26 February 2010

Witnessing a Revolutionary Powerhouse: My Night with Eve Ensler

 With Eve Ensler at Busboys & Poets (14th & V) 02.24.10 - Photo taken by Jasmine Utsey
Last night I had the wonderful pleasure and utmost privilege to hear the words of Vagina Monologues and V-Day Movement Creator Extraordinaire, Eve Ensler. She was doing a reading, lecture and signing of her latest book, I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World at Busboys & Poets in DC.  
I have followed Eve Ensler since first watching the televised performance of the Vagina Monologues on HBO in 2002. I was so inspired by her wonderful madness and proud womanhood that I simply had to get to New York City to see the monologues for myself, in the flesh and on the stage. I became officially baptized as a vagina warrior in 2004 after witnessing the mind-blowing performance of three very brave, talented, and hilarious women on one very memorable night in Manhattan. After that night, you couldn’t get me to shut-up about the monologues. I told all my loved ones that they would forever be losers in my book if they didn’t go see the show (still…seriously, if you’re reading this and don’t know anything about the Vagina Monologues, its not too late for you…go see them, download them, buy the book, just do it!)
When the opportunity arose in 2008 during law school to perform one of the monologues as part of a V-Day fundraiser, I immediately signed up. This was my chance to become involved and bear my soul for the V-Day cause. The experience was so moving and wonderful that I did the same monologue 2 years in a row. I truly felt like I was participating in something monumental by educating and bringing awareness to my community.
Perhaps after following her work and hearing the atrocities Ensler has witnessed throughout the world, I expected an intense, angry, and intimidating feminist however the woman I met emanated nothing but light, love, kindness, and warmth. She gave me a fun high-five after telling her I performed “The Flood” in my alma matter’s VM production. Her beautiful bright red smile overpowers her face and immediately puts you at ease. In her lecture at B&P, Ensler spoke of the current situation in the Congo where the rape and torture of thousands of women and children take place on a daily basis. She spoke of sex slavery, sexual assault, political corruption, big government spending and asked why we all weren’t pissed off with the state of things. She urged grass-roots activism and conceptual change, essentially a revolution where all people can reach a place of tolerance, acceptance, and peace.
She gave me "vagina blessings" and christened me as an "emotional creature"...which I proudly accept!

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