What is liberation for women today? As you know, we’ve been probing this simple yet compelling question in recent months—in our landmark issue on women and in a previous audio release. To gauge the state of women’s consciousness as the new century gets underway, we spoke with twenty-four remarkable women, leaders all in a diversity of disciplines. This week’s feature includes responses from three who have their finger on the pulse of today’s cultural landscape.
Eve Ensler is an award-winning performer, activist, and author of one of the most popular theatrical performances in recent times, The Vagina Monologues. Translated into forty-five languages and based on interviews with more than 200 women, this taboo-breaking show originally starred Ensler when it opened off-Broadway. As an encore to the show’s wide success, Ensler created V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.
Laura Kipnis is a professor of media studies at Northwestern University as well as a cultural theoretician and former video artist. Her most recent book, The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability, takes an unflinching look at the state of woman’s psyche today and offers some startling conclusions about women’s unwillingness to take responsibility for their lives.
Ariel Levy is a contributing editor of New York magazine. Her writing also appears in the pages of The Washington Post, Vogue, and other national publications. Her debut book, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, boldly confronts the equating of bawdy behavior with sexual liberation by many young women today and provocatively challenges their adoption of sexual stereotypes that feminists worked so hard to overcome.
Listen to more women’s voices in Part One of this series.
Recorded on: 7/3/2007
Gen X and Gen Y