Many works selected from Eve Ensler’s A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, And A Prayer are performed on campuses and in communities nation wide every February for V-Day. We were even able to host a V-Day event here at JMU this past February and raised $150 for The Collins Center! Hooray for charity events to raise awareness and funds to stop violence against women and girls!! Our event consisted of reading a few passionate pieces compiled in A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, And A Prayer, but there is something to be said for reading the whole book cover to cover. So that’s what I did, and I figured I’d tell you why you should too!!
While viewing these performances in the setting of a V-Day event is definitely a moving experience, I think that it leaves out many of the beautiful stories told in this compilation. First off, the intro does a great job of explaining why we need this book and where the proceeds are going. That’s right, Jane Fonda isn’t making a dime off of her (amazing) afterward piece, it’s all going to support V-Day. So the first reason you should read this book, is because the money you spend on it is going to help end violence against women. What could be better?!
The second reason you should read this book is because the stories told are from all over the world. From New York City, to Guatemala, to Uganda, their voices are heard. There is an amazing solidarity in that and after reading this book, I truly felt like I had a personal connection to these pieces and the people who wrote them.
Third of all, these poems, monologues and stories help give women our power and voices back. In the intro, Eve Ensler powerfully exclaims:
“Speaking about violence, telling the stories, because in the telling, we legitimize women’s experience. We reveal what is happening in the dark, in the basement, out of sight. In the telling, women take their power back. Their voice. Their remembering. Their future.”
Ensler also refers to reading this book as “taking a journey” and seriously y’all, that’s an accurate statement. I think it’s a journey we all need to take, even if it makes us uncomfortable. If anything, after finishing this compilation of works you will sit back and realize that you (or your mother, sister, wife, cousin, friend, etc.) are not alone. My takeaway from reading A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, And A Prayer was that we must talk about the violence, sexual assault, pain and trauma. Not to re-live it, but to help others know that they are not alone. That this is a global issue, not a personal one, and it is not your fault.
I invite you to read A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, And A Prayer, even if you’ve attended V-Day, because reading all of these works is truly an unforgettable journey. And it’s available through Amazon which is just too darn convenient. When you’re finished, let me know what you thought!!