She’s already a world-renowned activist, playwright, performer and feminist — but “The Vagina Monologues” scribe Eve Ensler definitely had time to talk pop when we spoke with her following a very special conversation held for MTV staff as part of its Pioneers series.
On the heels of her latest book, “In the Body of the World: A Memoir,” in which she chronicles her recent experiences of working in the Congo and her subsequent diagnosis of uterine cancer, she held back little during the discussion (her candidness is perhaps one of her most noted, beloved traits). She jumped from topics like female empowerment to Rick Ross’s recent date-rape controversy (in which she chastised both Ross for making light of such a scarring situation). Despite the words directed at Ross, Ensler showed nothing but love for the personality of one of pop’s reigning princesses.
“I’m a huge Rihanna fan,” she exclaimed about the singer, whose catalog is rife with tracks on female, sexual empowerment (see: “Cake,” “Cockiness”). “I think she has a kind of agency over her sexuality and she’s open about her sexuality, she has enormous grace and she’s immensely talented. And I find her, I just find her brave; there’s something very daring and original and completely herself about her that I completely connect with.”
Ensler, whose “The Vagina Monologues” broke boundaries for its outspokenness around the plight of women when it first debuted in 1996, appreciated Rihanna’s ownership of her power. But her comments shed no light on the abusive relationship with Chris Brown that the singer is so often defined by.
“Rihanna is walking around her full self. She’s walking around in her body, she’s walking around in her being, she’s walking around in her aliveness… I think what she’s an example of is if you look at the fully realized Rihanna and her full, beautiful sexual self and you see how often we’ve been told not to be that: to shut it down, to mute it, to pull it back, to hide it, to cover it up, to tone it down, not to be so, you know.”