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"Monologues" For U.S. Congress? (The Wall Street Journal)

Originally published in:
The Wall Street Journal

"Monologues" For U.S. Congress?
By Frances Robinson

On Tuesday night, after no little controversy, female members of the European Parliament-people who usually spend their time talking about agricultural subsidies, cross-border extradition treaties, and sanctions for fiscal rulebreakers-were instead performing Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues." Now the playwright wants to see a performance in the U.S. Congress.

The representatives staged the play as part of the global V-day campaign against violence against women. Eve Ensler, who wrote the play, was delighted with the MEPs' take on it. "Women don't normally get to be sexual and powerful, sexual and smart, and here they are," she told Real Time Brussels after the play. "The energy in the parliament has changed, it feels open, we're all included."

In front of a packed audience-many stood crowded into the back of the room, with state broadcasters from Germany, France and across Europe in attendance-the women gave a spirited, sassy performance, suggesting a career on stage if they don't get re-elected.

"The fact they all did it in their second language is so impressive," Ms. Ensler added. "It's a real innovation."

First, though, they will keep applying pressure to get the EU to do more on legislation to help and protect women: Their list of political demands was handed out to the audience.

"The EU needs to get connected, and to honour its existing commitments to women," Ms. Ensler said.

She also wants to see the precedent followed elsewhere, calling on the U.S. Congress and the House of Representatives to stage the piece as well. Casting ideas welcome...