Monday, December 6, 2010

I Am an Emotional Creature (Ain't That the Truth)

A couple of weeks ago I checked out Eve Ensler's I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, and dang was it good. I was starting to think I would never be able to read a full book again (because it's been so long and I'm really impatient), but this book was good enough to keep me hooked for a solid two hours - the time it takes to read it from cover to cover.

"Dear Emotional Creature:

I believe in you. I believe in your authenticity, your wildness. I love the way you dye your hair purple, or hike up your short skirt . . . I love your restlessness and your hunger. You possess the energy that, if unleashed, could transform, inspire and heal the world."

The book isn't a novel per se, but a collection of facts, fictional letters, lists, poems and short stories meant to draw attention to issues girls around the world have experienced: child labor, bullying, genital mutilation, teenage pregnancy, and human trafficking, to name a few. At some points I was on the verge of tears because I just kept thinking "here I am worrying about a test I have Friday, and girls around the world are experiencing this?" but I actually came away from the book extremely empowered, and I'm recommending it to all of my friends (including you)!

Here's the official summary of the book from its website, V-Girls:

In this daring, provocative, and insightful book, bestselling author and internationally acclaimed playwright Eve Ensler writes fictional monologues and stories inspired by girls around the globe. Moving through a world of topics and emotions, these voices are fierce, alive, tender, complicated, imaginative, and smart. Girls today often find themselves in a struggle between remaining strong and true to themselves and conforming to society’s expectations in an attempt to please. They are taught not to be too intense, too passionate, too smart, too caring, too open. They are encouraged to shut down their instincts, their outrage, their desires and their dreams, to be polite, to obey the rules. I Am an Emotional Creature is a celebration of the authentic voice inside every girl and an inspiring call to action for girls everywhere to speak up, follow their dreams, and become the women they were always meant to be.

Among the girls Ensler creates are an American who struggles with peer pressure in a suburban high school; an anorexic blogging as she eats less and less; a Masai girl from Kenya unwilling to endure female genital mutilation; a Bulgarian sex slave, no more than fifteen, a Chinese factory worker making Barbies; an Iranian student who is tricked into a nose job; a pregnant girl trying to decide if she should keep her baby.

Through rants, poetry, questions, and facts, we come to understand the universality of girls everywhere: their resiliency, their wildness, their pain, their fears, their secrets, and their triumphs. I Am an Emotional Creature is a call, a reckoning, an education, an act of empowerment for girls, and an illumination for parents and for us all.

I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls will be a vehicle to empower girls and inspire activism. Through the newly created V-Girls program, young girls can participate in the V-Day movement, in the same way The Vagina Monologues has built a movement on college campuses and in communities around the world. The goal of V-Girls will be to engage young women in our “empowerment philanthropy” model, igniting their activism.

V-Day believes that girls are the future of our movement. Women are the primary resource of our planet. It is imperative to educate and nurture future activists so we can see our vision of a world free from violence against women and girls come true.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely loved this book and also recommended it to all my friends! We attempted to have a book club with it (it flopped), but I'm going to attempt it again through my school next year. Eve made me feel empowered about myself and the world; it opened my eyes to EVERYTHING!


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