http://www.vday.org V-day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.
http://www.randomhouse.com/features/ensler/vm Information on “The Vagina Monologues” book and also personal information on Eve Ensler.
http://feminist.com Feminist.com is a grassroots, interactive community by, for and about women.
http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/02/02-02ensler-speech.html Eve Ensler’s entire speech on Afghanistan (Audio version also available.)
http://talentdevelop.com/EveEnsler.html An article by New York Times about Eve Ensler.
http://rawa.fancymarketing.net/marie-c.htm Eve Ensler’s experience in Afghanistan in her efforts to help Afghan women. Some pictures included.
http://www.wmenagainstwar.org/issues/ensler.htm Eve Ensler’s letter to President Bush.
The Vagina Monologues
Feelings of anger, rage, sadness, and empathy coursed
through my body, as did happiness, joy, and a sense of togetherness. I have
never experienced so many emotions after reading a book. This book must have
a profound affect on every woman, regardless of her age, race, or religion.
The most difficult aspect to comprehend is that only a minute portion of the
female population was interviewed. How is it possible that females around the
world are continually raped, assaulted, molested, harassed, and mutilated? For
many people, both men and women, the title of the book can be overpowering.
The word “vagina” was not a frequent word in my vocabulary and it
definitely was not spoken in my parent’s house. The first time I remember
hearing the word “vagina” was in a human development class. I was
around ten years old and there was a diagram of the female body. As we mapped
out each part and shouted out the answers, the teacher encouraged us. However,
the class and the teacher became very quiet when we got to the vagina. The teacher
and many of the parents could not utter the word, so it is no great wonder why
their daughters struggle with the word “vagina.”
I am proud to say that after reading “The Vagina Monologues,” I had two lengthy discussions regarding the book. One of the women I spoke with had some trouble with the word “vagina.” She asked if we could call it a “Regina” because it didn’t sound nasty. In time, I hope the work of Eve Ensler and the V-Day Project continues to help women around the world. I also hope, in time, that the word “vagina” is not a nasty word.
Eve Ensler Short Biography
Eve Ensler grew up in Scarsdale, New York, in a wealthy family. Her father was a food company executive, and her mother a homemaker. As a child, her father abused Ensler both sexually and physically. The sexual abuse stopped when she was 10, but her punishments continued. Her mother knew of the abuse but was scared to interfere. Ensler started to devote her life to stopping violence towards women at a young age much to do to the fact she was abused growing up. The abuse lead to her becoming an alcoholic in high school “she called it self medicating.” Ensler enrolled in Middlebury College in Vermont. This is where she wrote an undergraduate thesis on suicide in contemporary poetry. Ensler was to blame for herself for everything that happened growing up. She was accepted to Yale Drama School of the Arts but couldn’t afford to attend. After college Ensler drank herself across country, she was getting into bar fights, and having relationships with both men and women. At the age of 24 she became sober and began writing for the theater. Her first play was about abolishing nuclear energy and she performed in churches and at rallies across New York. She worked for Chelsea against Nuclear Destruction United, and organization that helped her learn grass roots organizing. Ensler married Richard McDermott, owner of the West Fourth Street Salon. They legally adopted her son Dylan whose mother died at the age of 5.
He was 19 and she was 25 at the time of the adoption. She later divorced McDermott. But loving her son, this made Ensler a real human being. Her son Dylan ironically was the first to introduce Ensler to stardom. Dylan introduced her to Joanne Woodard his acting teacher at the time in the Neighborhood Playhouse in Manhattan. It was they’re where Ensler met with Woodard and she began writing plays. She wrote “Depot” and “Scooncat” and later wrote “Cinderella/Cendrillon” after the Music Theater Group asked her too. Her big hit was “The Vagina Monologues” it came about when she was having a conversation with a friend about menopause. Her friend started talking about her vagina with such hatred that she became appalled. She began to interview women from all walks of life about the subject. Like in her previous plays. Ensler used humor to break down her audience’s with laughter. This play was part of Ensler’s crusade to wipe out the shame and embarrassment that many women associate with their bodies or their sexuality. It also brought her reason to smile. Her play was performed all over the world. She later went on to write “Conviction” which is about two sisters one of them who have been in prison and “Lemonade” which is about a man who murders his family and takes a new identity. Eve Ensler has learned to talk about her past and experiences and helped others to deal and confront their pains through humor and acceptance.
Pictures and a brief biography
Eve Ensler has risen closed to $14 million to date from her famous V-Monologues Project. For complete details of her life and work: http://www.lifetimetv.com/shows/ip/portraits/0303/0303_bio.html
An excellent site about her V-Monologues Project: http://www.vday.org/contents/vday/aboutvday/eveensler
Birthday: May 25, 1953
Birthplace: New York City
Occupation: Playwright, activist
Award: 1997 Obie Award for Playwriting
This is the biography of Eve Ensler
In 1999, "The Vagina Monologues," which
began its second New York run last Tuesday
(In previews at the Westside Theater).
The monologues are part of Ms. Ensler's crusade to wipe out the shame and embarrassment that many women still associate with their bodies or their sexuality.
It all began with "The Vagina Monologues,"
which opened at Here, the SoHo Theater, in 1996. Since the play was first staged
in New York, it has become something of a phenomenon, performed around the world,
in London, Stockholm, Athens, Zagreb and Jerusalem. By last February, the show
had become such an event that Ms. Ensler was able to persuade a large number
of celebrities to perform it as a benefit to call attention to violence against
Eve Ensler called the event V-Day. Whoopi Goldberg, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Lily Tomlin, Winona Ryder, Marisa Tomei, Rosie Perez, Calista Flockhart and others gathered at the Hammerstein Ballroom Theater in New York to recite the monologues with all their bald frankness and ribald humor.
Eve Ensler has a contract from Villard for a book, "Points of Re-entry," based on interviews with women about "parts of their bodies that they systematically hide destroy and transform and mutilate in order to fit in with their particular culture," she said.
What she hopes to do is bring all kinds of women into this movement." The idea of "victim hood" comes up frequently in Ms. Ensler's conversation. The foundation for "The Vagina Monologues," Ms. Ensler said, lies in her childhood experience as a victim of sexual and physical abuse. The monologues have been an effort to redeem the experience with humor, to enable others to confront painful truths that have been repressed through fear and shame.
She doesn't like talking about her childhood abuse, she said, out of fear of seeming conquered and destroyed by it.
Ms. Ensler grew up in Scarsdale in a prosperous family. Her father, who died 10 years ago, was a food company executive, her mother a homemaker. "I was deeply abused both sexually and physically by my father from an early age," Ms. Ensler said.
"He hit me a play about abolishing nuclear energy was performed in churches and at rallies. She worked for Chelsea Against Nuclear Destruction United, an organization that helped her learn grass roots organizing. She married Richard McDermott, owner of the West Fourth Street Saloon, and legally adopted his son, Dylan, whose mother had died when he was 5. Dylan is now the star of the hit television series "The Practice."
Ms. Ensler said: they were my mentors; Ms. Woodward and Ms. Knight. "My life forever changed as a result of this," she said. "It was the first time I ever found a way to bring my politics and my art self together."
In 1988, Ms. Ensler met Ariel Jordan, an Israeli psychotherapist. "I was absolutely terrified, just separated," she said. "I was into the throes of dealing with my childhood. He is an incredibly kind, generous, brilliant person." They began living together, though they have no plans to marry.
The Vagina Monologues" began with a conversation with a friend about menopause.
"She started talking about her vagina with such contempt and hatred," said Ms. Ensler. "I was appalled." She began interviewing women from all walks of life about their bodies. "In the beginning," she said, "they were tentative, nervous," but then they were "dying to reveal this other aspect of the self."
At the moment, Ms. Ensler is writing a screenplay for Glenn Close about women prisoners. As with other prominent women, Ms. Close's praise for Ms. Ensler is on the extravagant side. "I love her so much," she said. "Her coming into my life. I feel my life has changed." "You don't just hook up with Eve," Ms. Close added. "You become part of her crusade. There's a core of us who are Eve's army."
September 26, 1999 Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company (This is the info for the bibliography). By Dinitia Smith, The New York Times.
Eve Ensler is an Agent of Women who started a one-woman show called Vagina Monologues to stop the violence against women. This show talks about “The Vagina.” It talks about how we don’t talk about it because it is something that you just don’t do.
The show if filled with sparks of humor as well as terrible sad factual stories about women and their vagina’s being used and abused. This show has turned into a feminist phenomenon. Eve Ensler has used this show to spark awareness of violence against women and to raise money for its victims all over the world. Because of this phenomena feminist movement, V-Day came about. Eve Ensler is the founder of V-Day and is one of the largest woman’s movements in the world against violence. The above website is full of information about her. I would strongly suggest you check out the website for more information about Eve Ensler and the Vagina Monologues and for dates of events just in case you want to attend one and be part of this great feminist women’s movement.