Living in America it is very easy to take for granted the opportunities available to me and my daughters. Because we have access to education and fair wages, we forget that even in the 21st century, this is still not the case for many women and girls across the globe. One Billion Rising is a movement to raise awareness around women's issues. One trendy strategy they are using is worldwide flash mob demonstrations scheduled to take place on Valentine's Day. Each location will take footage and it will be edited together into, what I am sure will be, a very moving video of women from just about every culture standing up for each other.
Now, even though both of my daughters have been dancing for several years, I am not a dancer. And the type of dancing required for the flash mob is probably my least favorite style of dancing (it has a world funk/zumba feel to it). HOWEVER, I felt like this was a great opportunity to talk to my daughters more about struggles girls their age face in other countries and to show them how they can use dance to make a statement.
We attended our first rehearsal this afternoon and there were 40 to 50 of us aged 8 to 68. Yes, I was totally outside of my comfort zone as I tried to follow the steps, but as the song built to the end and culminated with everyone pointing to the sky, I have to admit, I got a little choked up. Many ages and backgrounds were represented in just our small room, and I imagined the actual event uniting us all across so many different boundaries.
Our community is staging our flash mob mid-afternoon on Valentine's Day. Many are planning on joining a bigger mob in Seattle that evening, which is expected to draw thousands of participants. And though some might ask what a flash mob accomplishes, I can say it has already been effective in our household, establishing connections, sparking conversations and exploring actions we can take to make a difference.