Tag Archives: Eve Ensler

Man’s Prayer

Posted by Thandie.

Me, Kerry Washingto and Eve at V-DAY's Viva Revolution! fundraiser at Urban Zen on June 8, 2011

Me, Kerry Washington and Eve at V-DAY’s Viva Revolution! fundraiser at Urban Zen on June 8, 2011

Eve Ensler’s ‘Man Prayer’ has been described as being “for all men” and those behind the film say: “we hope all of you will watch it and share it with every man you know”. Every time I see Man Prayer I’m reminded of the power that comes from unity between men and men, and women and men.

I’m reminded of the strength that comes from vulnerability, and truth. One certainly leads to the other.

Oh the beauty of tenderness and vulnerability! The idea that tenderness is ‘weak’ holds no water.

In fact, allowing truth to be the motivation for action creates a force stronger than any more complex plan of attack! The simplicity of truth will always be more powerful than fabrication, control, intimidation and so on. To accept ourselves as we are, and to love ourselves for that, liberates us from the insecurity that so often prompts us to compete and condemn.

Society’s tall tale of Alpha men physically dominating women as a show of their power – is proving to be a fatal flaw in our narrative.

It’s the same narrative we see playing out in our domination of the environment, animal life, sea life and the plundering of other country’s resources. article-2273733-175C0CA7000005DC-543_634x940-1

But this artificial state of domination requires constant application, otherwise the natural state of balance will reveal itself. It’s been so long since any majority has enjoyed ‘balance’ that it’s impossible to imagine ourselves living that way.

But we do what we can. One Billion Rising grows every year – it’s our call to (peaceful) action, and our demand for awareness that ONE IN THREE women will suffer violence at the hands of men in her lifetime (an official UN statistic). That’s ONE BILLION women, on our planet, right now.

Eve wrote Man Prayer after meeting Gyalwang Karmapa at TED India, and was inspired by his commitment to the 1 Billion Rising movement. Eve then turned the prayer into a film with filmmaker Tony Stroebel. It’s the perfect gift to share with fathers, grandfathers, sons, husbands, boyfriends and friends. It could be the start of someone’s own desire to create balance, truth, peace, love.

“Man Prayer” – words by Eve Ensler, film by Tony Stroebel.

 

 

Eve has adapted her shattering and magnificent book ‘In The Body of the World’ into a play. It premieres at The American Repertory Theatre – watch the trailer here:

 

 

WoW! Women of the World Festival

Post by Thandie

“Help us create a fairer world for everyone”

That’s the tagline for the WOW festival at London’s Southbank Centre (8th – 13th March 2016) and who could disagree with that!Thandie for WOW Festival

The WoW Festival is a cross-continent event launched by Jude Kelly, artistic director at Southbank, to champion gender equality, celebrate the achievements of women and girls everywhere and examine obstacles that keep us from fulfilling our potential.

 

‘Why is gender equality taking so long to achieve?’

That’s the question that’s on everyone’s lips at WoW and it’s a question that will be put out to all 15 WoW festivals around the world: Sydney, Cardiff, Alexandria, Hargeisa, New York, Karachi and Dhaka.

At every WoW festival you can expect talks,  debates, performances and workshops – it’s an opportunity to think, talk and exchange ideas, experiences and actions.

Jude Kelly, at the helm of the festival, was recognised as one of the Top 100 most powerful women in the UK by Woman’s Hour a few years ago.

Jude Kelly, photo credit David Levene for the Guardian

Jude Kelly. Photo David Levene for the Guardian

As an award-winning director and someone who’s talked about her experience with sexism in her younger years, her commitment to women’s involvement in arts and culture is crucial and inspiring.

Excitingly, Eve Ensler, of One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women and girls (The Vagina Monologues) has produced The Fruit Trilogy, a new set of short plays exploring the lives of four women. The premiere was shown at WoW festival last week and you can catch the performance at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Thandie and Eve, One Billion Rising

Thandie and Eve, One Billion Rising

Highlights

Other highlights of this year’s festival have included an International Women’s Day chat session with Radio 1 DJ, the fabulous Gemma Cairney.

Gemma Cairney

Gemma Cairney

 

Kay and I joined Gemma on a panel for Selfridges’ Beauty Project  ‘Pretty White Female’  back in 2014. We were joined by beauty journalist Anita Bhagwandas and the event was  chaired by Sali Hughes. My comments sparked debate which inspired my Post ‘Boots – A Love Story’.

Check out this panel chat from a few years ago at WOW, about the politics of afro hair and whether to weave or go natural. Just an example of the kind of thoughtful discussion that goes on at WoW.

 

Follow Women Of The World on Twitter

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Follow Gemma Cairney on Twitter, on instagram

Follow Anita Bhagwandas on Twitter

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Furiosa!

Post by Thandie

Furiosa I’m writing the morning after the Mad Max Fury Road premiere.

My dear friends George Miller and Doug Mitchell managed to condense 12 years of a project in the making, into a 2 hour jaw dropping spectacle.

George Miller directing Charlize

George Miller directing Charlize

‘Flirting’

George Miller and Doug Mitchell-the double act.

George directed, and Doug produced. They’re my boys – having both been producers on my first film back in 1989 – ‘Flirting’.

And today, with the thunder of mutant muscle cars an echo, I’m left awestruck by the power of women, as captured in the film. It’s no coincidence that George invited Eve Ensler to consult when making the film.

Dude! I’m reminded of another of my favourite George Miller films –The Witches of Eastwick. Miller, described aptly as a ‘mastermind’ on the ‘Max poster – is simply comfortable with the awesome power of Woman.

It’s one of the reasons his films resonate powerfully on a sub conscious level – it’s not illustrated with words, or visuals, but it’s at the core, the DRIVE behind every decision he makes.

Charlize Theron (Furiosa) and Tom Hardy (Max)

Charlize Theron (Furiosa) and Tom Hardy (Max)

 

He has a fundamental sense of the truth, which is; honour the power of women, honour yourself, and the future is wide open to you.

You don’t have to be a Guru, or a scientist, or a feminist, or a transexual, or a Mamas Boy, or a sad little girl. You just need to be informed.

Once you are aware and accepting, everything falls into place – the natural order of things weave together and start to jog along with you. Everyone needs to get it – the way we ‘get’ that oxygen keeps us alive. It’s a fact. Women are extraordinary.

What is also a fact, is that history has conspired a story which casts women as (relative to men) weak, untrustworthy, passive, censorious and rapeable.

First and foremost women shouldn’t be judged in relation to men – from the rib or whatever. Consider the reality – man COMES FROM woman.

From the get go that puts the infant in the vulnerable position, and the mother all powerful. This is a good example because power doesn’t mean the powerful wreak havoc, lie and exploit those that are vulnerable (that’s not what a mother tends to do!) In fact, the tendency for aggression comes from insecurity; fear that they are LESS powerful. Don’t fight it, feel it.

Take a look at Fury Road and see the wisdom from great storytelling.

 

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