPERLOVE

WELCOME EVERYONE. HOW DO YOU LIKE OUR VAGINA DOME?

WELCOME TO SUPERLOVE!!!!

WE STAND WHERE OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN NEW ORLEANS
EXPERIENCED THE GREATEST ABANDONMENT AND VIOLENCE
AND STILL THREE YEARS LATER, MANY ARE STILL WAITING FOR
A WAY OFF THE ROOF TOP.
WHAT DOES THIS VIOLENCE LOOK LIKE?

AN 82 YEAR OLD WOMAN QUIETLY WAVING AS THE WATER REACHES HER NECK

A SCENE OF ANARCHY AND PANIC AND SHAMING RIGHT HERE ON THIS GROUND WHICH GAVE RISE TO RAPE AND DEATH

THIS VIOLENCE SOUNDS AND RESOUNDS IN THE DREAMS OF THE FOLKS of NEW ORLEANS, THE SOUND OF HELICOPTERS CIRCLING AND CIRCLING BUT NEVER COMING BACK

IT IS THE SOUND OF CHILDREN SCREAMING AS THEY ARE SEPARATED FROM THEIR PARENTS TO BE PUT ON BUSES AND TAKEN TO UNKNOWN DESTINATIONS

THIS VIOLENCE IS THE MADNESS OF PAYING RENT ON HOUSES THAT DONíT EXIST

IT LOOKS LIKE A PREGNANT TEENAGE GIRL drinking cleaning fluid CAUSE THERE IS NO FUTURE

IT LOOKS LIKE GROWN MEN BEING SO HUMILIATED BY LOSING THEIR JOBS AND HOMES AND ESTEEM THAT THEY HUMILIATE AND BEAT THEIR WIVES

IT LOOKS LIKE A PRESIDENT FLYING BY AND REFUSING TO TOUCH OR FEEL OF KNOW WHAT MILDEW TASTES LIKE IN A FEMA TRAILER, WHAT MOLD CAN DO TO YOUR LUNGS, WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO LOSE EVERYTHING AND TO GET LOST AND BE A DISAPPEARED PERSON IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY

IT LOOKS LIKE A COUNTRY THAT HAS FORGOTTEN ONE oF ITS GREATEST CITIES, CULTURE, WHERE ELSE CAN YOU DANCE IN THE STREETS, WHERE ELSE DO THEY HONOR THEIR DEAD AND CHERISH THEIR LIVING.

IT IS SPENDING 3 TRILLION DOLLARS TO MASSACRE AND DESTROY AND MURDER AND CREATE MAYHEM IN IRAQ WITH THE FALSE AND MANIUPLATIVE PROMISE TO SECURE
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LEFT TO DROWN, GO HUNGRY, BE DISPLACED, LIVE IN TENTS UNDER BRIDGES.

IT LOOKS LIKE ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET BEING BEATEN OR RAPED OR OTHERWISE ABUSED
IT LOOKS LIKE JUAREZ MEXICO WHERE AFTER 10 YEARS AND 400 WOMEN WERE MUTILATED, DISAPPEARED MURDERED AND RAPED WITH IMPUNITY
IT LOOKS LIKE AFGHANISTAN WHERE WOMEN NOW LIVE IN PROFOUND TERROR AND SUBJUGATION DESPITE A U.S. WAR THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO LIBERATE THEM
IT LOOKS LIKE THE CONGO WHERE 200 THOUSAND WOMEN HAVE BEEN RAPED AND CONTINUE TO BE RAPED AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS STILL PARALYZED RESPONDING.

IT LOOKS LIKE ONE OUT OF 3 WOMEN IN THE US MILITARY BEING RAPED

SUPERLOVE IS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

ITíS HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS FLYING THEMSELVES IN TO NEW ORLEANS TO OFFER YOGA, MEDITATION, MEDICAL EXAMS, MAKE OVERS, THERAPY, speeches, thoughts. performances TO THE DESERVING WOMEN OF NEW ORLEANS AND THE GULF SOUTH WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES AND HEARTS AND HEALTH TO KEEP THIS CITY AND THE GULF COAST ALIVE.

ITS V-DAY ACTIVISTS COMING FROM EVERY STATE OF THE UNION AND COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD TO JOIN IN VAGINA SOLIDARITY IN A MOVEMENT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND EMPOWER THEM. ITíS A SOLD OUT MIDNIGHT TRAIN FROM GEORGIA.

IT'S A MOVEMENT THAT EXISTS IN 110 COUNTRIES IN 45 LANGUAGES

IT IS 1200 WOMEN COMING HOME FROM ATLANTA AND MISS AND ALABAMA AND TEXAS

ITí S A BRAND NEW PLAY CALED SWIMMING UPSTREAM (YOU WILL SEE IT TONIGHT) THAT GREW FROM THE SOULS OF WOMEN who SURVIVED THE FLOOD

IT IS DR MUKWEGE AND CHRISTINE AND PERNILLE COMING FROM CONGO AND ZOYA FROM AFGHANISTAN AND NIGHAT FROM PAKISTAN AND YANAR FROM IRAQ AND AGNES AND WINNIE AND DUNCAN FROM KENYA

IT IS THE KATRINA WARRIOR NETWORK WHICH HAS SEWN TOGETHER A FABRIC OF COMMUNITY GROUPS WORKING TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN EVERY FORM

ITS UNDERSTANDING THAT EVERYONE IS IN THE HOUSE, AND EVERYTHING WE FIGHT TO CHANGE IS CONNECTED AND PART OF THE OTHER. WE DONíT END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AS LONG AS RACISM PREVAILS AND POVERTY AND A MILITARY CONSCIOUSNESS DOMINATES AND BOYS ARE BOUGHT UP TO BE MEN WHICH MEANS NOT TO BE WOMEN AND WE DONíT END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMENS BODIES AS LONG AS ITS PERMISSIBLE TO EXPLOIT AND RAPE THE EARTH WHICH IS THE LIFES BODY AND WE DONíT END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN UNLESS WE ARE WILLING TO ADMIT THAT THE FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURES AND PRINCIPLES THAT DETERMINE THE WORLD ARE RULED BY THE POWER THAT HAS THE MOST WEAPONS, THE MOST POTENTIAL VIOLENCE. ALL OUR SO CALLED FREEDOMS, ARE HUNG ON THE MIGHT OF THAT VIOLENCE. AND SO OUR PRIVILEGE, OUR CONSUMPTION, OUR HAPPINESS IS CONTINGENT ON THAT THREAT.

SUPERLOVE IS THOSE OF US WHO HAVE COME HERE TO CHANGE THE BASIS OF POWER-TO MAKE THE SHIFT TO WISDOM, TO VISION, NOT DOMINATION, OCCUPATION, UNPREPARED FOR EVACUATION, INVASION, BUT RESPECT, COLLABORATION.

IT IS THE GLORIOUS ART THAT SURROUNDS US AND THE AMAZING RED TENT AND THE YURT

IT IS PINK AND RED AND THE POWER OF VAGINAS AND VAGINA FRIENDLY MEN

IT'S MARDI GRAS INDIAN QUEENS AND GOSPEL CHOIR AND SECOND LINE BANDS

IT'S PRIESTESSES PROTECTING THE PERIMETERS

IT'S EVERY GENDER, EVERY RACE, EVERY RELIGION, EVERY SEXUAL PERSUASION

IT IS THE NON LINEAR NON BUREACRATIC NON HIERARCHICAL
ACCIDENTAL EXPERIMENTAL COMING TOGETHER OF THE DIVERSE
MANY WHO ARE LISTENING TO WHAT THEY HAVENíT BEEN ABLE TO HEAR ABOUT EACH OTHER OR THE WORLD.

IT'S US KNOWING THAT WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW ORLEANS IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MANY AMERICAN CITIES, IT IS CONNECTED TO WHAT IS HAPPENING
AFGHANISTAN, PALESTINE, DARFUR, IRAQ, TIBET, BOSNIA. IT'S THE INSANE DISREPECT AND DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE SO THAT PEOPLE ARE MURDERED. ABANDONED. UPROOTED, AND FORCED FROM THEIR HOMES.

IT IS THE ALTAR THAT IS HERE TO HONOR THOSE THAT DIED DURING THE FLOOD AND REMEMBER WHAT OCCURRED HERE SO IT NEVER HAPPENS ANYWHERE AGAIN.

ITíS THE HUGEST THING V-DAY HAS EVER DONE. WE DID IT CAUSE ITíS OUR TENTH YEAR AND IT WAS TIME TO MULTPLY OUR EFFORTS BY TEN. ITS MAKING ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN THAT CENTRAL, THAT SUPERIMPORTANT THAT THIS MANY HAVE COME AND WILL COME TO THIS WEEKEND CAUSE THEY KNOW THE TIME HAS COME TO END IT.

ITS ALL THE MEN WHO HAVE JOINED BECAUSE THEY KNOW THIS IS NOT A WOMENS ISSUE, WE DO NO BEAT AND RAPE OURSELVES. MEN DO AND UNTIL THE REST OF THE MEN GET UPSET ABOUT IT WILL NOT CHANGE

IT IS EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU WHO CAME BY TRAIN BY PLANE BY BUS BY FOOT BECAUSE YOU KNEW IN SOME ESSENTIAL PART OF YOU THAT THE WORLD WILL NOT BE CHANGED BY PEOPLE AT THE TOP BUT BY PEOPLE WHOSE FEET ARE ON THE GROUND, PEOPLE WHO GIVE THEIR TIME AND LIVES TO EDUCATING CHILDREN, FIGHTING FOR HEALTHCARE, SAVING THE EARTH FIGHTING RACIAL INJUSTICE AND ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THE TYRANNY OF MASCULINITY THAT HAS MAIMED AND SHAMED OUR BOYS AND MEN,

YOU KNOW IN YOUR BONES THAT WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONES WHO WILL END THE VIOLENCE, WHO WILL CHANGE THE STORY OF WOMEN WHICH WILL CHANGE THE STORY OF HUMANS BECAUSE WOMEN ARE THE PRIMARY RESOURCE OF THE PLANET AND IF THEY THRIVE, IF THEY ARE SAFE AND FREE WE ALL WILL BE SAFE AND FREE.

YOU ARE HERE ALL OF YOU BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT WHAT HAPPENED HERE IN THE SUPERDOME IS A METAPHOR FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING EVERYWHERE ON THIS PLANET. THE SACRIFICE OF THE EARTH FOR PROFIT, THE ABADONMENT AND EXPLOTIATION OF THE POOR SO THOSE THAT HAVE EVERYTHING CAN KEEP IT, THE DESECRATION OF WOMENS BODIES AND BEINGS AS THE MECHANISM WHICH KEEPS THE POWERFUL IN PLACE, THE CONSCIOUS AND RECKLESS ABANDONMENT AND SHATTERING AND DIVIDING OF THE NEEDY SO THEY END UP DESTROYING THEMSELVES.

I BELIEVE YOU CAME HERE BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT OUR DESTINY WILL NOT BE DETERMINED BY POLITICIANS OR POLLSTERS OR A CORPORATE OWNED MEDIA, OUR DESTINY WILL BE DETERMINED BY US, BY OUR COMING TOGETHER, BY OUR TELLING THE TRUTH, SHARING OUR STORIES, OUR HURT, OUR DISTRUST AND OUR DESIRES. OUR DESTINY WILL BE DETERMINED BY OUR WILLINGESS TO MOVE PAST BEING VICTIMS OR VICTIMIZERS. EVERYONE IS INVITED TO THIS TABLE. THERE ARE NO MORE FRINGES . EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE.

THIS WEEKEND IS ONE HUGE OFFERING EACH PERSON WHO SPEAKS, OR SINGS OR SLAMS OR DANCES OR GIVES THEIR HANDS OR HEART THEIR STORY IS MAKING AN OFFERING. TAKE WHAT YOU LIKE, LEAVE THE REST. BUT KNOW THAT EACH PERSON CAME HERE ON THEIR OWN DIME FROM A PLACE OF KINDNESS. EACH PERSON EQUALLY VULNERABLE AND OPEN IN THEIR OFFERING. THIS V TO THE 10 IS AN EXPERIMENT. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IS PART OF ITS CREATION. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US CRUCIAL
TO ITS SUCCESS

SO I ASK YOU, DO HERE WHAT DIDNíT HAPPEN DURING THE FLOOD.

MAKE EACH PERSON IN THIS ROOM MATTER

SEE THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU, HEAR THEM, LET THEM IN. MAKE NEW ORLEANS THE PLACE CARE DIDNíT FORGET

RESPECT THE PLACE, KEEP IT AS GREEN AS YOU CAN.
TREAT THIS SUPERLOVE AS IF IT WERE THE NEW WORLD V WORLD
WHERE THE VIOLENCE ALREADY ENDED.
LETS SEE IF WE CAN TOLERATE, EVEN FOR A WEEKEND WHAT THAT MUCH LOVE WOULD FEEL LIKE.

For more on V-Day and V to the Tenth visit www.vday.org.

***

RETURN TO "UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS" MAIN PAGE

Related links:

  • From Superdome to SUPERLOVEóV-Day at 10 by Marianne Schnall

    Other V-Day Features at Feminist.com:

  • Action Alert: This Just In from Kenya
  • Action Alert: End Sexual Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • V-Day/Feminist.com Anti-Violence Resource Guide

    Other Eve Ensler writings at Feminist.com:

  • Interview with Eve Ensler
  • Excerpt from Insecure at Last
  • Excerpt from The Good Body
  • The Real Meaning of Security



    About V-Day: V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Enslerís award winning play The Vagina Monologues. In 2007, more than 3000 V-Day events took place in the U.S. and around the world. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $50 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 5000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina. http://www.vday.org


  • home | what's new | resources | ask amy | news | activism | anti-violence
    events | marketplace | about us | e-mail us | join our mailing list

    ©1995-2008 Feminist.com All rights reserved.