The Playgoer: Ensler V Brooks II

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ensler V Brooks II

I missed it, but turns out Eve Ensler did indeed respond to David Brooks' senseless blaming of her for the Mark Foley scandal:

October 8, 2006

To the Editor:

For David Brooks to conflate the story of a character in a play with a real man with real power in the House is a stretch (''A Tear in Our Fabric,'' column, Oct. 5). The function of art is to provoke questions, challenge social assumptions and try to get us beyond the black-and-white world of moral judgment. Mr. Brooks is concerned that my play ''The Vagina Monologues'' is embraced by audiences around the world. I have to believe it's because it reveals the complexity of women and is based on their own life stories. The play has crossed partisan lines, and 90 national borders. It has been able to build a movement to end violence and predation against women and girls around the world. If playwrights, elected officials and journalists have anything in common, it's their responsibility to expose the truth, even if it endangers their power or ideology. ''The Vagina Monologues'' has done its job. I wish the Republican leaders would do theirs.

Eve Ensler
New York, Oct. 6, 2006

Personally, I wish she had taken on more directly Brooks' interpretation of the offending scene in her play. And perhaps she had. (Times letters are edited for space.) But I'm glad she responded and that Brooks' deranged argument has not gained traction.

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