I can’t remember when I first heard about the Vagina Monologues or learned about a magnificent woman named Eve Ensler. All I remember is getting involved with V-Day back in college and I got to perform a piece called “My Vagina is My Village.” The piece broke my heart. I felt so torn up inside because the piece was about one woman’s experience with war trauma and rape. I knew that as I was performing the piece on stage, the words that I was saying were most likely happening to someone out there in the world. Even today.
I often read about how we as human beings, in the face of problems, decide to do nothing not because we don’t care, but because we don’t know how to even start tackling the problem at hand. I get that. How do you begin to end violence against girls and women in the world?
Well, I do it by doing what I can, and I hope you can too.
On Thursday, May 17th, I’ll be performing in the Vagina Monologues again. This time, I’ll be doing “I Was There in the Room” at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. The piece is about birth. I would love if you can come and see this powerful production. If you can’t, please consider donating at least $25 so you can be a part of this global movement.
If you have never heard of the Vagina Monologues or seen it in action, it’s a theatrical performance that profiles the intimate stories of women impacted by sexual assault, war, and pain, but also lifts celebratory perspectives on sexual self-discovery, empowerment, and love.
For this specific performance, all proceeds benefit the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the nation’s only multi-issue women’s organization in the country for Asian Pacific American women and girls.
Now, some of you may wonder, what does violence against women have to do with body image issues & eating disorders? Simple. When women are subjected to violence of any form, we’re being treated as less than human beings, period. This is similar to the way many body image issues & eating disorders originate; we internalize those less-than-human feelings, through things we see or hear, and treat our bodies as objects of affection. In some ways, I believe that if we could just stop violence against women, we could get rid of a lot of body image & eating disorder issues that women go through because then, women will never be told that she is any less than her full glory.
In order to build up the confidence of women in the world, we need to teach that violence against women in ANY form in unacceptable.
- Asian and Pacific Islander (API) women compose the largest segment of persons trafficked into the United States. A combined 47% of trafficked persons in the U.S. are forced into domestic servitude, agriculture labor, sweatshop factories, hotel work and servile marriages and 46% persons are forced into sex work.
- Immigrant API women are at higher risk for domestic violence. Compared to the general U.S. population, the domestic violence rate for a foreign-born woman married to a U.S. citizen is three times higher
- APIs have the lowest utilization of certain preventive medical services and some of the highest uninsurance rates. Without job-protected paid sick days or family-supporting wages, workers forgo these services to the detriment of their long-term health and financial stability.
Stay angry, stay hungry, and let’s change the world one step at a time!
p.s. Lynn also performed in the Vagina Monologues back in 2008 for the Center for the Pacific Asian Family. That makes both of us vagina warriors!