Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Until the violence stops

Two weekends ago I watched both the Chinese and English performances of the Vagina Monologues. The first time I had heard about the productions, I thought to myself, "what kind of production is this?" Would there be sections that would make me blush? Would there be moaning and the speaking of words not usually spoken in public? Well, yes...but there were also portions that would move me, enlighten me. The most moving part of the performance was the focus of this year's Spotlight Campaign: Justice to Comfort Women. These so-called "comfort women" were civilians that were forced by the Japanese military to become sex slaves during World War II. I vaguely remembered hearing briefly about it during high school, but hadn't paid the issue much attention. Four of these surviving women—now in their 80s and 90s—bravely took the stage. Their stories are shocking, harrowing, tragic…and I am grateful that these women have gone public with their stories to demand the apologies owed to them so that my daughters, sisters, mothers, and I will not face that terror.

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