Thursday, April 19, 2007

Take Back the Night

As promised, here is a lovely post about my school's Take Back the Night program. You're lucky all I have to do here is type, because I have little to no voice.

At 7:30 was a rally to get everybody pumped up for the night ahead. First on the program was a vocal artist/poet/singer Crista Bell. She was very woman-oriented and had a fire within her that spread, eventually to the crowd of mostly women, with a few men intermixed. She was vagina-friendly. Then came a group of students each saying why they fought against sexual violence. After that a trio performed a poem-thingy called "My short skirt" about the fact that wearing a short skirt is not an invitation to rape. A female musician, Misty Flowers was next, and she sung (and played the guitar to) a version of the song/poem "I rise" (Still I rise?) originally written by Maya Angelou but sung by Ben Harper. Last, but not least, were the Radical Cheerleaders, women with lots of enthusiasm for the rights of women to feel safe everywhere.

After we went outside it took a couple minutes for everyone to get out, some people lit up (gross!) and I got to meet someone new who I pretty much stuck around for most of the march. We marched all around the campus, getting a few new women along the way, escorted by the city police (Whoot! We had a police escort! Whoot!). Then we went to the downtown, yelling inspiration slogans along the way. There were many people just standing or sitting outside their homes watching and listening to us. Then we went back up a whole bunch of hills to the place outside our performing arts center where we started. Misty Flowers sang again, first Stand by Me, which the crowd joined in to, appropriately, then four more songs about getting out of her abusive relationship, which were so wonderful. There is almost nothing so beautiful as a lone voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar, it is just so, how can I say it, awe-inspiring and classically beautiful, primal and essential.

After that there was tea and cookies for everyone, including the men, who held a candlelight vigil while we women were out marching. At this point I realized that I had lost my voice, despite my extensive use of my diaphragm (I knew learning how to sound off in NJROTC would help me sometime) and not as much of my vocal cords to power my chants. I got to see some people I've only heard about, but somehow just recognized from an oft-heard description. Weird how that works sometimes. The mint tea I had allowed me a little of my voice back for half a minute or so between sips (gulps really), which was nice, and I'm hoping sleep will help with it too. I think I may have to have another day of silence, or almost silence, tomorrow.

I guess I should turn in. Tata for now.

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