I would like to introduce you to one of my heroes. The great thing about the hero archetype is that they are always trying to save the world. With Eve, we can say that literally. Earlier this year, she incited a global flash mob through her V-Day campaign – an effort put forth by her non-profit 1 Billion Rising to raise awareness and stop the violence against women around the globe – in which every country in the world participated. Every country. Every single country in the world was dancing and submitting videos calling out for an end to the horrors that many women face in the world today. Who else has had that kind of reach? I still can’t wrap my head around it, but that’s ok, because my heart gets it at such a profound level.
In her brilliance, Eve is using dance to communicate the undiminishable power of both body and spirit. Through the body, where our femininity has such wisdom and power, and through the dance, where we celebrate and connect to the web of humanity – we rise.
Eve Ensler is one of the most important supporters and activists of women’s rights of our time. Her art and activism has inspired thousands of women around the world, to open up and share their own stories. Eve is a Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, author and activist. Her signature play The Vagina Monologues, has been translated into over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries, including sold-out runs at both Off-Broadway’s Westside Theater and on London’s West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment).
Her experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global activist movement that aims to stop violence against women and girls. V-day raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of the award-winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. In 2011, over 5,600 V-Day benefits took place. The V-Day movement has raised over $90 million and educated millions. Eve’s latest book, In the Body of the World (Metropolitan Books) — the book is a brave and beautiful examination of an illness, unlike anything ever written about cancer.
Eve has written numerous articles for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune. She was named one of US News & World Report’s “Best Leaders” in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School and one of “125 Women Who Changed Our World” by Good Housekeeping Magazine (2010). In 2011 she was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.”
Eve Ensler mentioned in a recent interview in Origin Magazin:
“Freedom, that’s the kind of power I’m interested in. When we help each other get free, then it’s not about anybody being on top or anybody being on the bottom. It’s about being together, in a community. One of the many wonderful things about One Billion Rising was to see how everybody took this energy that was circulating around the planet and turned it into what they needed it to be. To me, that’s where freedom and energy come together.” ~ Eve Ensler
Eve Ensler was a keynote speaker at Emerging Women Live 2013, where she shared with us “In the Body of the World”.
She spoke about themes from her most recent memoir, a meditation on separation and connection—to the body, the self, and the world.
Eve has devoted her life to the female body—how to talk about it, how to protect and value it. Yet she spent much of her life disassociated from her own body—a disconnection brought on by her father’s sexual abuse and her mother’s remoteness.
“Because I did not, could not inhabit my body or the Earth,” she writes, “I could not feel or know their pain.” But Ensler is shocked out of her distance. While working in the Congo, she is shattered to encounter the horrific rape and violence inflicted on the women there. Soon after, she is diagnosed with uterine cancer, and through months of harrowing treatment, she is forced to become first and foremost a body—pricked, punctured, cut, scanned. It is then that all distance is erased. As she connects her own illness to the devastation of the earth, her life force to the resilience of humanity, she is finally, fully—and gratefully—joined to the body of the world.
In her talk and her work, Eve Enlser is unflinching, generous, and inspiring; she calls on us all to embody our connection to and responsibility for the world.
Enjoy this TEDTalk below where Eve Ensler talks about her lifelong disconnection from her body – and how two shocking events helped her to connect with the reality, the physicality of being human.
If you are dedicated to living a fully expressed life that thrives on authenticity, creativity, and the power of your unique self, Emerging Women Live is your tribe.
***Featured image of Eve Ensler © by Brigette Lacombe.