One Billion Rising: Do I Have to Dance?

obr_logo-webI don’t have to dance, do I? I mean, this is, perhaps, a tiny fraction of what it’s all about, that I get to choose, right?

I get to choose what I do with my body (and my mind, and my thoughts—wait. Are thoughts different from a mind? Hmm. When my thoughts get quiet, it’s easy to see that, yes, the mind is separate. Anyway.) Not dancing falls under the heading of My Choice. Right. Not dancing.

Mornings like this, I call my self Rain Man — affectionately, of course. If only I had just one savant quality, dammit. What are the mice in my head chasing their tails about today? (Oh, Ruth, do you really want to post this without lopping off the first 151 words?) Yes. Yes I do. I’m choosing to choose my words, and to use my words and to say whatever the hell I want.

Tomorrow, 14 February 2013, is One Billion Rising.

It’s being promoted as a revolution. I’m skeptical. I think it’s because I’ve shown up before, a few times, to candlelight vigils for fallen soldiers, to marches against government crimes — by the way, you can’t explain the faults of the NDAA — “Habeas what?”– to people driving by with their windows rolled up. I tried to tell the Occupy hottie in the clown nose that his research was falling on deaf ears, but no one would talk to me at that event; I’m certain they thought I was a narc.

I just have bad luck choosing these things. When I attend, I end up standing through awkward hours as one of a minority contingent on the side of the road with poorly drawn signs.


When I don’t attend, I miss out on displays of humanity at its best. Afterwards, seeing photos of the peacefully gathered thousands conjuring I Have a Dream-style enthusiasm–all joined for a common cause, I think, Drat, I could have been there.

This isn’t about witnessing history, though. It’s about changing the course of it.

Because violence against women on this planet has to stop.

When I read about the Steubenville rape case, I said to Andy, “That’s it. Education must be changed to now include the directive: do not rape.” He thought I was overreacting. Which could be infuriating to anyone who doesn’t know him the way I do. I told him, “If you read what I am reading right now, you would agree with me.”

He did not want to read it, though. Not because he’s heartless, but because he’s totally sensitive.

No one healthy wants to read about a rape that has happened — except how to avenge it. No one thriving wants to think about rape — except how to prevent it and recover from it. No one wants to be raped — no exceptions, full stop. Stop.

Rather than merely hoping for a revolution, I’m going to wake up energized tomorrow. I’m going to pull my morning appointment earlier, and push my afternoon appointment later, and in the middle of the day, I’m going to show up as one of one billion. I’m going to rise. (But I won’t dance.)

Here’s a list of events happening around Los Angeles. (No I will not promote Zumba Fitness! Even if it is a good thing.)

If you’re in other locations (times like this, I wish I was back in D.C. again — minus the winter part. Nothing beats a march on The Mall) you can learn about what’s happening in your area here.

If you go, let me know how it went. Did you rise up and dance? Did you have a new thought?

Despite my skepticism, the fact is that each of us can choose our words. I believe that if enough of us choose well, and choose well often enough, we can make the next generation a bit better.

We can reduce all violence.

Next, we’ll revolutionize the food industry. Perhaps reverse global warming, too?

Then I’ll dance.

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