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The Vagina Vote

Mon, 10/25/2004

The Vagina Vote is an act of imagination. It is an act of faith. It is the belief that a new paradigm can manifest itself in a political as well as a spiritual form. It is a decision to ask those running for office as well as those already in office to make ending violence, domination, invasion, and occupation the focus of their work on a domestic and international level.

The Vagina Vote is:
A vote to protect women in their homes where they are beaten and murdered;
A vote to educate boys at an early age to honor women, and by doing so, honor themselves;
A vote to say that bullying on a personal level or bullying on an international level have the same short and long-term results—humiliation, shame and more violence;
A vote to insist that the United States become a member of the International Criminal Court;
A vote to say that we and all nations must follow the rules laid out by the Geneva Convention and when the laws are broken and war crimes committed, those in charge be held accountable.

The Vagina Vote is:
A vote to keep shelters and hotlines open in the United States;
A vote to enable women to come forward and press charges against rapists;
A vote that understands that when a society allows women to be raped, beaten and degraded it will become a society that allows for the degradation of life in general;
A vote to convict and condemn rapists and gropers whether they be celebrities or politicians;
A vote to create a climate in which committing violence against women is outrageous and unacceptable;
A vote to protect women in the military who are being battered and raped by their fellow soldiers as they serve their country;
A vote to acknowledge that domestic violence carries over into the workplace and to encourage employers to be more proactive and train their employees as well as support those experiencing violence;
A vote to recognize that more than half the women on public assistance are former or current victims of domestic violence and that welfare programs must reflect this reality;
A vote to recognize that violence against women has a direct impact on health, AIDS, homelessness, women and crime, employment, education, and parenting and should be treated as such;
A vote to stand up for poor women and not allow our government to place religious ideology above women’s safety;
A vote to push for comprehensive violence prevention, support services and sex education in our schools and around the globe, because knowledge is power;
A vote to educate our young people about preventing violence, not just how to mend it.

The Vagina Vote is:
A vote to fulfill our promise to support the liberation of the women in Afghanistan—to provide real security, to stem the rise of rape and childhood marriages—to transform an insecure oppressive environment that is currently so miserable women are self immolating by the hundreds due to hopelessness and depression.
A vote to protect Iraqi women who are being abducted, sold and raped since the U.S. war began;
A vote to stand up for women everywhere whether they are being trafficked, acid burned, gang raped or honor killed;
A vote to bring this issue of ending violence into the center of discussion, dialogue, consciousness and action;
A vote to protect the environment and put an end to the rape, desecration, and exploitation of the earth.

The Vagina Vote is about showing up at the polls and bringing as many women as you know to show up with you in November. It is about being actively involved for the long haul in creating a new system, a new vision, heralded by new leaders who are dedicated to bringing about this paradigm. It is about not giving up if the present candidates don’t measure up but becoming the activists who insist they be better, becoming the leaders who bring about the vagina vision. It is about seizing these times, standing up with a voice, a passion-vagina power.

Eve Ensler, V-Day Founder and Artistic Director/Playwright