We, as the coordinators of V-Day at OPRF High School, would like the opportunity to respond to Virginia Seuffert’s claim that “There must be better ways than ‘V-Day'” [Viewpoints, April 2]. It is not our intention to individually refute each of Ms. Seuffert’s points as the previous letters submitted by OPRF students and members of the Oak Park and River Forest communities have successfully accomplished. Rather, we would like to explain why we put on V-Day-why the concert that so many have rallied behind these past few weeks is so important.

As stated on the V-Day website, “V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, and sexual slavery.”

Although this statement accurately describes V-Day, it cannot do justice to what our V-Day concert actually accomplishes. The purpose of OPRF’s V-Day concert is to provide students-both male and female-with a forum to openly discuss, own, and celebrate female sexuality.

OPRF students need this arena. Too often students in our school reference vaginas in pejorative terms. Too often teens suffer unwanted consequences from unprotected sex because they are not informed about safe sexual practices. Too often boys, girls, men, and women are subject to sexual assault, and all too often that assault goes unnoticed, or uncared about.

For these reasons Students for Peace and Justice sponsors V-Day every year. We understand the power V-Day has to address these societal problems. Although Ms. Seuffert believes that the ‘V’ in V-Day stands for “vulgar,” we know that the ‘V’ stands for “valentine,” “vagina,” and most importantly, “victory.”

SPJ is proudly passionate in our pursuit to better the world around us and will continue to do so. V-Day represents a long-standing international effort to aid, gain respect, and obtain rights for women. SPJ is proud to be a part of this tradition: This year’s V-Day celebration raised $1,385. Regardless of Ms. Seuffert’s beliefs, we will continue in our enthusiasm to make the world a better place-we believe that is what we are capable of accomplishing.


OPRFHS Students for Peace and Justice

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