A Valentine’s Day Dance With A Purpose: Helping To End Violence Against Women

Today, my daughter and I will dance.

Not just because we’re happy. Or because we feel like doing some Soul Train-styled dance off featuring the musical stylings of Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and the elements we know as Earth, Wind & Fire. Or because it’s Valentine’s Day.

My girlpie and I will dance in honor of V-Day, an international call by the organization ONE BILLION RISING for women and men across the globe to gather in our communities and dance to demand an end to violence against women and girls. Our dance will be an act of solidarity—to send the message that ending violence against women is as important as ending poverty or AIDS or global warming. We will dance to send the message that violence against women isn’t a local issue or particular to any culture or religion or village or age. We will dance to show that violence against women is dead wrong—that it’s wrong to shoot little Pakistani girls in the face for going to school, that it’s wrong to rape 23-year-old med students from India for going to the movies with their boyfriends, that it’s wrong to stone pretty girls in Ukraine for participating in beauty contests and mothers in Nigeria for having sex before marriage, and that it’s not cool to celebrate singers who beat the crap out of their superstar girlfriends.

We will dance because it is right to do so. For our sisters. For ourselves. For us all.

Why dancing? ONE BILLION RISING explains it better than I ever can:

When One Billion bodies rise and dance on February 14, 2013, we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness. Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together. It’s dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive. It breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere at anytime with anyone and everyone. It’s free. No corporation can control it. It joins us and pushes us to go further. It’s contagious and it spreads quickly. It’s of the body. It’s transcendent.

Dance with us. You can be alone or with a friend or with hundreds of thousand more. Tweet about it. Pop it up on your Facebook page. Instagram yourself twerking it out. And be sure to tell everybody why you’re doing it. Together, we can raise our voices on this V-Day to say, “No more.”

Find a One Billion Rising V-Day event in your area here. And to find out more about the organization’s founder, playwright Eve Ensler, or her programs rallying women across the world in the fight to end violence against women, check out the V-Day website here.


1. Spurred by Rihanna and Chris Brown, One Teenager Tries to Curb Teen Dating Violence
2. And Here I Was Thinking The Chris Brown/Rihanna Incident Was A “Teachable Moment.
3. Herman Cain & His Forgetful Hands: The Importance of Teaching Boys R.E.S.P.E.C.T. For Girls & Women
4. Gang Rape in Texas: When Will We Stop Sacrificing Girls In Defense of Black Boys?

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


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