A night with Eve Ensler.
February 13, 2012
On a whim, a colleague of mine and I found ourselves getting tickets to see Eve Ensler speak about human rights – more specifically, women’s rights.
She’s an American playwright who most famously wrote, ‘The Vagina Monologues’ but more importantly, she’s an activist for women’s human rights world-wide.
She was introduced as a warrior. How wonderful.
And she was. The horrific statistics and stories that she told about the raping, assaulting, stoning, burning, sex trafficking, genital mutilating and so on, of women around the world, right now, left us stunned – it was like the audience was holding its breath. As I listened, I knew that women were suffering worldwide, but not at this catastrophic level – a place we’ve never been at before. A sense of hopelessness took hold.
Nevertheless, I left inspired and with a fire in my belly – because there was also joy in some of her stories…and FIGHT. *Just look a deep breath*
She talked about having a voice. And that’s the answer. Women need to learn, observe, express and QUESTION the world around them – a world where women are not exploited and are equal in Every. Single. Way.
This is impossible without women using their voice. This blog is my voice.
The icing on the cake, for me, is that Eve’s a playwright, who has seen how healing it is when women watch theatre and learn the wonder of free expression. She inspires women who have been through the unimaginable, to start to create change by saying and doing what they can – to stop it from happening to anybody else. And they succeed.
Eve started V-Day, which is actually tomorrow – Valentines’ Day. V- Day is to finally STOP violence against women. Clink on the link below and join the movement because 1 in 3 women worldwide will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. That’s worldwide and it’s a deeply embedded practice.
This movement also knows that there are countless men, who want to stand together with their daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers and grandmothers and join the ‘choir’.
She also opened ‘The City of Joy’ – a place for countless women to go to, who have been victims of rape in the Republic of Congo.
Eve not only walks the walk, she talks the talk. We need to follow suit.
Eve’s latest book is a collection of stories about young women from around the world. Some are fictitious and others aren’t – but they represent a rainbow of young women. It’s called, ‘I’m an Emotional Creature’ and this is an excerpt from Eve’s introduction:
When I was your age, I didn’t know how to live as an emotional creature. I felt like an alien. I still do a lot of the time. I don’t think it has much to do with the country I grew up in or the language I speak. In this book you will meet girls from everywhere.
Some live in remote villages, others in huge cities or posh suburbs. Some worrying about whether they will be able to afford the latest purple UGGs, some worrying if they’ll ever get home after two years of being held as a sex slave. Some deciding whether they are able to kill a supposed enemy, some on the brink of killing themselves, some desperate for the next meal, some unable to stop starving themselves.
Girls from Cairo, Kwai Yong, Sofia, Ramallah, Bukavu, Narok, Westchester, Jerusalem, Manhattan, Paris. All of them, all of you, live on the planet right now. I think whatever country or town or village you physically live in, you inhabit a similar emotional landscape. You all come from girl land. There you get born with this awakeness, this open-hearted, have to eat it, taste it, know it, defy it.
Then the ‘grown-ups’ come with their rules, their directions. They teach you how to make yourselves less, so everyone feels more comfortable. They teach you not to stand out. They get you to behave.
I am older now. I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay withe being different, with being this alive, this intense. I just don’t want you to have to wait that long.
Question #14: Are you with me ladies? Do you have something to say?