One billion women dancing is a revolution

There are 7 billion people on the planet. Half are women. One third of them are raped or beaten.

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Unless you live in a blissful little bubble in the middle of nowhere, I am sure you have heard of the young woman in India who was brutally gang-raped and subsequently died. If you live within the United States, you may be hearing details and information surrounding the brutal gang-rape of a 16 year old high school student by members of her  high school football team. It seems as though every other day, we are hearing stories about brutal acts of sexual violence or the utterly ridiculous comments political leaders are making about rape and sexual assault. I physically cringe and become outraged every time I hear ignorant comments about rape or other forms of sexual violence because I spent most of my undergraduate career advocating for greater awareness of those issues.

Dance is not just about beauty or artistry. It is a way of expression that can be used as a social commentary. Late last year, the inspiring social activist and one of my social role models/icons Eve Ensler launched a campaign called One Billion Rising. One Billion Rising is

  • A global strike
  • An invitation to dance
  • A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
  • An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
  • A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
  • A new time and a new way of being

In exactly one month from today, on February 14th, people and organizations all around the world  from Alice Walker to Anne Hataway and MTV to BCBGMAXAZRIA will be dancing to raise awareness about sexual violence and to take a stand against it.

The following is the short film for the campaign. TRIGGER WARNING: Although it is a dramatization, the first half is a powerful depiction of the different forms of sexual violence and exploitation.

If you really feel passionately about ending all forms of sexual violence or if you just want to dance and make a difference, you can become a part of the movement as well. Read this powerful article by Eve to learn more about why she feels this is importance.  There are many events that have already been set up across the globe but it is not to late to organize one in your area. Since this is a campaign through dance, there is an official dance routine that was created by Debbie Allen that I have included below.

One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
One billion women violated is an atrocity.
One billion women dancing is a revolution.

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