February 17, 2006

V-Day's Vagina Carnival Pleases Cornell Students

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Here’s a more interesting take on “Ithaca is Gorges” – how about “Vaginas are Gorges”?

The Cornell Women’s Resource Center sold shirts with a provocative twist on the classic slogan at yesterday’s annual Vagina Carnival, held at the Robert Purcell Community Center on North Campus. The annual event featured games, prizes and education for those who attended.

The Women’s Resource Center educates students about women’s advocacy issues.

“We do education, outreach and research resources in addition to programs like this,” said Barbara Wold ’06, a Women’s Resource Center volunteer.

Wold also described the organization’s ties to the V-Day movement. V-Day, or “Victory Day,” is a global movement that stems from playwright Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. Each year, the play, based on Ensler’s interviews with over 200 women, is performed on college campuses around the world.

V-Day supports anti-violence organizations around the world and helps draw attention to problems of worldwide violence against women. The movement has raised over $30 million over the past seven years and was named one of Worth magazine’s “100 Best Charities.”

Each year, the movement focuses on a different group of women who are experiencing violence. The goal of the movement is to raise awareness – and money – to stop it.

This year, in acknowledgement of the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, V-day is calling attention to the plight of “comfort women” survivors.

“Comfort women” is a euphemism that was used during WWII to denote women forced into having sex with Japanese troops between 1932 and 1945. The estimated number of “comfort women” survivors ranges from 50,000 to 200,000.

V-Day is working with these women to help raise awareness about their plight. The movement is also working to raise public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, drawing a parallel between the “comfort women” of WWII and modern-day trafficking and abuse.

While the carnival was meant to be a fun event for students and volunteers alike, Wold insisted that “everything [the group does] has a goal of education.”

The carnival’s goal, she said, was to help students celebrate womanhood while educating women in hopes of decreasing violence against them.

The event also reminded students about the upcoming performance of The Vagina Monologues, noted Grace Pusavat ’08, another Women’s Resource Center volunteer.

The performance will feature members of the Cornell community, including director Kimberly Rice ’06. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Ithaca Advocacy Center.

The Vagina Carnival was sponsored by the Cornell Women’s Resource Center.

Archived article by Christine Ryu
Sun Staff Writer