Eve Ensler and the Radically Transformative Power of Apology

Stress warning: This episode contains conversation about sexual assault and violence.

This week on Inflection Point, I talk with Eve Ensler, award-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues, about her new book “The Apology”, in which she writes in the voice of her father to apologize to herself--from him-- for the years of sexual and physical abuse he perpetrated upon her.

You will be blown away by Eve’s resilience, by her self-knowledge, by her strength of character, and by her deep well of compassion and empathy. Her ideas for political and social reform, as well as her profound insights into the human soul, make her a true radical, and radically empathetic.

This week, we discuss the anatomy of a true apology, and the transformative power that apologies hold for the apologists themselves and their recipients. We discuss why punishment never leads to rehabilitation. We discuss the roots of abuse, and how we can start shifting the paradigm.

A must-listen for anyone frustrated at the lack-luster apologies precipitated by the #MeToo movement. A must-listen for anyone infuriated by the Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford cases. A must-listen for anyone who needs to apologize for something. A must-listen for anyone who has ever needed an apology, but didn’t get one.

I also spoke with Eve in October of 2016, about a year before the #MeToo movement took off. Her words were prescient and I encourage you to listen to that conversation too.

If this conversation is important to you, please support our independent production with a tax deductible donation. Inflection Point is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

Photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Club of California. Photo by James Meinerth

Photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Club of California. Photo by James Meinerth

Photo courtesy of Eve Ensler

Photo courtesy of Eve Ensler

Can Virtual Reality End Real-World Sexual Harassment? - Morgan Mercer

+More ways to listen here.

In the post-MeToo era, men who would never consider saying a harassing word or venture a grope are now asking themselves “can I hug a co-worker anymore?”

“Can I put my arm around someone in a photo?”

“Can I have dinner with a female co-worker...alone?”
For the most part, workplace sexual harassment training includes the same rote video, awkward role-playing scenarios or yawn-inducing speaker, and is not remotely equipped to end a culture of enabling harassers or dismissing claims.

What kinds of training tools will create a true change in workplace culture? The kind that helps workers and supervisors comprehend the nuances of what sexual harassment looks like and how the power dynamics of workplace sexual harassment can damage the careers and well beings of those harassed?

Morgan Mercer, CEO of enterprise training platform Vantage Point, believes the answers to these questions, as well as more nuanced insights about the nature of workplace sexual harassment, lies in virtual reality.   

Listen to my convo with Mercer as we discuss why corporate sexual harassment training has for the most part failed women, and how immersive experiences like virtual reality may be the key to unlocking empathy, action and change.

Morgan+Mercer+Picture.jpg

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