April 01, 2017

Emma Watson interviews Eve Ensler - Part 4 (final)




Final part of Emma's interview with the author of 'The Vagina Monologues' for ELLE UK. Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.



PART 4. "The next stage of the women's uprising is upon us."

Emma Watson: I have a question from another one of my Book Club members, Sierra, who says: "As an intersectional feminist, how do you balance retaking ownership and pride in vaginas whilst still being an ally for trans women? Not a critique, just something I've been wondering recently due to the backlash after some of the Women's March defined their womanhood by their vagina."

Eve Ensler: This is what I am going to say: it's not either/or.

I know many women, for example, transgender women, who were very happy in the march and see themselves as very connected to those Pussy hats.

I know other transgender women who feel like being vagina-focused is exclusionary. But what I would say this: there are three billion women in the world who have vaginas. One out of three of them are being raped or battered.

I think we have to talk about vaginas now.

We have a president who is a confessed sexual assaulter and has openly bragged that he grabs women's pussies without their consent. We have many people in the White House and the government who want to prevent and push back women's reproductive rights or cut programs that end violence against women– these things are connected to our vaginas.

That is not to say that I don't stand in total solidarity with transgender women and do all I can to support their rights and getting their voices, experiences and stories into the world. I am very proud to have been a producer on Her Story, a trangendered TV series, written and directed and performed by transwomen.

I was proud to help get the play Transcripts, a play written and performed by Transwomen produced in the U.S. As I said earlier it's not either/or. It's more about how do we have each other's backs in a deeper more inclusive, conscious way.

Emma Watson: What do you say to women that normalise comments like Trump's? To the people who say, "Oh come on, get real, all guys speak like this, this is locker room talk, let's be real, this is how the world is," and they don't see it as truly threatening?

Eve Ensler: Look, we are all under the hood of patriarchy. We are all contained in this bubble. Everybody is at a different stage of consciousness.

If you had talked to me forty years ago, when I made jokes about my father beating me, and I made fun of all the terrible sexual experiences I had; I didn't have the consciousness, nor did I have the self-esteem, nor did I have a community, nor did I have a political framework, nor did I have the literature, nor did I have anything – and I certainly didn't have a way to address the pain that was inside of me.

To say that what Donald Trump is doing is horrible, you have to own that what happened to you is horrible. That's a very painful and difficult thing to do if you don't have the support or the community, if you don't have your sisters around you. I think often women internalise this hatefulness of patriarchy and end up protecting because it's too terrible to confront the depth of our own rage, depth of our own sorrow and the depth of our own hurt. You join it rather than feeling it.

Emma Watson: One last question from the book club.

Mystique asks: "How was your book received in various countries? Do you find that, broadly speaking, some countries are more accepting while others are more resistant? Do you think this is indicative of the way those same countries seem to feel about women in your own experiences?"

Eve Ensler: I've never gone anywhere where they welcomed vaginas at first. It always begins with hysteria and resistance. I would say that sitting in the audience in Manila or sitting in the audience in Croatia, or sitting in the audience anywhere, they laugh at the same places, they cry at the same places. Every place resists that play at the beginning and after time, after brave women keep going and insisting their bodies and beings have the right to exist, the community changes and the cultural gate keepers relax and the play is accepted.

Emma Watson: That is really, truly, profound to me.

Eve Ensler: Me too.

Emma Watson: When I put my speech together and when I was coming to all these realisations myself, I realised that no country in the world, whatever they say about what's better here or it's worse here, or we are terrible in Afghanistan, or whatever else, is that no country has achieved gender equality. No country is even close. No one's done it. No one!

Eve Ensler: The one thing you can count on across the world is that patriarchy reigns at this point in time - and that women are seen as second class citizens who have little to no rights or agency over their bodies and lives.

It doesn't matter what country you're in, except for maybe Sweden, I think Sweden's pretty impressive. Iceland is getting there.

But its also true that in every single country there are brave women bringing in The Vagina Monologues and tons of people desperately seeking liberation. Why has the play been going on for twenty years? Because many of us know deep down that when women are free, when women of colour are free, that freedom will catalyse the energy capable of remaking the world. I believe something is happening now. I think women - particularly looking at the March, looking at the demonstrations, this new resistance being led by women - I think the next stage of the women's uprising is upon us.

Emma Watson: This is my last question but, firstly, I want to say thank you so much! These answers, of course, have been beautiful. So, the single most important act of resistance. If you could choose just one thing that women do right now that you genuinely believe to be the most revolutionary and powerful, the single, biggest act of resistance, what would it be? I want people to walk away with "if you can hold onto this."

Eve Ensler: Trust your experience. Trust what you know and act on it. Don't WAIT for permission.

Emma Watson: That's so cool. That was such a big thing when I was younger. I was always waiting for someone to tell me it was okay for me to do something. Trust your experience, act on them, and don't wait to anyone to give you permission.

Eve Ensler: No one's going to give you permission to oust them or resist them. AND No ones in charge but the people pretending to be. Listen to your body. Follow your instincts. Fight for our Mother Earth and each other. If your privileged, share your platforms and serve those without privilege more deeply. Listen better. Dance. Rage. Have your anger. Laugh a lot. Have wild ecstatic sex. Spend more time imagining. Bow down to trees. And don't be embarrassed to love. Bigger.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

ah Trump bashing and nothing about Hilary enabling her husband?

hmmm such equality Emma :/

Eden said...

True. How dare Hilary Clinton not pay for the actions of her husband the way Trump is asked to pay for his own. Bad, woman! Bad!

Anonymous said...

Trump didn't assault anyone. There is no proof. There is hearsay. Hearsay does not convict in this country. She threatened Bill's victims with litigation. That's participation in his crimes. If it's true. That's hearsay too. I'll grant that.

Eden said...

I might have let my hatred for Trump take over. It's true it's hearsay for now too. But his behaviour towards women screams "sexual predator" so much to me. *shivers*

Anonymous said...

His comments are not proof of anything. He was merely saying, in what he thought was private circumstances, that if he wanted to he could. He did not say he did. And all those women were paid off. Hillary Clinton laughed about a victim of rape after getting her rapist acquitted (of which there is actual audio as well).

Giancarlo said...

^ you're such a Trump worshiper, debating with you is a total waste of time, everyone is paid off, there is no proof, I feel like reading the Bible, LOL

PDXP said...

lol, the Trump worshiping anon is still here? I don't even venture into the comments section THAT often!

Anonymous said...

Bless, Eden's activated his sock puppets lol

Anonymous said...

Trump worshippers, Watson worshippers, Clinton worshippers. I read comments from all them all the time in here. Irregardless of where anyone falls in line with them they are all fallible human beings who at times contradict themselves whether its learning life lessons or simply have a change of view. Point is, its not wrong to challenge Hillary's part in her husband's cheating scandals. She (whether she was in denial or not) helped sweep her husband's deeds under the rug and blamed the women for Bill's infidelity problem.

The only thing i get really annoyed with when it comes to feminism is this idea that gets promoted that all women should have a voice (which is true) but then when those same women believe, act, or do things that go against other women they are deemed "traitors" or "morons" by people like Steinem or Ensler. Either women can have independent thoughts or beliefs or they cant. Make up your mind on your stance.

Trying to portray your own thoughts or beliefs as the be all end all is just as bad as any sexism done to women by men. Being truly free means not having to follow any particular belief system. If some women dont care about locker room talk than that should be fine because its their decision as to what they feel they can be offended by. There are plenty of women who have worse potty mouths than the Great Trumpkin. While gender equality has a ways to go women should feel free to express themselves any way they wish even if that means they voted for a guy like Trump. And it doesnt mean they are broken or naive, it just means they believe in different things which is the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

what? Trumptards in the comment section? hhahahahaha now nobody can speak against him because if you do it's freaking FAKE NEWS LOL

Ross Taggart said...

Fascinating series of articles. Patriarchy alive and well. Not to Stoke the flames but Trump admits his comments on women there is a suggestion he is proud of them. Does anyone doubt if the patriarchy was not active this man would even have gotten nominated let alone elected.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Because everybody's tired of self righteous, suicidally altruistic, hypocritically intolerant SJWs. Anyone YOU don't like is a good candidate.

Anonymous said...

Just like Clinttards, Emmtards, Putintards, Merkeltards. Anytime someone does not agree with what stance one chooses to take, roll up the tards. I am not ashamed to be for Trump; if I am a Trumptard so be it. He may have a toilet mouth at times, but he is honest to say the least. I loved it on O'Reilly factor when B. Reilly said about Putin that he was a Killer. Trump point blank said 'so were we.' Trump calls a spad a spade. I do not like women who destroy a healthy feminism by trying to get special treatment. Like Trump once said when a woman asked if she could get a job in his business, he answered no problem if she could do the work. That is not disrespectful to women but realistic. Just like a woman who insists on working as a mechanic in an auto shop but can't do the heavy lifing, so wants to get a man. If you can't deal with the whole package of a job, you should not apply, but it is shady and daff feminism to apply for special treatment. As for Trump, I do wish he would be more careful in what he says, but I say give him time to prove himself. He is right when he say America first. We need a president who is looking out for his own people. We have people living in cars in the big city. Obama did nothing to help. Trump plans on working in the country. Let the Europeans take care of themselves.
Lou

Anonymous said...

Yeah, every down on Trump for not letting refugees in. Merkel was a fool to let them in without checking things out, now the IS infiltrators are blowing up Europe.Trump better keep us safe in the States. I'm a US muslim; i voted for Trump; I want to live in peace int he USA as Muslim. Keep IS out!

Anonymous said...

Trump is at a 35 percent approval rating and dropping, the worst of any president in history. He's an embarrassment. All he's done in office is sign laws that will hurt people and the environment. He's a liar, a fraud, and a crook. He only cares about one thing, himself. Stay tuned, people, Don the con's impeachment is coming real soon. Lock Him Up!

Anonymous said...

Prove it! We had a sorry package of presidential canditates. In my opinion Clinton was unvoteable with her litigation against those women who were harrassed (saying carefully) by Billy Stud. I say give Trump a chance. I don't think he is the worse we have had, he may be the one with the biggest mouth an maybe a bit thin-skinned.I hope he gives to his own people. For years US citizens shared the opinion that America's money was used to solve the world's ills. Everyone wants A merican soldiers in the hot spots to save on their own countrymen, and when it gets ugly, the Americans are always at fault. Right Mr. Trump, America first, but please tread carefully in foreign affairs. He is right to be critical of letting refugees in from certain countries, especially if they have no papers and are questionable. We do not need a repeat of 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Trump can not be impeached because of dislike. He has broken no law, and America is the oldest democracy and one of the youngest countries.I am glad that Clinton lost. She is the woman who stepped against women rights in a very brutal way. One should discuss that. Yes, Our great Trumpkin needs to watch his comments, but plays reality show with the press. Let's see how he helps America. Just for info, an acquaintance said that she was asked 4x about Trump: She is pro-Clinton. She said she was irritated after the 4th time. I wonder how much of that is going around.

Ross Taggart said...

9/11 bombers came from Saudi Arabia. Not on Trump racist exclusion list. Because he has business interests there. Now I don't judge a whole country by the actions of a few citizens but he does can only conclude business comes first.

Anonymous said...

I cant stand Trump by any means but i need to clear one thing up because people just dont research stuff before they spout off about something. The exclusion list was not created by Trump, it was created former President Obama. If people have a problem with the immigration issue they need to take that up with Obama who came up with the list to begin with and imposed a ban on Iraqi refugees back in 2011.

Anonymous said...

"Trump can not be impeached because of dislike. He has broken no law" - What planet have you been living on for the last 2 months? There's a huge investigating going on of Trump and his cronies by over a 100 CIA, FBI and NSA agents. Have you even been watching the congressional hearings? I have. So far, it's already been proven Putin meddled in our elections to get Trump elected, and we will soon get hard proof that Trump and his team were working directly with Putin/Russia to destroy Clinton, an impeachable offense. This is serious, important men who most likely had crucial evidence that would have shown collusion between Trump/Putin have been murdered on the street, over ten so far being gunned down, one just last week, shot in the head on the sidewalk. What all of this is really about for Trump and Putin, is oil. Putin has invaded the Ukraine (something the whole world is against) so he can steal billions and billions of dollars of oil from there. Trump and his crooked cabinet members all have ties to Russian oil companies and Putin knows Trump will lift sanctions on Russia's occupation of the Ukraine, and the oil/money will start flowing, making them all even more insanely rich. Putin will most likely become the richest man in the world. I can go on and on about these two vile, evil human beings. I know for certain, when this investigation is over, the impeachment process will begin. Trump will be lucky if he doesn't land himself behind bars.

Anonymous said...

As of fact, nothing has been proven. According to the American Constitutions a person is innocent until proven guilty. Putin having meddled in the election was already said during the election. Why wasn't the election halted. Nothing has been proven. Of course I know if it is proven without a doubt, it is only right that he is impeached, but remember innocent until proven guilty.

Anonymous said...

FBI found no evidence proving that Trump and Russia are illegally associated or that Russia worked in any way on US elections. There is evidence though the right after Election Obama and his cronies are trying to discredit Trump. Now if that wiretaping is true, there is a problem but not Trump's problem. Watch Trey Gowdy.

Anonymous said...

US has a right to secure their borders.Have the right papers, no criminal record or political oritintation that is against the US Constitutions, there is no problem- come on in. We do not have to be stupid with our borders like the OLD Country.

Anonymous said...

Grab your popcorn, you guys^ the investigations have only just begun! None of Trumps henchmen have even testified yet. General Flynn will be first, and he is now asking for immunity in exchange for his testimony. Most experts agree, you just don't ask for immunity unless you've committed a serious crime. Next will be Manafort, and he will also flip on Trump to avoid going to prison. There will be many more to testify, plus there's also this huge amount of evidence Comey and his agents have collected that could also be very damaging, but we still don't know what it is yet. Meanwhile, Trump is having epic twitter meltdowns because he knows the end is near.

Anonymous said...

If he is guilty he should be relieved of his position as president- America first. But he is innocent until proven guilty.

Anonymous said...

If impeached, not Clinton. Should have a complete new presidential vote. Sheis a lyer.

Anonymous said...

Looks like democratic party (Clinton and Obashma) had the most contact with Russia. No illegal contact with Russia and Trump has been unearthed. But the previous admin. has many questions to answer.
People have to stopp mobbing Trump and accept his policy. As he said on his speech on Feb. 28, he is responsible for America and its citizens not the world.

Anonymous said...

"No illegal contact with Russia and Trump has been unearthed." - LMAO! How would you know, are you a part of the ongoing investigation? You Trump cult followers aren't the brightest are you. You really need to stop listening to Fox News, InfoWars and Breitbart and most of all Trump himself. Truth is, Comey and the FBI won't release any information until the investigation is concluded, which could be months from now. So you just need to sit tight. And by the way, everyone, here are just a few lovely *sarcasm* things Trump has done this week: He's removed the restrictions on coal companies so they can now dump toxic waste in our rivers. He's signed a bill to remove the Internet Privacy Act, so now American citizen's online browsing history can be bought and viewed by pretty much anyone. He signed a law that will now allow hunters to kill hibernating animals like bears and wolves along with their offspring right inside their dens. Just today he removed a law that Obama implemented that protects women in the workplace. This man is a sick individual. He really doesn't care who or what he hurts as long as he and the Republicans make money.