Eve Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues, launched a revolution. Seventeen years later, V-Day, the worldwide movement inspired by the play, has raised over 100 million dollars to help women and girls suffering from violence and discrimination.
"It's amazing; it's an incredible movement. When I wrote it I had no idea what would happen. It's been quite miraculous. Of course, that's because of so many amazing women across the planet," says Ensler.
But Ensler is more interested in talking about her new book, In the Body of the World, a memoir about her bout with cancer and her time in the Congo. "I care more about discussing the issues. I don't care about the personal stuff."
Her latest book delves deeply into the violence suffered by women, graphically describing their rape and torture. Ensler, a survivor of sexual abuse, has made it her life's work to help victims become survivors.
"For seven years I was in the middle of a war zone where women were suffering. The violence escalated to the point of madness. I was working with Dr. Denis Mukwege to serve the women; we helped them build, get back into their bodies. Women who have suffered gender violence go back and become leaders in their community."
She hopes her memoir will continue that work. Says Ensler, "I'm hoping the book will inspire people to wake up and get back into their bodies."
Ensler supports other groups and movements as well. When asked what she thought about SlutWalk, she stated, "I support anything that is moving women forward and helping women reclaim their bodies. SlutWalk is fabulous."
Having visited Miami before, she has no plans to explore our fair city while in town for her book signing on Saturday, June 1, at the Coral Gables Congregational Church. "I've visited Miami many times. There are many activists there; V-Day is very active. I'm just going to meet with activists and do a fundraiser."
We did get her to answer one non-book related question for us, though it took much cajoling. What would this uber feminist do if she were president for one day? What executive orders would she issue? "I think I'd get rid of presidents. Get rid of the patriarchy. Give people the power. When we rely on presidents, we live in a world where we don't protect the environment, we don't protect women."
Ensler speaks this Saturday, June 1, at the Coral Gables Congregational Church. Start time is 6 p.m. The event is presented by Books & Books, the Women's Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County, and The Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College. It is open to the public, but tickets are required. Pick up tickets at Books & Books in Coral Gables or get them online via eventbrite.com.
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