This Valentine’s Day (Saturday, February 14th), One Billion Rising in Second Life will be held once again, as an addition to the campaign held in the physical realm. As a matter of fact, we’re getting very close to the day of the event. As was the case in the previous years (2013 and 2014), the four regions for the event are in place and the artists and personnel are all working round the clock to complete the installations and the stages.
The names of the four regions are Drum, Rise, Dance, and Change. Following the recipe adopted from the first time the event was organised, they are arranged in a square formation, with the massive dance stage occupying the centre to allow as many users to be present as possible, with as little lag as possible. One Billion Rising, of course, is not “all about dance”; dance, as has been explained numerous times before, is used as a way to give the campaign a positive, inclusive, optimistic character. At the OBR regions, victims of gender-based abuse (be it societal or domestic) can be pointed to organisations that can help them. And, of course, people who want to offer their help to such organisations can find out how to get in touch and help others.
As has been the case in previous years, around the stage there is a perimeter where the artists’ installations. More than twenty artists are taking part, and their works, as requested by the organising team, will be inspired by the names of the four regions. Among these displays there will also be an area for the artists of 2Lei, a project that, like OBR itself, aims to raise awareness to women who are victims of violence. 2Lei in Second Life is held as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, held annually on the 25th of November.
Besides the 2D and 3D art installations, this year’s OBR will also feature a picture gallery, a sculpture garden, and a stage for poetry and performances. You can find the full event schedule here.
The map of the four regions of OBR 2015. Please click on the picture for the full-size version.
On 14 February 2013, one billion people in 207 countries rose and danced to demand an end to violence against women and girls.
On 14 February 2014, we escalated our efforts, calling on women and men everywhere to Rise, Release, Dance, and demand Justice!
Now, on February 14th 2015, we are calling for a revolution for change.
Change can happen if grassroots movements and marginalized communities are in the lead.
Change can happen if we demand accountability – making sure our justice calls last year are realized. We are going to continue to demand justice, and will continue to highlight the issues surrounding the social injustices inflicted on women, and to keep highlighting where these issues connect. We will continue to challenge institutions, governments, policies, laws – and make these systems, which are responsible for creating situations of poverty and violence, accountable.
Change can happen if we harness our creativity and energy. We will highlight, create and envision new, brave and radical artistic initiatives to bring in the new revolutionary world of equality, dignity and freedom for all women and girls. There is nothing more powerful than art as a tool for transformation.
Change can happen if…WE ACT NOW. AND WE ACT TOGETHER.
In Second Life, we will be marking the occasion (as we did last year) with a twenty-four hour one day event that will allow women and men to gather. There will be music, there will be art installations and exhibitions, there will be poetry sessions, there will be storytelling events, there will be live dramatic performances, there will be dancing – and there will be information kiosks that will share information about organisations devoted to promoting justice for women across the globe, and stories of events that will be happening around the world.
The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can dance together, surrounded by an area of art installations and informational exhibits. A variety of performers will play over the 24-hour period, enabling people all over the world to attend this virtual event no matter their timezone. The regions will have a General maturity rating to allow all residents an opportunity to participate. Pictures are welcome on the event’s Flickr group.
This is not an event to raise money – although you will find information about organisations that need funding. But our primary goals are to draw people together and to raise awareness.
What can you do?
You can attend the event!
You can send us information about groups known to you that we can add to the informational kiosks. How can you do this? You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on our Facebook page.
You can spread the word about One Billion Rising in Second Life amongst your friends, your communities and through social media.
You can volunteer to help us organise the event – by completing this form. We need greeters, security, stage managers, media liaison and information processors, who will help build the information that will go into our displays.
You can add your reasons for rising to our special Why I’m Rising page.
If you would like to be a sponsor for the event, contact Samantha Ohrberg.
One Billion Rising was the biggest mass action in human history. The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On 14 February 2013, people across the world came together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.
Last year, on 14 February 2014, One Billion Rising for Justice focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence, and highlighted the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Events took place in 200 countries, where women, men, and youth came together to Rise, Release, and Dance outside of court houses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. The campaign was covered widely by media in all corners of world including The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and many more.
The title is indeed shocking, as rape is a crime that is mostly committed against women, but the appalling answer is a resounding yes. There are women out there who are part of the rape culture and do whatever they can to proliferate it. They choose to either turn a blind eye to sexual discrimination and gender-based violence against women or outright condone and support it. Their main arguments for their behaviour are (a) “victims whine too much”, (b) “seeking support for such causes is bullying (sic)”, (c) “it has not happened to me, so it does not concern me”, (d) “protesting against rape is misandry“.
These four “arguments” are what their long-winded tirades really boil down to. One of these “women”‘s main point of contention was, of course, “One Billion Rising”; they seem to have a problem with anti-rape campaigns – a problem they share with a significant proportion of “men”. Previously, I had blogged about the disputes around One Billion Rising, but it seems like I have to add a few words about these “women” who, instead of doing what they can to help other women (who could be their daughters, nieces, students at school etc.) live in a better world, prefer to side with those who view women as inferior beings.
Two weeks have passed after the One Billion Rising event, both in Real Life and Second Life. One Billion Rising, for those who don’t already know, is a campaign (please see my previous posts on the matter, as well as Saffia Widdershins’ excellent posts) to raise awareness regarding two huge problems of our societies: (a) the problem of rape and violence against women and girls and (b) the problem of the rape culture that poisons a great part of the population and has been incorporated in every male-dominated society’s culture and mentality. The event itself was a success – both in RL and SL, inspiring thousands of people, especially those affected. However, it did not go without receiving its share (fair or not) of criticism (again, fair or not). Below, I’m going to address the points that were raised by OBR’s detractors.
A few days ago, I blogged about the “One Billion Rising in SL” campaign, and so did other excellent SL bloggers, such as Honour McMillan. It’s a commendable initiative, because patriarchal societies everywhere are given, more or less, to the rape culture: the disgraceful “culture” that trains men to believe women are, by definition and because of their genetic makeup, inferior to them, that they should submit to their whims and wishes, that it’s OK to rape a woman and that it’s OK to beat her up or otherwise exercise violence against her. By using the term women, I also mean trans women – no discriminations against them are acceptable (please read this insightful article by Deborah Orr).