On Feb. 14, demonstrations are planned under the banner of "One Billion Rising," which seeks to get "women, and those who love them (to) rise up on the planet, joining activists, celebrities, writers, thinkers, and artists, to strike, dance, shake the world and shift the energy to empower women and girls and break the cycle of violence."
It's sponsored by V-Day, founded by Eve Ensler, Tony Award winning author of “The Vagina Monologues,” a global grassroots movement that seeks the end of violence against women. It's got a long list of supporters: MTV, Zumba, fashion designers.
Add Buddhist nuns.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, a Buddhist nun since 1964 and head of Dongyu Gatsal Ling nunnery, endorses the event in a letter. She says the worldwide event will "remind us that this global situation is not tolerable."
In Buddhist fashion, Jetsunma Palmo doesn't put the blame on others or suggest that the solution must come from some external savior.
Until women show compassion and respect for their own gender there will be no real progress. We cannot move forward long as women do not support other women...
In order to find a solution we first have to recognise that there is a problem. Then we can get to work on how the problem can be solved. ... Both men and women need to publicize and condemn any abusive behavior of which they are aware and to support and aid the victims of such cruelty. (italics mine)
May women everywhere find their voices to express their solidarity and outrage against violence and exploitation!
Contemplate: Is violence against women a problem? Does it happen? Is that wrong?
Contemplate: What is my attitude toward violence against women, internal and external? Do I feel compassion for the victims or feel that 'I would never let that happen to me'? Do I call out men who objectify women (because it's easier to abuse an object than a person)? Do I call out structures that commodify and dehumanize women? Do I participate in it?
Contemplate: Do I want to be complicit in violence against women? Do I want to stand up to it and thereby end it? Or at least reduce it? To de-normalize it?
Contemplate: What can I do?
V-Day suggests that you Strike! Dance! and Rise! on Feb. 14. It's a start.