Girls, ignore adults who wish you to be less than you are (March 2010)

So many women I saw at The Vagina Monologues were trying to overcome what was muted in them when they were young.

These last few months I have been on the road with V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. I have visited colleges, safe houses, after-school programmes and orphanages. I have been in war zones, cities and in the fields – the whole time listening to girls.

In Mumbai I meet Priya, 18, who stands up and asks, in a college hall full of men and women: “Why are boys heroes when they have sex with different girls, and girls who do the same thing considered sluts?” Her bravery allows other girls to speak out, and a fiery discourse follows that unleashes secrets, anger and desire for liberation.