She is the award-winning playwright of the theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues. And now, Eve Ensler's new book, Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World, is garnering rave reviews! Gayle talks to Eve about her works, her childhood and her life.
In The Vagina Monologues, Eve celebrates female sexuality and urges women to love and own their vaginas. Eve says for years women have had difficulty even saying the word "vagina."
"I think it has to do with shame, humiliation, trauma, being led to believe that that part of us is somehow off-limits, detached, dirty, not beautiful, not delicious, not wonderful, not ours," Eve says. "Vaginas are beautiful."
Eve says in the years since The Vagina Monologues was first released, women have approached her with stories of how they were beaten, raped or victims of violence. "It was shocking," she says. "I knew there was violence against women. But I had no idea of the epidemic proportions." The performance eventually inspired the creation of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women. Since 1997, it has spread to 91 countries, 45 languages and raised more than $40 million, Eve says.
"We are literally building a movement that is empowering women, and really it begins with saying the word; it begins with owning the word."
Eve talks to Gayle about her own childhood—she was just a few years old when her father began sexually and physically abusing her. "I think I was a consequence of violence—I was an outcome of violence—and that completely shaped who I was," Eve says.
In her newest book, Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World, Eve takes a closer look at our new, security-obsessed reality, drawing on interviews with women from around the world.
"I, from a very early age, distrusted [the] thing that was being called 'security,'" Eve says. "And so when I went out into the world I thought, 'Alright, I'm going to go and find logic and security. It's not in my house but it's in the world.' And ironically, I was drawn to all these places I was terrified of in search of 'Why do people do violence?', 'Why are people cruel?', 'What is security?'"