V-Day visits vaticinated

Regina Budden

It’s February again, which means the return of V-Day. In this case, V does not stand for Valentine or Victory. It stands for Vagina.

Although Valentine’s Day and Victory Day celebrations are limited to Feb. 14, V-Day makes an appearance throughout February and March. This year, V-Day events will focus on making people aware of atrocities such as rape and human trafficking that happen every year to women and children in the Congo.

Every event will include an opportunity to donate money to the V-Day cause. Profits will be split between the YWCA Battered Women Task Force, which will receive 90 percent, and the V-Day Women of the Congo, which will receive 10 percent.

Several V-Day events will take place at Washburn University, though some will also be offered at the Topeka Library and Shawnee County Public Library.

Brenda Blackman, a Washburn student majoring in theater and secondary education, is involved with the program every year and is ready to get started.

“It’s all about the education of people,” said Blackman. “We’re trying to educate people to understand that men who treat women badly… it’s just not OK. That’s not the way life should be.”

The Vagina Monologues, which are the culmination of the festivities every year, represent this message.

“They’re very interesting, a lot of people come see them every year,” said Blackman. “Some people only come see them once, just to see. Either way, it’s a neat experience.”

The Monologues have received a great deal of criticisms, including claims that they make men look like they are the bad guys. Blackman said that is not a fair representation.

“That’s not what feminism is about,” said Blackman. “Men are not bad. The actions that some of them do to hurt women are bad, and that’s what we’re trying to say.”

Blackman is a supporter of the YWCA’s use for the donated money, because it gives men another opportunity to get involved with the V-Day activities. Blackman said, rather than just using the money to help abused women and their families, the YWCA offers counseling to men who have been abusers, so they can work on their issues.

“It’s informative, and a good experience. We try to make [the V-Day activities] as laid-back and interesting as possible,” said Blackman, “not to mention, it’s a lot of fun.”