Ensler has launched a global movement to stop violence against women and, on ‘v day’ each year, charity performances of the monologues raise money for her cause. He has written: ‘i felt large parts of it were sentimental; parts i just didn’t believe, felt they were not honest; at moments, i felt the writing was smug, self-satisfied, too pleased with itself. Evidently it was ensler’s second husband, ariel orr jordan, an israeli-born psychotherapist and artist, who got the piece off the ground. Nor do i say that i find the tone of the monologues uneven – often whimsical, fey, showy.
Ensler, 47, has every reason not to be over-relaxed, as a survivor of parental abuse herself. Now she says that if men find it erotic, that is ok because it is about women’s sexuality. She answers the phone in what seems an absurdly over-sexy voice until i realise she is ill; she has worn her voice out with lecturing all over the states about violence towards women.