The V-Day Wars


Geez, and I thought V-Day was for chocolates and roses. How naive!!! It's for V-Day wars–you know, wars between "radical feminists" (at least that's what the conservative Independent Women's Forum calls them) and "radical right-wing women" (for lack of a shorter moniker).

What is V-Day? you might logically ask. Founded by playwright and antiviolence advocate Eve Ensler, "V-Day is an organized response against violence toward women ... a vision: We see a world where women live safely and freely. V-Day is a demand: Rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation, and sexual slavery must end now."

It is celebrated on what most of us, until now, have called Valentine's Day.

Full disclosure: I've met and interviewed Ensler, and she sure doesn't come across as a radical feminist or as one salivating with antimale fury or chasing after men with hatchets, à la Lorena Bobbitt. She's bright, engaging, and downright sweet. Violence against women still occurs in greater percentages than anyone would find tolerable, even here at home in the good old U.S.A. But women shouldn't want to combat violence against women to the point of turning off men–particularly potential male allies.

So if V-Day proponents and supporters would add, "Oh, yeah, and we're against female-on-male violence, too" (yes, Matilda, it does exist–just in much smaller percentages than male-on-female violence), they'd be giving less ammunition to their philosophical opposites in the right-wing women's camp and dousing this silly, useless conflagration that's separating the two sides.

As far as the Independent Women's Forum is concerned, one would think with all the problems in the world, that group could find a more worthwhile cudgel to take up than a Take-Back-the-Date Campaign. "How can students Take Back the Date?" its website implores.

To counterattack against radical feminists who have "hijacked" Valentine's Day and are turning countless of sweet young things on campus into drooling man-haters, the IWF suggests, "Guys: Take women out. Open doors. Buy them flowers. Women: Let guys take you out. If you like a guy, ask him out yourself." My, my, isn't that a bit aggressive? And aren't you conservative ladies a bit over the top?

Down, girls! This is puerile. Get a grip, and take a deep breath. But then, you wouldn't be acting like activists, now, would you?