Eve Ensler, playwright, performer, and activist, is the bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues, translated into over 45 languages and performed in over 130 countries including high schools and colleges in the United States. Her experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. To celebrate V-Day 2010, Random House is proud to announce the publication of Ensler’s newest book, I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, a collection of fictional monologues and stories inspired by girls around the globe. Educators can sign up to download the curriculum by clicking here.
Check out the following piece by Ensler, “The Future Is Girl”.
The Future Is Girl by Eve Ensler
The future is girl.
Imagine girl is a cell that each of us is born with.
Imagine this girl cell to be central to the evolution of our species and an insurance for the continuation of the human race.
Imagine instead that a few powerful invested in owning this world understood that the oppression of this cell was key to their retaining power so they reinterpreted this cell, undermining its value, getting us to believe in the weakness of this cell and they initiated a process to crush, eradicate, annihilate, humiliate, belittle, censor, reduce, and kill off the girl cell.
This was called patriarchy.
Imagine girl is a chip in the huge microcosm of our collective consciousness that is essential to the balance, wisdom the future of humanity.
Imagine girl is the part of each of us that feels compassion, empathy, passion, intensity, association, relationship, emotion, vulnerability, intuitive intelligence, vision.
That compassion informs wisdom
That vulnerability is our greatest strength
That emotions have inherent logic and lead to radical saving action
Then remember those in power essentially taught us and conditioned us to believe the opposite:
Compassion clouds your thinking
Vulnerability is weakness
Emotions are not to be trusted
Don’t take things personally
To be a boy means not to be a girl
To be a man means not to be a girl
To be strong means not to be a girl
To be a woman means not to be a girl
To be a leader means not to be a girl
It must be very powerful to be a girl if everyone
Is trying not to be one.
But, why is girl perceived as either the most dangerous or the most pathetic?
Why is everyone – including girls – afraid to be a girl, embarrassed to be a girl, horrified to be a girl?
The irony of course
In denying girl
In suppressing emotion
In refusing feeling
In the name of being rational
We have now come to live in a world
Where the most extreme acts of cruelty, greed, exploitation, mass rapes, genocide have become the norm and because our girl cell has been so successfully muted no one feels anything
And because no one feels, no one responds or resists
Having traveled the planet for 12 years, visiting over 60 countries, living essentially in the rape mines of the world, I have been with girls, I have witnessed their realities.
I have seen girls with knife wounds, cigarette burns
Treated like garbage
Beaten by their brothers and fathers and boyfriends and mothers
Starving themselves to death to
Looking the way they are supposed to look
We are so accustomed to denying girls to be the subjects of their own life that we have literally turned them into objects
Commodities in the marketplace
Bodies to be bought and sold and plundered
Married off or raped in the service of war
A girl is cheaper than a cow in many places
Rape is becoming the most widespread cheapest
form of conquering
Economic exploitation and control
Everyone sells girls
GIRLS ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, WHICH MAKES HUMANS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
I am here today to tell you:
1 in 8 people in the world today are girls between the age of 10 and 24. They are the fastest growing segment of the population in developing countries.
Their welfare is a fundamental input for key economic and social outcomes.
But, girls are in trouble. They face systematic disadvantages that keep them where society wants them, including lack of access to healthcare, education, healthy foods, and labor force participation. The burden of household tasks and caring for younger siblings ensures that they will never overcome these barriers.
Because of deprivation and discrimination many poor girls are forced to marry at very young ages and are extraordinarily vulnerable to HIV, sexual violence, and physical exploitation. Lacking a full range of economic opportunities and devalued simply because they are female, many girls are seen as unworthy of investment or protection by their families.
BUT I AM HERE TO SAY THAT GIRLS ARE THE FUTURE.
The state of girls, the condition of girls in the world – and in us – will determine if this species survives.
I believe unleashing the intensity of girls, the outrage of girls, the passion of girls, is the only thing capable of chipping away the thick sludge of denial, oppression and indifference which has led to our insane acceptance of a world spinning us towards our end.
What I have witnessed across this planet is the
Wild, natural resiliency and wisdom and fierceness
and grace and radical devotion and nobility of girls
Girls everywhere are defying what WE want for them and rather are seeking out what THEY want for themselves. They are wired – in that girl cell – to do this, to not deny what they know to be their truth.
The girl cell is our greatest resource
A renewable, untapped energy field like the wind
If we activate and allow it to resist, dare, challenge,
feel, and connect, rather than please and surrender.