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February Book Review: The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

Vagina MonologuesThe Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is a poignant and witty collection of informal interviews, stories and experiences related by women from all different walks of life celebrating female sexuality and bringing to light sexual violence against women. The book is hilarious, entertaining, poetic, at times jaw-dropping and admonishing. As an unexpected success, The Vagina Monologues has evolved into a play that is performed in cities across America and in hundreds of college campuses. Although this compilation of stories grew to become very successful performances nationwide, Eve Ensler admits that the idea of its success is not something she even imagined. In her words,” I was never a performer. It did not occur to me that I was actually performing the Vagina Monologues until I had been doing it for about three years. Before this point, I felt merely as if I were telling very personal stories that had been generously told to me. I felt strangely and at times, fiercely about these women and their stories.”

The brilliant winner of the Obie Award, The Vagina Monologues, has inspired the creation of V-day, a dynamic grassroots movement to stop violence against women worldwide. V-day creates awareness through events and the media and also raises funds (over $90 million so far) to support organizations working to ensure the safety of women everywhere. A big rally is held every Valentine’s day in cities worldwide. The vision of V-day is a civilization where women live in freedom and safety. V-day will continue until all the violence ends. When it does end, V-day will be renamed, “Victory Day.”

I recommend The Vagina Monologues to men or women in search of understanding female sexuality, the plight of women, and the unnecessary violence perpetuated towards women. I especially recommend this piece of literature to those who are afraid to read this book (perhaps by the title alone you have preconceived notions about the book; if that is the case, you especially need to read it or view a performance). And, of course, I recommend this book to the feminist or student exploring feminist politics and women’s issues. You will not be disappointed!

The Vagina Monologues will be performed in Denver at the Mercury Café on February 25th, 26th and 28th. Tickets are only $10.00. The volunteer actresses do not receive compensation and all money is raised for organziations helping to end violence against women.

Vagina M Performances

To purchase your seat, please visit: EventBrite.com.

A bit about the author, Eve Ensler:Eve ensler

Eve Ensler is a stand-alone visionary. She is an internationally bestselling author and an award-winning playwright. In addition to The Vagina Monologues, her theatrical works include, but are not limited to: Necessary Targets and The Good Bodies. She is author of Insecure at last, a political memoir, and I am an Emotional Creature, a New York Times best-seller, and In the Body of the World, her latest brilliant work.

Eve Ensler has won numerous awards for her plays and has been given two honorary doctorates. Eve’s mission is to end all violence towards women and girls worldwide. To join Eve in her mission, to learn more about this incredible woman, or to purchase a copy of The Vagina Monologues, visit her website, EveEnsler.org.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso

Peace not Violence


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Reflections on Violence and Guns

Yesterday was the start of a new week after the needless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Sandy Hook, CT, on Dec 14, 2012. I dropped off my child at school yesterday morning and was saddened to see a police car and two officers with their guns standing outside the school in place of the principal who usually greets the children as they arrive at school. I have to admit I was a bit relieved to know that if someone were to start shooting, the police would most likely stop it before it got out of control, and my child’s life might be spared. However, the reality of this situation flattened my spirit, and I felt a profound sadness because of the state of our world. Why so much violence?

When I was in middle school, all I worried about was what I was going to eat for lunch that day, what boy would or would not like me, or if I was going to be chosen on the better team for kickball. Possible bullies at school and getting in trouble at home was all we feared. I was a happy-go-lucky child who looked forward to guitar lessons, girl scouts and cheerleading after school; I knew all my classmates. If one were to go missing, we all would feel the loss. Now kids have to worry about being shot and killed at school, a place where they should feel safe. What child would not be afraid to go to school this day in age? How does a child feel when they see policemen in their full uniforms – guns included – standing in front of their school waiting to take aim and shoot, if needed?

As I thought about this for a moment, I asked myself who really should hold the guns. On the one hand, I was thankful the police were there with ammunition (for obvious reasons). However, on the other hand, it was a sad and frightening thought that put fear into my heart – the fear of what might happen. Forty or so years ago, this “fear” did not exist as it does today. We have created a society based on fear. We are afraid to take a stand. We are afraid of losing our jobs. We are afraid of going broke. We fear illness, loss and death. We are afraid to walk outside our front doors.  We would rather stay inside our homes and surf online than walk to the neighbor’s house and introduce ourselves. We are afraid to feel our pain, so we fantasize, take drugs, eat in excess, and create chaos for ourselves by becoming addicted to substances, alcohol, recreational drugs and pills. We submerse ourselves in our I-phones, I-pads, I-pods, other electronic gadgets, the internet and TV. We have become numb and despondent, uncaring and cold, distant and confused, anxious and rude, lifeless and robotic, and disconnected. And now, we are even more afraid: we are so fearful that we clutch onto our guns (and rights) tighter. When will it end? What will it take to change our present reality? Why are we so afraid?

“Put more restrictions on the purchase of guns,” they say. More restrictions will make it harder to obtain guns, but will it stop the criminals from confiscating and using them?  I understand wanting to protect ourselves and our loved ones, but I cannot see any other way to protect myself from an attack unless I am always on alert with my gun. How am I to live always waiting for the impending “attack?” How is that freedom? It is not. It is living in chains and in anxiety each moment.

What about protection from tyranny? Yes, we need to have the right to own guns, just in case of an impending governmental or other assault. But, how many guns do we need to own and hide away? How many is enough?

Our world is filled with relentless greed. The hearts of the people who run institutions, corporations and governments these days are fueled by greed, whose driving force is fear. The dollar and bottom line is more important than the person. This cold attitude creates fear – fear to lose our jobs, fear of going broke, and fear of pursuing what we really desire. We lose our authenticity and we embrace someone we are not. We have lost our humanity. It is time to change the world and stop the downward spiral of fear to love and peace.

More guns will not ultimately solve the root of the problem causing the violence. Imagine, for a moment, a society where everyone owns and carries guns. Would you feel safe knowing that at any moment anyone at anytime can start a shoot out because someone else cut them off in traffic, for example? Would you feel safe walking out your front door then? A society with guns only perpetuates more fear of each other and makes it easier to kill.  It will further divide us, separate us, further alienate us, and further drive us to despair and loneliness. Nothing good can come from more guns in more hands.

I often dream about a world without the violence. Many tell me that it is impossible to have a world where something like Sandy Hook shootings only happen once in a blue moon or very, very rarely. Why is it impossible? It will take a change of consciousness; it will take a shift in focus, a collective arming of love, a collective new level of acceptance of all human beings without regards to social strata, religion, politics, sexual preference, gender and color. It will take a mass healing starting from each and every heart and spreading to every system we have in place that is not working or failing. We need to ask, “What’s in it for US?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” It will take responsibility. It will take each person choosing to live at peace at every moment. Not all of us will agree on everything – that is not possible – but I can safely say that every human being longs for safety and freedom, which I believe are our rights. The real fight is the fight for peace, not the fight for more weapons.

What can we do to change the consciousness and spirit of fear in this country and worldwide? It starts with each one of us. It starts with peace and love in your heart; it starts with releasing the fear; it starts with letting go and embracing love and peace in each moment. It starts with treating each other with respect, love, and embracing our differences instead of being threatened by them. We are at a crucial time of change in history because the fear and resulting violence in this world is at an all-time, disturbing high. Let’s switch the pendulum to love. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” said Mahatma Gandhi, who freed an entire nation without ever resorting to violence. It starts with you.

My heart and love go out to each and every person affected by the tragedy that just occurred. I cannot fathom the horror from that day. However, the answer, I believe, is not to arm more people with guns. The answer is not more violence. The answer is less violence; it is a shift in belief and action to one of unity, compassion, acceptance, cooperation, love and freedom regardless of differing beliefs and lifestyles. It is time to move forward without more violence. It is time to conquer fear with love, not with more guns.

Peace.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso