women as “emotional creatures” & eve ensler on off-broadway


(excerpt from Eve Ensler’s book via Huffington Post)

I love being a girl.
I can feel what you’re feeling
as you’re feeling it inside
the feeling
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
I know when your girlfriend’s really pissed off
even though she appears to give you what
you want.
I know when a storm is coming.
I can feel the invisible stirrings in the air.
I can tell you he won’t call back.
It’s a vibe I share.

I love that I can feel the inside
of the feelings in you,
even if it stops my life
even if it hurts too much
or takes me off track
even if it breaks my heart.
It makes me responsible.
I am an emotional
I am an emotional, devotional,
incandotional, creature.
And I love, hear me,
love love love
being a girl.

I was just coming off of my womanly-moon-red-earth-whatever-flow when I saw an email from a friend about this show off-Broadway. I was about to dismiss it because only-Lord-knows how frustrating it can be to live in New York City and not have enough in my bank account to take full advantage of all its gems – Broadway shows, fancy restaurants and clubs – because it’s simply insanely priced. $75 for a show could pay for my unlimited yoga card for a week, which is, to me, as good as an hour of talk therapy and a whirlpool, and thus, many shows have moved in the general downward direction of my priority list over my last three and a half years in this city. [Full disclaimer: I know there are discounts available for these things, but it usually requires time and efforts I’m not willing to take, so there’s more going on here than just money. AKA, just let me complain irrationally in peace.]

Which brings me back to having just come off of my flow: irrationality. I have for a long time considered myself to be fairly logical, practical in thought and deed, and it was this sense of being responsible and intelligent that has led me most of my life, up until I began deep sea diving into the world of women’s health including pregnancy and birth, menstruation, and the building blocks of it all – hormones. I found this incredible, ingenious iPhone application called Hormone Horoscope that estimates (because every woman, and every cycle is slightly different) my hormone levels over the course of my menstrual cycle-moon-earth-flow. And it is surprisingly on point. So, of course I start freaking out, realizing when I am emotional and needy (often!) and when I am not (decidedly less often), and slowly realizing I am just NOT that calm, collected, logical thinker I once thought I was. I suppose it was all in my head anyway – I’ve been endlessly teased by my family about lacking street sense and my inability to “stick with” things – but somehow I thought, I’ve survived in New York, through some of the largest and most dangerous cities in Africa (Lagos, Kinshasa), and managed to get myself an advanced degree at an Ivy League [insert pretentious chuckle here] school – I can’t be that bad!! And I’m not. Whew. But I do also know that I have those days…

Which was why seeing this clip – if I can’t go see the show itself, at least I’ll google enough to get the gist – about women as “emotional creatures” was so empowering to me at that moment. If I, at 27 years old, can feel validated and strengthened by hearing that my occasional emotional rollercoasters are normal and that I don’t always have to be a perfect image of rational, scientific order, imagine what YOUNG women hearing this message can understand and love about themselves without going through years of self suppression… not that I know anyone who’s ever done that. Certainly not me. In any case, it’s powerful. I have to hand it to Eve Ensler. I haven’t seen the show so I can’t necessarily advocate that you go see it, but I’m a big fan of the Vagina Monologues and am glad that she is getting this deeper message about emotionality and womanhood into new spaces.

Even if it’s just the gist.

More on this work by Eve Ensler and girls around the world:

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