Monday, February 18, 2013

Dancing Away Violence

(I meant to publish this a few days ago, but better late than never...)

I realize I'm going to sound curmudgeonly, but I can't take this whole "One Billion Rising" thing seriously, or its Second Life counterpart.

First, it has Eve "Vagina" Ensler behind it. Anyone who has contributed to the debasing of college culture as much as she has can't be taken seriously, however serious the cause.

More to the point, while violence against women - rape and beatings are specifically mentioned, making me wonder whether Ensler is cool with female genital mutilation, whipping, or any of the other charming practices in certain Third World hellholes - is terrible, the idea that having "Women, and the men who love them," "walk away from their homes, businesses and jobs on Valentineís Day and join together to dance in a show of collective strength" will have any effect is doubtful. Heck, at least the breast cancer walks actually raise money.

Susie Tompkins Buell, writing for the Puffington Host, declaims "Words are not enough," and yet… dancing is enough? Does she read her own copy?

I also question the statistics underlying the event - the "one billion" representing the claim that a third of all women are "raped or beaten" in their lifetimes. I don't know how anyone gets statistics on "beatings," but there must be an awful lot of beatings to make up for the (relative) paucity of rapes, according to the U.N. Again, not to minimize the terrible things that happen to some women, but exaggerating the problem isn't helpful.

So walk away from your home and dance if you like. If it makes you feel better, the event has some positive value. But let's not kid ourselves.

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