Eve Ensler on Love, Relationships + Ending Violence Against Women

Photo: (MTV)

Photo: (MTV)

If you’re a fan of girl power and positivity, chances are Eve Ensler’s work is on your digital bookshelf. The feminist powerhouse is responsible for getting the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway to rise up and protest violence against women for 1 Billion Rising, and for theater kids around the world to belt out The Vagina Monologues.

We had a chance to chat with Eve Ensler as part of MTV’s Pioneer Series. Eve stopped by to talk about her new book, In the Body of the World, an intimate memoir about her life and her recently won battle with uterine cancer.

The book is the most personal work she’s ever written, and details her journey to reclaim and get back in touch with her body. She reflected on her time spent in the Congo, how inspired she was by the women there (who have survived years of civil war and violence) and her own story of survival while undergoing cancer treatment. After kicking cancer’s butt, she re-emerged with a new appreciation for life and a wisdom for how the earth and body are connected. She urged people to appreciate the love in their lives beyond their significant others. Friends and family can give you the “big love” that sweeps you off your feet.

When asked what her one wish for the world is, not surprisingly she said to end violence against women. Having visited almost 70 countries, Eve said that the sad thing everyone had in common was the oppression of women. Eve wants women around the world to be empowered to walk, talk and wear whatever they choose, and not be harassed. She stressed that this is NOT a just women’s issue though. It’s up to men to rise up and come forward in support of the women in their lives. Men have as much, or more, of a role to play in ending violence against women.

Of course, at the heart of all of this is building healthy relationships — with yourself and others. To Eve, sex education should go beyond putting the condom on a banana and delve into how we want to be touched and treated.  We need to make sure men and women clearly understand what rape is, and know that no ALWAYS means no.   And beyond that, we should talk more about the positives of sex — creating a better understanding of the meaning of consensual sex, what feels good and the importance of making sure that both people are having a positive experience.

Be sure to check out Eve’s new book, In the Body of the World. For more info on sexual health head over to IYSL.

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