by Becca Noland
When I was approached to head the committee planning One Billion Rising for InnerMission Productions in San Diego I was both humbled and excited. Humbled that anyone could have that much faith in me and trust me with such an important undertaking. Excited because this event meant so much to me and I knew we could make it amazing, impactful and ground shaking.
When I was approached about kicking off our blogging for the event however, all I felt was deer in the headlight fear. How to write something that would be inspirational, thought provoking and represents our mission. Funny that stringing my thoughts together and sharing them with the world was more terrifying than the responsibility of planning a major event. The long and short of it was, planning the event is what I do, I’m good at details and I love lists. Sharing my intimate thoughts and feelings with the world? Um, not so much. So I wrote something impersonal, and it felt preachy and sanctimonious. Then I wrote something really personal and it felt like a chaotic rant. So I reached out to people.
My husband:“Just write, don’t worry about it being inspirational, just make it honest.”
My best friend:“It’s the stories that inspired your involvement, let them lead your blog.”
My little sister: “Make a list.”
And once I really listened I realized that they were all right.
So I’m giving you a little bit of all three. I was asked two questions that I have yet to answer. The first, What is your reason to rise? The second, Why did you want to lead One Billion Rising? I was having a hard time answering them, because there isn’t just one reason. As I mentioned earlier, well…I love lists. So here it is. The Answer to both questions:
1. because I am one of the billion
2. because of the 20 women who sat in the room with me last year and their stories
3. because I am lucky enough to know there are good men and am loved by one
4. for the men of MENding and their stories and strength
5. because 14 year old girls should not be shot in the street for using their voices and asking to be educated
6. for all the voices that have been silenced
7. because the story of a 21 year old girl raped and killed by her neighbor should not be buried behind stories of Hollywood and reality TV drama
8. because 19 people knew and did nothing
9. because we will no longer be silent
10. because 12 year old girls commit suicide to escape their abusive arranged marriages
11. because men of power are trying to redefine rape
12. because women of power are standing by them for “political” reasons
13. because I HAVE A VOICE
14. because we are not alone
15. because I love you
16. because we are not alone
17. for the City of Joy
18. for my sisters in Port-au-Prince, Bukavu, New Orleans…
19. for the generations before, who were told to keep it themselves
20. for my daughter, my nieces, my sisters
21. because I want to teach my son to be a good man
22. because I want the world to notice
23. because we deserve to dance
24. because I am OVER it
25. because 1 in 3. Because there are ONE BILLION reasons to rise
I could have kept going. Those are but a few reason of why I am not only rising, but I am leading the charge. There are so many stories. Too many stories. Every day from every corner of the Earth new stories are being heard. Let’s reshape the world, let’s make sure that the stories aren’t just heard, that they are felt; they are responded to; and they are eradicated.
I will stand up and be counted on 2.14.2013. Will you join us? Will you stop the world and show them what One Billion looks like?
What does One Billion look like? Well, to borrow from Eve, on February 14th it will look like a revolution.
See you there.