By Jen Thorpe
Eve Ensler’s latest book shares a collection of monologues which are for and about girls. The aim of the book, and of the movement is to inspire girls to take agency over their lives, and to encourage them to love that which makes them girls, and to live it with pride.
So what relevance does the V-girls movement have to SA? The first performance of the play to accompany I am an Emotional Creature took place right her in Johannesburg SA at the Market Theatre. In an interview with Elle Magazine, Ensler said that this was because she felt that African women held so much potential to make positive change in their world, despite the many challenges that they face.
I watched the play and it was incredible to see young woman speaking so powerfully and without fear. Some of the stories in the book and play brought me to tears, in particular the one about the girl kidnapped in the DRC and the one about the rape of lesbians in South Africa. The stories they tell resonate with the fear that many of us experience in telling our own stories, something which I hope that My First Time will help to dissolve with its workshops next year.
More than that, the V-Girls movement has a South Africa branch that subscribes to the following important views:
V-Day believes that girls are the future of our movement. Women are the primary resource of our planet. It is imperative to educate and nurture future activists so we can see our vision of a world free from violence against women and girls come true.
When I spoke to Busi Mkhumbuzi – 17-year-old V-Girls Action Leader in SA – she explained that more than just holding to the values of the global movement, V-Girls South Africa has a really important role to play for young women in SA. Linked to the idea that “V-Girls SA is an anti-violence movement which shatters taboo’s and addresses issues affecting girls in society'” they have come together to form “a network of girl activists and advocates empowering themselves and others to create the change they imagine for the world”.
In order to acknowledge and protest the very high rape statistics in South Africa, which particularly affect young women in SA, V-girls SA has initiated the REFUSER MARCH which will take place on 22 October 2011
October 15, 2011 from 11am at Constitution Hill, Braamfontein and will finish around 3pm at The Newtown Mary Fitz Gerald Park where we will have a stage set up for an open-Mic session. The aim of the Refuser March is “to mobilize women and purposefully empower them through the usage of Art to revitalize the activism within us all. It will commemorate women who have transitioned from domestic housewives in the 50’s, rebels of the 70’s and finally our generation … one which V-Girls believes can put an end to domestic violence, especially in the home.”
The march will feature special guest performances by Rosie Motene, Lebo Mashile and many more. Perhaps the coolest thing about the march is that the theme is ‘eco-emo’. According to their Facebook page, “The ‘eco’ stands for ECOLOGICAL and the ’emo’ stands for EMOTIONAL. V-Girls SA would like to request that everyone make themselves a short skirt made up of recycled material to wear on the day. This represents the belief that women, like recyclables, can be regenerated to greatness.”
I think that there is nothing better to attend, and take your young daughters to, than this march on the 15th of October. If you need any further details or convincing, check out the following information sources:
Or contact Busi on 073 799 4103