It has been over six years since Eve Ensler’s world of the vagina was thrown open to India.
Since then, the American feminist and author of the play, The Vagina Monologues, has continued her association with India through V-Day, her global charitable movement that fights violence against women. This week, Ensler was in Mysore to speak at the Technology Entertainment Design (TED) Conference. In Mumbai for the premiere of her new play, I’m an Emotional Creature: the Secret Lives of Girls on Thursday, she spoke to Hindustan Times about her passions:
Your new play and the book it is based on will be released globally only in February. Why did you choose to premiere it in India?
There are a variety of reasons. I just love this country, with its multiculturalism, its crossovers and vibrant energies.
And Mahabanoo Modi-Kotwal’s group has done a wonderful job with Vagina Monologues here, putting their heart and soul into it. I wanted them to do my new play too. This play is about how all cultures, universally, train girls to please others and to do things they don’t really want to. We really need to provoke the world to change. I am so moved by the powerful group of local girls performing in the play. It is very overwhelming to see their devotion to the cause, especially after you see so many troubling things in the world.
How was your experience at the TED conference in Mysore?
It had some very compelling speakers, and I was really pleased with the responses to my talk. I spoke about the need for all of us – men and women – to activate our inner girl- side. It is pretty sad how harshly patriarchy tyrannizes men. So it was amazing to see men come up to me after my talk and thank me for talking about the ‘girl’ side in them.
How did you like the Indian renditions of The Vagina Monologues?
I thought they were great. The translations in Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati have made the play more localised, which is important. Now more women are breaking the silence about their vaginas.
What is your next project?
I am working on a play called OPC – it’s about Obsessive Political Correctness. It’s a satire that I have been working on for a few years, but I can’t say much more about it.
Ensler’s play, I’m an Emotional Creature: The Secret Lives of Girls, will premiere at the Tata Theatre, NCPA, on November 12