cover image Vagina Warriors

Vagina Warriors

Eve Ensler, Joyce Tenneson. Bulfinch Press, $40 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-8212-6183-5

As the Obie Award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues defines them, the eponymous warriors are ""fierce,"" ""no longer beholden to social customs,"" ""citizens of the world"" and ""community makers,"" who ""cherish humanity over nationhood"" and ""work primarily on a grassroots level."" And, ""like vaginas, warriors are central to human existence, but they still remain largely unvalued and unseen."" In this collaboration with photographer Tenneson (Wise Women), the focus is on the women (and sometimes men) involved in V-Day, a movement designed to raise consciousness about and funds for anti-violence organizations across the globe. Tenneson's posed duotone photographs (which vary in clarity and interest) show these warriors against the mottled background of a typical photo studio; facing pages feature quotes from the subjects or snippets from Ensler's introductory essay. Actress Rosie Perez notes how she ""became a Vagina Warrior to be part of the healing process and to help those in pain stand tall."" Karin Heisecke, a young German woman, describes how she got bakeries to list abuse help-lines on their bread packaging. Personal finance guru Suze Orman grins fiercely but offers no quote about her own position in the brigades. Other warriors featured include Gloria Steinem, Ricki Lake, Jane Fonda and numerous organizers of V-Days throughout the world. It's a great idea that could have made a great book-but this volume's minimal text ensures that it will appeal primarily to those who are already enlisted to the cause.