MTV AND EVE ENSLER PARTNER TO BRING
"I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE: THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD" TO LIFE ON AIR
Rosario Dawson, Aubrey Plaza and Jessica Stroup
Address Sex, Abuse and Love in the Digital Age
in a Series of Provocative New Spots
New York, NY, July 29, 2010 - Today, MTV began rolling out a series of new spots that bring Eve Ensler's critically-acclaimed, New York Times bestseller I Am an Emotional Creature: the Secret Life of Girls Around the World to life on MTV and MTV.com. Rosario Dawson, Aubrey Plaza ("Parks and Recreation") and Jessica Stroup ("90210") give voice to the legendary playwright and activist's work, tackling hot button teen issues including safe sex, sexual pressure, sexting, constant connectedness and dating abuse.
"I am thrilled to be part of this project with MTV where girls and the empowerment and protection of girls are front and center," said Eve Ensler. "It's really been a pleasure helping put a new "V" in MTV."
Many of the themes in Eve's new book directly connect to two of MTV's core campaigns: It's Your (Sex) Life (www.itsyoursexlife.com), built to support young people in making better and more responsible decisions about their sexual health, and A THIN LINE (www.athinline.org), which empowers young people to draw their own line between digital use and digital abuse.
"Eve Ensler started a revolution with 'The Vagina Monologues,' and her latest book carries that legacy forward - powerfully articulating the passions, fears and resiliency of girls today," said Jason Rzepka, Vice President of Public Affairs for MTV. "We're proud to amplify this important work and believe it will spark conversation, encourage members of our audience to honor themselves and know they have the right to be emotional creatures."
The new spots include:
- "You Tell Me How To Be a Girl In 2010," where Aubrey Plaza discusses what it means to be young and dating in an environment where you're constantly connected.
- "I Dance," where Jessica Stroup confronts the pressures of being a teen girl today, including sexting, and the need to escape from the stresses of the modern world.
- The monologue "Dear Rihanna," which captures the troubling reaction of many young women who have been the victims of dating violence, and have excused it.
- "Asking the Question," where Aubrey Plaza talks about asking the question... the prophylactic one, that is, and shows the audience that navigating this awkward moment doesn't have to be quite so hard.
- The monologue "It's Not a Baby, it's a Maybe," which explores what can happen when only selectively applying abstinence.
In addition, MTV.com will exclusively premiere interviews with Eve Ensler and V-Day Board member Rosario Dawson talking frankly about their mission, through V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls, to encourage young women to know their bodies, respect themselves, own their feelings and make their own choices.
To check out this series of short programming, read monologues from these works, or watch interviews with Eve Ensler and Rosario, please head to http://www.emotionalcreature.mtv.com.
Founded by playwright/performer/activist Eve Ensler, V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Made up of original monologues about and for girls, I Am an Emotional Creature aims to inspire girls to take agency over their minds, bodies, hearts and curiosities. In conjunction, V-Day has developed V-Girls to engage young women in its "empowerment philanthropy" model, igniting their activism and providing them with a platform to amplify their voices. In early 2010, readings of the book were staged in over fifteen pilot locations, where teen girls engaged in the creative process, accompanied by a specially written curriculum addressing the issues in the book. This summer, the V-Girls Book Club program launched, enabling girls and their educators to explore I Am an Emotional Creature, reflect and discuss the text, and respond to it creatively through art. The accompanying book guide will provide opportunities for girls to write and share their own monologues inspired by the book, develop visual and performance art events, and find their own creative ways to speak out on issues that matter to them. Visit v-girls.org.
A THIN LINE
MTV's "A THIN LINE" (www.athinline.org), campaign empowers America's youth to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse. Digital abuse is an emerging issue that includes behaviors like sexting, sexting, cyber-bullying and digital dating abuse, which affect a large majority of young people today. Young people today are growing up in an environment unlike anything previous generations have experienced. Because they are constantly connected through technologies like cell phones, texting, Facebook, etc. - they are experiencing a range of new issues including pressure to send nude photos, to be available online and via text message 24/7, cyberbullying, and more. MTV built a coalition of the foremost authorities on these topics, and is addressing these issues through thought-provoking PSAs, integration into MTV's top-rated shows, innovative online and mobile tools, and curricula. To date, A THIN LINE has already led over 400,000 to take positive action.
It's Your (Sex) Life
For over a decade, MTV has been addressing sexual health issues through its Emmy and Peabody-winning "It's Your (Sex) Life" campaign, which encourages young people to make responsible decisions about their sexual health. Since 1997, the Kaiser Family Foundation and MTV have worked together on this extensive public information partnership to address HIV/AIDs, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and related sexual health issues. Touching on topics ranging from unintended pregnancy to safe sex and HIV and STD Testing, the campaign has reached over 200 million young people since launch. The partnership includes targeted public service advertisements (PSAs), entertainment and other special programming, news segments, and free resources, including an informational guide developed especially for the campaign, and an extensive website www.itsyoursexlife.com.
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 28 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries -- giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV is the number one full day-ad supported network for P12-24. Online, MTV.com averaged 24.5 million monthly unique visitors during the second quarter of 2010 -- up +13% year-over-year. Average video streams for the second quarter of 2010 increased +8% from Q1/2010. And MTV's successful sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving young males, music fans, and college students like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Wanna know more? Come on in... www.mtvpress.com
Susan Celia Swan
The Wall Street Journal “Speakeasy” blog
Eve Ensler on Sarah Palin, Abuse, and Her New Book
By Kamau High
Eve Ensler is famous for talking about vaginas. Specifically talking about the ways that they can be loved, abused and misunderstood in her her play "The Vagina Monologues" which has been performed around the world.
Her most recent book, "I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World," was released earlier this year and today MTV is launching an advertising campaign designed to raise awareness of teenage abuse that is based on parts of the book. The tireless activist, who is currently battling uterine cancer, is also prepping an off-Broadway play based on the book that she hopes to launch in the Fall.
She took time out from rehearsals of the play to talk to Speakeasy about stopping teenage abuse, Sarah Palin, and writing about boys.
The Wall Street Journal: Tell me about what you're doing with MTV.
Eve Ensler: For a long time we at V Day [Ensler's anti-violence organization] have been trying to find a way to do something with MTV and its younger audience. When "Emotional Creature" came out it seemed like the perfect time to do something. Writers used the text of the book to bring out core issues teens are dealing with such as teen dating , sexting and abuse but doing it in a way that isn't finger wagging.
Do you watch a lot of MTV?
I don't really watch television. Up until recently, because I've been recovering from cancer, I've been on the road. In the last month I've been watching more programming than usual.
In my experience, having done "Emotional Creatures", there is a lot of abuse in the teen age community particularly towards girls. You have girls giving blow jobs in homeroom who don't even know it's sex.
Wait, aren't homerooms kind of small for that? Wouldn't people stare?
That's the thing. People are staring. There are these strange movements backwards as we move forwards where bodies have become commodified.
Some of the videos and shows on MTV and its many properties don't always portray women in a positive light. How do you reconcile working with them?
Because I want to change that. You can say 'Oh, they're doing horrible things' and just walk away from that. Or you can do something. The idea is to get different messages into a culture that is becoming increasingly horrible to women.
Most of your work has been focused on girls and women. Have you ever thought of doing something on boys and men?
In the last few years I've begun to talk to boys. There's an incredible pressure on boys over what it means to be a boy. It's gotten me interested in boys and men and I'm pondering doing something on them. I've been on the other side of the equation for so long, with the impact of violence on women and girls. What I'm interested in is the why. What's going on and what's the story that's lead us here? To keep being angry and protesting and resisting when we haven't joined with men seems kind of ludicrous.
You've spent time in some of the worst places on earth and heard horrifying tales of violence. What kind of effect does that have on you?
There are a couple of effects. One is that I think it shatters me the kind of violence being done to women. The shattering opened something in me where I came to understand violence against women and girls is the most important thing I could be working on. If you don't honor, respect and cherish women you don't honor, respect and cherish life itself. I don't think my sickness [uterine cancer] is disassociated from spending time listening to those stories but at the same time it's inspired and motivated me to change things. I wake up every morning saying 'Do I really have problem?" when I think about what women are going through in the Congo or Haiti or Afghanistan.
You were criticized by some for lambasting Sarah Palin's positions, particularly on global warming. What was the fall out?
I got more letters from my piece on Sarah Palin than on anything I've ever written. At the time Palin was saying global warming doesn't exist and that creationism was real. I will have more to say about Sarah Palin in the future.
Eve Ensler, a playwright and activist, is the founder of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Her newest work I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World was just published by Random House in the U.S. For V-Day events near you, see www.vday.org.
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Turning Pain to Power by Marianne Schnall
( Extended Interview with Eve Ensler)
Open Letter to President Elect Barack Obama by Women's Rights Leaders, Including V-Day
From Superdome to SUPERLOVE—V-Day at 10 by Marianne Schnall
Other V-Day Features at Feminist.com:Action Alert: This Just In from Kenya Action Alert: End Sexual Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo V-Day/Feminist.com Anti-Violence Resource Guide
Other Eve Ensler writings at Feminist.com: Interview with Eve EnslerExcerpt from Insecure at LastExcerpt from The Good Body The Real Meaning of Security
About V-Day: V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. In 2008, over 4000 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $60 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 10,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic Of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. V-Day was named one of Worth magazine's "100 Best Charities" in 2001 and Marie Claire’s “Top Ten Charities” in 2006. The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.