Eve Ensler’s words are familiar to many in the area. Her play, “The Vagina Monologues,” has been performed at Tennessee Tech University seven times since 2001, and benefit area domestic violence response organizations.
On Feb. 10, the author herself will appear to discuss her works and lifelong history of activism for women’s rights and to end rape.
“Often, people don’t think about sexual violence because they haven’t experienced it,” said Diana Lalani, who works in the TTU Women’s Center, which is sponsoring the visit. “Once they start thinking about the factors that contribute to gender-based violence, it’s easier to understand and to prevent.
“Not only is Eve Ensler’s work mind-blowing, it’s funny.”
‘The Vagina Monologues” won a Tony Award and has been translated into nearly 50 languages and performed in 140 countries. It also prompted Ensler to start V-Day, an international movement to call attention to violence against women, and the One Billion Rising Movement to end rape. An estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization.
Ensler’s talk at TTU comes four days before V-Day, and this year’s theme is One Billion Rising for Justice. The Women’s Center, Tech Players and past “Vagina Monologues” performers are planning to participate with dancing, a speak-out and sharing information about sexual assault on the Roaden University Center’s South Patio.
Ensler is also author of “In the Body of the World,” a memoir chronicling her battle against Stage IV uterine cancer and overseeing the opening of a center in the Democratic Republic of Congo for women who have been victims of rape and war, “Insecure at Last: A Political Memoir,” “I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World” and numerous plays.
In 2012, she won the Peter C. Alderman Humanitarian Award and has been named among the “100 Most Influential Women” by The Guardian and one of Newsweek’s “150 Women who Changed the World.”
Ensler will speak at 7 p.m. in TTU’s Derryberry Hall Auditorium. Her appearance is free and open to the public. The talk is sponsored by the Center Stage series, which presents lectures, concerts, exhibits, reading, performances and other events that promote greater appreciation of the fine arts and better understanding of diverse ideas and world cultures.
TTU’s Derryberry Hall is at 1 William L. Jones Drive, Cookeville.