Published On: Thu, Feb 1st, 2018

Gloria Steinem says abortion rights is ‘where democracy starts’ in bizarre discussion of rape

During a post-show conversation about Sovereignty at Arena Stage, Gloria Steinem spoke about “women’s rights,” but truly meant just abortion, equating this freedom to Democracy at large.

Using the conversation about rape, tribal rape to be specific, Steinem stated that a woman’s right to govern her body is “where democracy starts—either we govern our own physical selves or we don’t.”

Controlling women’s bodies in order to control reproduction was “the beginning of patriarchy,”  which was “the beginning of all hierarchy.”

Steinem said to much laughter: “It happens that women have wombs. If we did not have wombs, we’d be fine.”

The conversation was at a Sunday night performance of Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty, a stage performance which draws “a profound parallel between a woman’s fundamental right to control of her own body and the supreme right to self-governance of a nation” centering on the lifting of regulations to prevent non-Indians from committing horrible atrocities, including rape, without penalty. The main character, Sarah, is beaten and raped by her non-Indian husband.

Steinem said, “What we have seen tonight is so revelatory for what our concept of democracy is and what our human rights are.”

Steinem said, “I can’t think of anything that has been so informationally, emotionally, historically, democratically revelatory as what we’ve just seen.”

Sovereignty is playing through February 18, 2018, as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival at Arena Stage – 1101 Sixth Street SW, in Washington, D.C. For tickets call (202) 488-3300 or go online.

Gloria Steinem attending the Ms. Foundation for Women’s 23rd annual Gloria Awards, named for her, on May 19, 2011. photo/ Ms. Foundation for Women via wikimedia

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco


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