V-Day invites men to help end sexual violence

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    TCU’s V-Day Campaign hopes to add male perspective to their annual conversation surrounding sexual and domestic violence.

    Male TCU students are invited to audition for “A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer.” This will be the first performance of the play in the north Texas region.

    “What makes this show interesting is that there are monologues written for men, written by men and from a man’s perspective on violence towards women,” said Trevor Frets, a senior BFA acting major.

    According to the national V-Day campaign website, V-Day is “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.” The campaign “promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations.”

    Frets is the first male student to participate in the TCU V-Day Campaign. He was a stage manager for “The Vagina Monologues” as a first-year student.

    The current officers of the TCU V-Day Campaign said they want more men to participate because the issues of domestic violence and feminism are not exclusive to women.

    But rather, the officers said these are human issues.

    “It doesn’t just affect women,” said Taylor Otey, a junior BFA acting major. “It affects everyone. It’s about equality between the genders, not having one of the genders being recognized as better.”

    Frets, the only man who has worked on TCU V-Day Campaign so far, said he agrees with Otey.

    “As an openly gay man,” Frets said, “I’m not just an advocate for gay rights; I’m an advocate of human rights.”

    The V-Day officers say their goal is to start more diverse conversations regarding domestic and sexual violence.

    “It opens up thoughts that aren’t normally accessed,” Otey said. “They’re hidden away. It’s taboo to talk about them in public. [But] if it doesn’t personally affect you, it affects someone. And that’s important.”

    TCU V-Day Campaign will also have auditions to cast women for “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler, a collection of stories from real women regarding sexual and domestic violence.

    Auditions will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. in SGA office on the first floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union.

    Only “A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer” has male parts.

    The shows are scheduled to be performed on Feb. 13 to 15. During this week, the campaign will host events to raise money and awareness about domestic and sexual violence.

    These events will include fundraisers at popular restaurants by campus and an open mic night on campus, senior speech pathology major Rachel Nelson said.

    TCU’s Senseless Acts of Comedy organization works with many of the V-Day Campaign events. The comedy troupe sets up information tables before the shows and takes “Pictures with Cupid” for Valentine’s Day.

    TCU’s V-Day campaign started in 2004, so this year is its 10th anniversary.

    The money raised from the show tickets, the events and any budget surplus is given to the SafeHaven of Tarrant County women’s shelter.

    Last semester TCU V-Day donated over $3,000 to the Tarrant County women’s shelter. The officers hope to donate even more this coming year.

    The campaign strongly encourages students, especially young men, to get involved, because these acts of violence have happened to TCU students.

    “The statistic I know is one in four women will be raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime; the statistic for men is not that far off [one in six],” Frets said.

    “People don’t realize that. With ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ we need to raise awareness about the horrible things that are happening to women, but everyone can be affected.”