On Monday, Portland State University’s Women’s Resource Center donated nearly all the revenue from their “V-Day” events this past February.
Ticket sales generated $11,514 in revenue, and an art show of “vagina art” sold $1,060 worth of work, half of which went to the artists themselves. After subtracting an additional 10 percent for overhead, $10,743 was raised and donated to the Portland Women’s Crisis Line, which will help with establishing an outreach office for the organization, according to Carol Gooden-Rice, executive director of PWCL.
The Portland Women’s Crisis Line’s mission is to “operate a 24-hour a day crisis intervention hotline for women and children (and their supportive family and friends) who are victims/survivors of domestic or sexual assault.”
“We felt that it was necessary to give support and publicity to the PWCL, since there really is not enough in the community,” said Pollyanne Birge of the Women’s Resource Center. “With all the controversy about ‘The Vagina Monologues’, we wanted to show that not only were we providing entertainment, but support for specific programs in the community.”
Birge helped to bring “The Vagina Monologues” idea to the attention of other Women’s Resource Center members last September. She also brought her experience in producing the Obie Award-winning Eve Ensler play to Portland Community College as well.
Birge said what interested her most about the project was that the play “correlates with reality, with real-life examples, such as a 70 year-old woman finding her clitoris for the first time, and also that sex can be both good and bad. And there is something to be said about being able to say ‘vagina’ over and over again.”
“We’ve always had our office in confidential locations for safety reasons, but we’re looking to establish a small space where people can come directly to us for certain issues, so we can better serve the community.” Gooden-Rice said. Besides the crisis line, PWCL also provides transportation from danger to safety, in-person advocacy, information and referral and education programs, serving the Tri-County area as well as Vancouver, Wash. Contact them at 503-872-8627 for more details.
Besides the V-Day Movement, also called Victory Over Violence Day, which denounces violence against women on Valentine’s Day every year, the Women’s Resource Center is also holding other events such as the activist bell hooks on April 25 and a Take Back The Night event on May 2. For more information, contact them at 503-725-5675.
The Center also gave a $150 donation from the proceeds to the Intersex Society of North America, an organization created by survivors of intersex genital mutilations “to connect with other intersex people and to take back the control over our own bodies.”