By Elizabeth Willoughby on
In an interview with Democracy Now this month, Eve Ensler, a playwright, activist and the creator of V-Day, spoke about her worries of the escalation of rape culture and a predatory mindset in the United States, particularly within the country’s new administration.
Besides President Trump’s boasts about his proclivity to sexually assault women, which he said he could get away with because of his celebrity status, and his ex-wife, Ivana, stating in her divorce deposition that Donald Trump had raped her; Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, was charged with violence and battery against his ex-wife; Trump’s first pick for Labour Secretary, Andrew Puzder, was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife; Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general, voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women act; and Tom Price, the new secretary of health and human services, also voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women act.
“Watching Trump and watching the people Trump surrounds himself with, we are seeing the escalation of rape culture, a predatory mindset, in many respects,” said Ensler in the interview, "but I’ll particularly address towards women. I think from the very beginning, listening to Trump, how is it possible that a nation of people felt OK with electing a self-confessed sexual assaulter? How is it possible we feel OK with Bannon, who seems to be running the show right now, who is known to have beaten his wife? If we look at that as something that’s acceptable in a general way, then we understand we haven’t really gotten to the root of rape culture in America.
“I also think that predatory mindset is affecting everything. We’re gutting regulations on air, on water and on the earth. We’re escalating extraction. We’re seeing the ransacking of laws, a disparaging of immigrants. And this is all part of a predatory mindset, which is really about one person in power who does what he wants without the consent of the people around him, which is exactly what rape culture is. You seize people’s bodies, you take them against their will, and you do whatever you want to them.”
But it’s not total doom and gloom. On May 11, Ensler will be speaking at Disorderly Bodies: Intersectional Activism in the Age of Trump in Los Angeles, CA, where she will offer strategies “for surviving in the Trump era as antiracist feminists”.
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