Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: I Am An Emotional Creature

The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

by Eve Ensler
a review 

In this provocative and poignant compilation of imaginary stories and monologues, internationally bestselling author/playwright Eve Ensler (of The Vagina Monologues fame) provided a literary subwoofer for every girl’s muted voice and timid stance in a world where they are forced to remain true to themselves or to conform to society’s expectations in an attempt to please.

I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World is a must-read for all teenage girls, especially those that can feel the extremely suffocating pressure of the society where they belong. Page by page, Ensler treats the readers to a globetrotting not for the eyes but for the heart—from New York to Tehran, from China to Palestine, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Cairo, and many more. With an accepting mind and a few hours of reading time as your passport, you’ll definitely enjoy "travelling" in this collection. The book serves as a conduit for each girl’s kept emotions, in effect encouraging the female readers to speak up and fight back whenever they need to.

Every voice is unique: in A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery, a young sex slave in Congo shares how she attempts to brave her way to freedom from her soldier rapist; in hunger blog, an anorexic posts entries regarding her experience in avoiding to gain weight; in Free Barbie, a teenage Chinese worker in an abusive factory communicates through “head send” to Barbie heads, filling them with her screaming subconscious about being free;  in I Have 35 Minutes Before He Comes Looking for Me, a girl of about fifteen tells her story as victim of sex trafficking. There are many other stories that are able to pull my heartstrings, like the one featuring an African girl refusing a genital mutilation, or that of a lesbian who refuses to be labeled. There are survey facts and trivia too, along with poetries and short dialogues. All of them will attempt to reach into the readers and trigger the emotional creature in them--as it did with me. :)

Tales of wanting to be famous or pretty, of wanting to fit in, and of wanting to be safe while expressing themselves freely…each story is a gem, and this is a treasure box that can inspire millions of girls and turn them into hordes of brave, strong women.  Ensler said that this book is a “call to question rather than to please…this book is a call to listen to the voice inside you that might want something different, that hears, that knows, the only way you can hear and know.” You’re going to realize how right her words are when you finish reading the book.

I don’t usually read books like this, but I actually liked it. Emotional Creature may be intended for the girls, but parents can read it too, as well as boys that are curious about what’s going on in a girl’s head and what the circumstances--unusual or ordinary--are surrounding a female life. All in all, a great read. Thumb up!

(thanks i-am-an-emotional-creature  for lending me a copy!)

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