I’ve heard about Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues (TVM) since I was in high school, but it’s only around 7 years later that I decided be part of the cast. I am about to graduate from university and deeply regret that I’ve only taken an active part in this when about to finally leave the halls of my school.
I care so much about gender issues because the stories surrounding women who have been used and abused give me the most unsettling feeling. It gives me goosebumps knowing that there are real women around the world who are suffering the most unimaginable tortures.
This year’s TVM puts the spotlight on Congo—a war-torn country in the heart of Africa. The women in Congo have suffered so much considering that rape alone has become one of the inevitable consequences of war. Some of these women have been forced into the sex trade to escape the war, only to find themselves in another nightmare. To put it bluntly, several women in Congo continue to suffer from femicide—from female genital mutilation, to rape, to discrimination, to torture.
A friend of mine was right when she said that femicide is the global warming of women. Everyone knows about it but very few actually care about it. We know its consequences but don’t necessarily care enough to actually try to mitigate it.
“It’s silly how people say, ‘why should we care about a little girl being raped by 50 men all the way in Congo when we’re here in the Philippines?’” my friend said.
Why should we care about holes in the ozone layer over the Antarctic if we live in Indonesia or in Australia?
My friend couldn’t have said it better when she pointed out that Congo is the heart of Africa and Africa is the heart of the world. At the center of this heart are women who hold the future generations in their wombs. When we destroy these women, we eventually destroy the future.
They always said that the hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world.
The kind of future we perceive for future generations will greatly depend on the kind of present we allow our women to live and enjoy.
Just because some of us live in relatively safe and peaceful communities free of the harsh realities and violence that many people live through doesn’t mean we should fall short of doing something. Because what happens all the way there will eventually be felt all the way here.