Eve Ensler’s Open Letter to White Women

Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day and author of The Vagina Monologues, has published an open letter to white women supporting Kavanaugh in Time magazine.

In an interview with Democracy Now!Ensler said that she wrote the letter because of the statistics.

“The statistics say that most white men support Kavanaugh, 45% of white women support him. 30% of Hispanic women, and 11% of African-American women.” — Ensler

The statistics paint an eerily similar picture of Trump’s election; he slid through largely based on the support of white, conservative women.

Here is what Ensler has to say:

“Dear white women who support Brett Kavanaugh,

Last night when I saw Donald Trump mock Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, I couldn’t help focusing on the women behind him who cheered and laughed. I felt like I was falling into a familiar nightmare. It compelled me to reach out to you. When I was a child my father sexually abused and beat me. My mother did not protect me. She sided with my father, just like these women sided with Donald Trump, and I understand why.

She sided with him because he was the breadwinner. She sided with him because of her need to survive. She sided with him because the reality of what was happening in front of her was so terrible, it was easier not to see. She sided with him because she was brought up never to question a man. She was taught to serve men and make men happy. She was trained not to believe women.

It was only much later, after my father died, that she was able to acknowledge the truth of my childhood and to ask for my forgiveness. It was only then, too late, that she was able to see how she had sacrificed her daughter for security and comfort. She used those words. I was her “sacrifice.”

Some people when they look at this video of women laughing at Dr. Ford, will see callousness. I see distancing. I see denial. I have worked on ending violence against women for 20 years. I have traveled this country many times. I have sat with women of all ages and political persuasions. I remember the first performances of my play, “The Vagina Monologues,” in Oklahoma City, when half the women — half the women in the audience came up after to tell me they had been raped or abused.

Most of them whispered it to me, and often I was the first and only person they had told. Until that moment, they had found a way to normalize it. Expect it. Accept it. Deny it. I don’t believe you want to have to choose your sons and your husbands over your daughters. I don’t believe you want the pain that was inflicted on us inflicted on future generations.

I know the risk many of you take coming out to say you believe a woman over a man. It means you might then have to recognize and believe your own experience. If one out of three women in the world have been raped or beaten, it must mean some of you have had this experience. To believe in other woman means having to touch into the pain and fear and sorrow and rage of your own experience and that feels unbearable sometimes.

I know because it took me years to come out of my own denial and to break with my perpetrator, my father. To speak the truth that risked upending the comfort of my very carefully constructed life.

But I can tell you that living a lie is living half a life. It was only after telling my story that I knew happiness and freedom. I know the risk others of you face who have witnessed those you love suffer the traumatic after-effects of violence and those who worry for both your sons and daughters that may someday face this violence I write to you because we need you, the way I once needed my mother.

We need you to stand with women who are breaking the silence in spite of their terror and shame. I believe inside the bodies of some of those women who laughed at that rally were other impulses and feelings they weren’t expressing.

Here’s why I believe you should take this stand with me. Violence against women destroys our souls. It annihilates our sense of self. It numbs us. It separates us from our bodies. It is the tool used to keep us second-class citizens. And if we don’t address it, it can lead to depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, overeating and suicide. It makes us believe we are not worthy of a life of happiness.

It took my mother 40 years to see what her denial had done and to apologize to me. I don’t think you want to apologize to your daughters 40 years from now.

Stop the ascension of a man who is angry, aggressive, vengeful and could very well be a sexual assaulter. Time is short. Call your senators. Stop laughing and start fighting.

With all my love, Eve.”

The final vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is scheduled for tomorrow.

Iron Triangle Press continues to follow this story.

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