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Eve Ensler Hosts CU Rally, Says 'V is for Vote'


Originally published in:
Boulder Daily Camera
09/28/2004

http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/election/article/0,1713,BDC_16316_3214515,00.html

Eve Ensler has added another "v" word to her repertoire.

Vote.

As in, "Value your vagina: vote" and "Get your pussy posses to the polls" — slogans that came of no shock to her 400 or so excited fans at the University of Colorado's University Memorial Center on Monday. Ensler's free speech was part of the Conference on World Affairs Athenaeum.

Ensler, the famed writer of "The Vagina Monologues," told the crowd of mostly women the upcoming election will determine the future of the world, not just the country.

"And women would determine this election if they went to the polls," Ensler said.

More than 22 million women registered to vote nationwide didn't vote in the last presidential election, and 50 million eligible women aren't even registered, she said.

"Some women say they don't feel connected to this world," Ensler said. "But voting connects you to this world."

She encouraged voters to choose candidates who support ending violence against women, the drive behind her "V-Day" campaign. Boulder has joined worldwide V-Day celebrations on or around Valentine's Day for the past three years.

Ensler said CU students have a unique chance to help change the way women are treated. With national attention on campus following allegations the football team used sex as a recruiting tool, she said students now "have the opportunity to be a model community ... . This community could turn it all around."

She urged football players to publicly speak out to end violence against women. She suggested programs or classes that teach about healthy sexual relationships, compassion and "persuasion instead of coercion."

Several CU students are trying to start a men's resource center, which would provide such information and seminars for men. Sophomore Ryan Polk told Ensler and the crowd about the effort.

"There's this stereotype that violence against women is a woman's issue," Polk said. "A partnership like this could help break down a huge amount of problems on campus."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Aimee Heckel at (303) 473-1359 or heckela@dailycamera.com.