Thursday, September 29, 2011

My one hour journey with Eve Ensler

By: Sharanya Ramesh

“Good is towing the line, being behaved, being quiet, being passive, fitting in, being liked, and great is being messy, having a belly, speaking your mind, standing up for what you believe in, fighting for another paradigm, not letting people talk you out of what you know to be true,”

Eve Ensler inspires. She has the ability to grab your attention and keep it and leave you wanting more. Much more. She had that effect on me, and on many others the day she visited us in college to talk about her world wide known play “The Vagina Monologues” and her experiences as she travelled around the globe spreading awareness.
Eve Ensler is more than just a writer. She is an American playwright, performer, feminist and an activist. Her words create an immediate impact on anyone who is listening to her.Her play “The vagina Monologues” was written in 1996. First performed in the basement of the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village, The Vagina Monologues has been translated into 45 languages and performed in over 119 countries. Celebrities who have starred in the play include: Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Idina Menzel, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Marin Mazzie, Cyndi Lauper and Oprah Winfrey.
She came to Sophia college and spent a few hours talking about her plays and experiences with us. She spoke with passion and with such honesty that we were transported to another world. She told us why women of many cultures and backgrounds perceive pressure to change the way they look in order to be accepted in the eyes of society. She spoke with conviction and belief and I believe that element of her’s, to be able to connect with everyone girls, boys, men and woman alike is what makes her such a popular icon. She spoke to us about various issues ranging from self esteem, being comfortable with our own body and her experiences with women all over the world. Her own incidents, whether it is her traumatic childhood, or her experiences with the women of Congo, left me quite frankly speechless. What struck almost everyone who listened to her stories was the sheer magnitude of awareness she created. Not many of us knew about the various issues in Congo and her speech made us all wake up and take notice. As she spoke I felt a sense of overwhelming sadness and strength. Sadness at the thought of all those she had met who suffer more than many of us could ever fathom. And a feeling of strength as she spoke with so much positivity and hope that it made me believe that women all over the world would soon see themselves in the same light that she saw them in. Her words created an impact with everyone in the hall that day. When I entered the hall that day, I did not know I would come out feeling empowered and proud. She was a wonderful speaker and it was a golden opportunity for those who heard her words that day to take something away when they left. After all, it isn’t everyday that we hear such hard hitting truth from someone who has seen the worst, and come out a stronger and better person. I don’t think there were many people who came out and didn’t wonder or think about all that she said. She created an impact on each one of us that day. To an audience that was a majority of young girls, she reached in and answered questions about ourselves that we shunned away because we thought it would be embarrassing or wrong to ask. Eve Ensler is loud, inspiring and refreshingly honest. My one hour journey with her was one that left with a whole new perspective into life and it's way of working. She opened up rooms of thinking and views. Her stories and her books are an inspiration for all those who dare to open their minds.

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