I felt his smooth fingers rubbing against the soft skin of my inner thighs. He kissed it gently, but in a split second, he forcefully spread my legs open, making me shriek in pain. I tried to let go of his strong embrace, but my hands were handcuffed and my body was tied to the bed. I suffered the abyss of that dark night with only my tears left to dry out.
Mistreated. Discriminated. Raped.
Women seen as fragile little darlings have heard and experienced enough of the ruthless treatments against them. Some are raped, some are discriminated, some are taken for granted, some receive painful punishments—most of which go unheard. Stories of great agony and suffering are sealed with the blanket of negligence. However, women are fighters. They also have the right to be respected and treated like the gentle care for a newly born pup.
With the advocacy to end violence against women and girls, the global activist movement Vagina Day, or commonly known as V-Day, was created to increase awareness and promote women’s rights in the society. For 15 years now, the celebration of V-Day in Dumaguete has been a success. However, its concept when it was first introduced was highly criticized.
It was back in the year 2000 when Prof. Bing Valbuena saw an ad about “The Vagina Monologue” in Cebu. After watching the show, she wanted to bring it to Dumaguete. Since the concept of a vagina has a vulgar impression on people, it was not easily accepted by the public at first. People thought that the word “vagina” is something forbidden. That struggle, somehow, made her pursue in staging the play despite the many criticisms thrown at such advocacy. It was in Silliman Hall where its first show was performed.
“To continually hold the play so that it can continually educate people about it because the play, ‘The Vagina Monologue,’ actually talks about many experiences of different women,” responded Valbuena. These experiences revolve around stories of relationships, wars, and rape—but there were also fun and happy memories. It was set with wildly divergent point of views of women.
Even the author of “The Vagina Monologue,” Eve Ensler, does not want violence, especially against women and children. She wanted love to flourish. She even pointed out that most of us have not really understood the real concept of love. If we did, then there would be no victims of violence. There would be no anti-violence campaigns such as V-Day.
The official celebration of V-Day is actually on the 14th of February, together with Valentine’s Day.
Last Feb. 26, a show entitled “Revolution” was staged as part of the V-Day celebration in Dumaguete. However, that will be the last show of its kind, according to the organizer. For 15 years now, the goal of the advocacy, which is to increase awareness, was achieved. In the years to come, the organizers would boldly take a much braver approach in celebrating V-Day.
The unheard stories of violence will continue to break everyone’s hearts—and the celebration of V-Day will continue too—until the time comes when ruthless chains of violence finally frees a woman.