From the activist author of Vagina Monologues comes I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the world. This book is Eve Ensler call to women around the world. “a call to girls, about girls, for girls, around the world, to be their own authentic selves”. We spoke to her about her new book, the girl revolution and how South African women fit in.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your book “I am an emotional creature: The secret Life of Girls around the World”?
Eve: It’s a basis of the theatre production, which we’re doing in South Africa soon. Also we want to create the next wave of V-girls and launch a power movement. V-girls empower themselves and one another in order to change the world they imagine. We want to create the next revolution. The girl revolution.
Q: At the moment South Africa is dealing with controversial “corrective rape” where some men rape lesbians in order to make them straight. How do you think this will effect your stage production of I am an Emotional creature?
Eve: I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I was thinking “Can I address it and write about it for my play?” I find these stories of corrective rape utterly appalling, grotesque and disgusting. What message is it sending to women that there can be such a things as corrective rape? As if its something that needs to be corrected or even can be corrected. I’m hoping that this allows women a platform to be enraged and outraged and to know that they can be powerful as a community
Q: In your book you deal a lot with violence against women, a subject very close to home here in South Africa where we have a the highest record of rape in the world. What message do you want to put out there for women in South Africa?
Eve: I’ve realised that South African women are powerful, giving, and envisionary and they are living in a patriarchal violent world. I want to empower girls, women and men and make them realise that women need to be protected and that there can be no future for humanity without this. We all need to collectively do something significant to pass laws and bills so that rapists and violators are held responsible.
Q: Where did the inspiration for the stories in your book come from? Are they bases on specific people you’ve met in your life?
Eve: It’s from all different experiences around the world. I travel a lot and I meet people with different stories to tell and I also try to imagine girls in different situations and how they would feel or act. For example I have never been to China but in my book I write about a Chinese girl who works in a factory making dolls. It’s a combination of fantasy; over hearing others and drawing on my own experiences. I think that’s what fiction writing is, really.
Q: You talk about the “girl self”. What do you mean by this?
Eve: When I speak about “girl power” myself its that part that is relentless, devoted, open, intimate, emotional, wild, fierce, intense, passionate, compassionate, connected to the heart, intuitive
Q: I love that you say the power of girls are the “greatest natural resource”. Can you talk more about this and how girls can empower themselves?
Eve: If you look at teenage girls they have an electric energy about themselves, you can imagine Southern girls at a slumber part- they’re wild (she laughs). Everyone is taught not to be a girl: boys are taught not to be girls, men are taught not to be girls, girls are taught not to be girls. It must be pretty powerful to be a girl if no one wants us to be like girls. I want this book to show girls to have an authentic voice to speak up and empower themselves.