The Big Question; The Big V

A question has been hanging in the air for some time now. We’ve been trying to ignore it, but now there’s definitely no escaping it. It’s February the first, people! Time to step up and get answering; What are you doing for Valentines Day?

Whatever romantic situation you’re in, and whatever you think of the dreaded Hallmark holiday, this question is probably taunting you from inside and out. So here’s a couple of ideas that may answer the ‘what are you doing’ question whilst also answering your need to do something a little more worthwhile than an overpriced candle-lit dinner…

As we should all know by now, Valentines day is also V-Day – a day of focus for the global ‘V-Day’ non profit movement, founded by Vagina Monologues writer Eve Ensler in 1998, that aims to end violence against women and girls. In an event to raise money for V-Day London, Volupte Lounge is moving into Ministry of Sound for the 14th and throwing a decadent party with all the trimmings; three-course meal, an 8-piece band, swing dance and lindy-hop lessons, taxi dancers, spoken word, live guest speakers, DJs, aerial acts, cabaret and burlesque*.

It looks set to be a lavish affair, and the price reflects that… but all proceeds go to V-Day London to end violence against women at home and around the world. You can also choose to opt out of the more expensive excesses and just get a ticket for the main party – tickets are available here.

If you’re looking for something feminist to fill your day with (and hoping to keep your evening free for some scheduled romance) then Feminist Fightback have the answer! Their ‘Sex, Work, and Sex Work: Building a feminist analysis and a feminist struggle’ discussion will take place between 4 and 7pm at The Foundry, 86 Great Eastern St, East London. After a screening of the ‘Estrellas de la Linea’ documentary, feminists, sex workers and researchers will talk around the following areas;

What does understanding sex work as labour bring to our analysis of prostitution? How might it change the way sex workers and feminists fight exploitation and violence? When is sex work and when is it play?  What new ways of ‘workplace’ organizing need to emerge in order to engage with other forms of ‘affective’ labour or care work?

Suggested reading for this discussion includes Noah D. Zatz , ‘Sex Work/Sex Act: Law, Labor, and Desire in Constructions of
Prostitution’, Signs, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Winter, 1997), pp. 277-308. Email feminist.fightback@gmail.com if you cannot access a copy online.

Whatever you end up doing this V-Day, have a good one!

* Since I’m aware that burlesque isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, just thought I’d gather together some Feminist responses to burlesque, for your reading pleasure:

Fat Women in Burlesque on The F Word.org

Burlesque Laid Bare by Laurie Penny for The Guardian

Feminism vs Burlesque by Lipstick Lori on Rarely Wears Lipstick

Deirdre does Burlesque by Mandy Van Deven on Bitch

Can Burlesque be Feminist? by Chloe Emmot on The FWord.org.uk

By: Sarah Barnes, 01.02.2010 | Comments (0)
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