Eve Ensler (of Vagina Monologues and VDay) had a moving conversation with Kara Swisher at D7. The topic was the violence against women in the Congo and the corporate social responsibility required to create rape-free products. Go to VDAY.org. Read about it.
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V-Day is blatantly, unapologetically sexist. Why aren’t they doing anything about violence against men and boys?
Also, rape-free products? I didn’t realize that the things I buy had rape in them… I guess I should check the label for it from now on.
(Sentence 2 is a joke. Sentence 1 is not.)
Dan, I don’t agree with you. Saying that a web site focused on stopping violence against women is sexist because it doesn’t tackle additional issues such as violence against men and boys just doesn’t make sense.
One has to focus or one’s efforts will be diluted. For example, you wouldn’t want any given environmental organization to go after animal rights, biodiversity, carbon emissions, sustainable farming, clean water, etc. all at the same time.
Focus does not imply judgment as to what’s more important. Focus simply is a marketing and execution tool.
Fair enough. But, if I may carry your analogy further – if an environmental activism group launched a “Save the Bugaboos” campaign, and spent lots of money moving bugaboos off of an oil-polluted beach, cleaning them up and releasing them, while ignoring other less-fuzzy critters that are on the same beach, right next to the adorable little bugaboos… I think it would be fair to ask why they were leaving the other animals to die.
Men and boys are victims of violence in the Congo just as much as women and girls are. Why rescue daughters and mothers while leaving fathers and brothers behind? “I’m sorry but you were born with the wrong genitals” is no longer an excuse to treat women poorly – why is it acceptable to use it as an excuse to treat men poorly?
In short, making a distinction between violence against females and violence against males is in fact sexist.
Dan, I’m with you on the fact that some causes get more attention than others. Save the seals works. Save the slugs doesn’t. Again, though, that doesn’t mean that any one group focused on saving the seals is automatically specieist. IMO, you need a more explicit value judgment to make a discrimination argument and I very much doubt that anyone associated with V-Day will argue that violence against men and boys is OK.