Victory Over Violence with Eve Ensler

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Talking with a friend about menopause, Eve Ensler struck up a casual conversation that ultimately led to a grassroots movement that quickly spread around the world, raising awareness about violence against women. Driving the movement is Ensler's innovative play, The Vagina Monologues, a powerful production that has ignited an outpouring of emotion in women and men alike from New York City, to rural Oklahoma, to tiny villages in the Middle East, Central America and Africa. Now V-Day-for vagina, violence, victory and even vote-is celebrated on February 14th in all corners of the globe as a statement against violence in all its many forms. Ms. Ensler believes, "if we can imagine a world without violence, we can create one," so in addition to raising awareness she has been instrumental in opening safe houses in some of the most oppressive cultures of the world, helping to put an end to female genital mutilation, and even liberating men from the oppression of their own grief. She works with "vagina warriors" all around the world, women and men who hold their own experience of violence in their bodies and then transform it by devoting their lives to working toward a saner, safer world. (Hosted by Justine Willis Toms)

Bio

Eve Ensler's Obie Award winning play, The Vagina Monologues, was performed more than 2,300 times in 1,100 cities in 2003. She is also the creator of the play, Necessary Targets, and is featured in the film, Until the Violence Stops, which documents the movement generated by her work.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is the relationship between your experience of grief and your ability to do harm to others
  • How art can provide a place for you to grieve
  • What is the deep, unexpressed grief that most of us carry
  • How can violence against women in one part of the world affect you and everyone else
  • Why patriarchy actually oppresses men as well as women
  • Why the ultra thin model of feminine beauty may be a way of making women disappear
Host: Justine Willis Toms      Interview Date: 1/30/2004      Program Number: 3029