About a dozen people used their Monday morning to add UC Merced to a global campaign to end violence against women and girls.
Students and staff shot a video under the shadow of UC Merced’s “Beginnings” statue, where they danced to R&B song “Break the Chain.” It’s part of a campaign that encourages people all over the world to shoot similar videos.
The effort is called 1 Billion Rising, which takes its name from a United Nations statistic: 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped over their lifetimes. That means more than 1 billion women and girls have been physically or sexually assaulted.
“People from all different countries are doing this dance as a form of protest,” said Molly Bechtel, coordinator of women’s programs for the university.
The UC Merced dancers were a few days early, as the day to bring recognition to the violence is Friday. Bechtel said the group plans to launch the video on the UC Merced Women’s Program and the 1 Billion Rising websites on Friday.
Last year, on Feb. 14, the 1 Billion Rising campaign kicked off when people from 207 countries participated in events to raise awareness. It was spearheaded by Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues.”
There were reports of participants in several U.S. cities, along with India, Peru and South Africa, to name a few. The campaign resonated in India, according to reports, where discussions about violence against women were prevalent after the highly publicized gang rape of a 23-year-old female student.
I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. I know they mean well, but I just don’t see how dancing at a university in rural California is gonna do anything to end violence against women and girls.
Is there anybody out there that isn’t already aware of violence against women? I’m pretty sure that the women in India were already aware of the gang rape incident. I’m also pretty sure they did not approve of it.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like this “protest” just trivializes the issue. The only real purpose I see is it allows the participants a risk-free and cost-free way to feel good about themselves for “helping” to end a serious problem.