I call you body By Eve Ensler

Published: 8 January 2017


Each year Eve Ensler pens a new piece to be incorporated into that season’s V-Day Benefit Productions. This year, her piece I Call You Body honors the sacred and valuable work of women around the world, in all its forms, by demanding safe, violence-free workplaces as a part of the 2017 Spotlight Campaign on Violence Against Women in the Workplace.

I Call You Body

I call you bellies and mouths and breasts and

cunts and hips and bums and thighs

I call you muscle blood cells sinew saliva

I call you flesh bone biceps and back


I call you bodies of women


Bodies of nurses and servers

Farmers and mothers and



Bodies that clean up your mess

And wipe your ass

Put salve on your bed sores

Serve your pancakes and bad coffee

At 3am

Bodies that spend each day

loving your kids so you can travel

And give speeches

Bodies that sew the sleeves on your fancy blouses

sweep the floors of the cafeteria where your children learn.


Devoured bodies

Invisible bodies

Unpaid bodies


Bodies that carry 50 kilo sacks of cassava, rice and sugar cane

Barefoot in slippery mud

Bodies who curve now

Bodies who strain

Bodies who bend

Bodies sold over borders

Bodies forced to sleep
in backs of trucks

in dog houses

Under TVs

Migrant bodies

Hungry Bodies


Bodies coerced into buildings about to collapse

Bodies scratched, grabbed, choked punched killed

Exposed to unwanted





No gloves no mask no protection

From the sun

Or the boss or foreman or

The president

Bodies forced to stand

For hours

Pay docked for peeing

punished for pregnancy

Bodies maimed and shamed

bound and cut

stoned and burned

invaded and degraded

bodies taunted, threatened

bloodied and torn

bodies in the field de calzón

the field of panties

bloody panties


Bodies raging

Bodies ready

Bodies that will not be silenced

or contained


finding each other



dancing rising

spinning at tyrants and predators in chief

stomping at those who divide us and through

the divisions make us less and weak

reaching towards those who are slandered,

slaughtered, attacked, bullied in the streets

resisting all the bombs the corporate hit men are preparing to unleash

Bodies saying no to your arrogance

no to your hate

Bodies breathing deeply into every

sacred passageway


Bodies dancing safety

dancing freedom

dancing sexy hot

livable wage

dancing dignity integrity



Dancing to feel my body

to know my body

and to touch the outer and inner parameters of yours


I call you body




Rejoice in our bleeding

Revel in our heat

Dance into this landscape

Dance into this dream

Dance into the lifetimes of bodies

found underneath

Dance til I’m oiled,

Dance til I’m liquid,

wild and wet

Dance til I’m ready

Dance til I’m healed, naked

Dance til I begin to see

Dance til I’m back at the beginning


My body is the first line of the new poem

It’s the sacred yes in the face of your doubt

It’s the lap you can fall in

It’s the line you cannot cross

it’s the holy flesh you can trust


My body is every body that says no to


Rape of our lands

Rape of our rights

Rape of our daughters

Rape of our life

Our life our life

Bodies who will not obey

Who will not be governed

Who chose generosity over the state

Whose country is flesh

Whose flag is bone

Who have a logic and language of their own

Beginning to find a rhythm that cannot be stopped

a step that can be repeated and shared


We have to dance now

do you hear?

We have to dance for our lives

We have to dance for the earth

We have to dance for our sons and


We have to dance the new world

Can you move your feet?

Can you roll your hips?

Can you lift your arms?

Can you flip your booty?

Can you let out a moan?

from your belly (moan)

from your heart(moan)

from your vagina (moan)

Can you call your body

Call your body

Can you call our bodies home?