Activists don Handmaid's Tale costumes to protest Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee
Activists crashed Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearing on Tuesday morning by protesting the event wearing costumes inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale.
The group, dressed in the red cloaks and white bonnets women are are forced to wear in the dystopian drama, silently opposed the Washington, D.C. event, which marked the start of a four-day hearing for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
The Hulu series, which is set in a world in which women live as enslaved concubines under a theocratic dictatorship, was used to highlight Kavanaugh’s potential threat to women’s rights.
“Brett Kavanaugh is an extremist ideologue who, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will take away women’s basic rights,” read a statement issued to The Hill by the activists, who were present on behalf of the group Demand Justice.
They also blasted what they believe to be “anti-abortion, anti-healthcare and anti-women” rhetoric demonstrated by Kavanaugh.
“Right now in America, far too many women of color cannot access safe, affordable healthcare and the ability to decide whether, when and how to raise thriving families is out of reach,” the statement continues. “Brett Kavanaugh will take this already harsh reality and make it worse.”
Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book, The Handmaid’s Tale has been invoked for political activism before.
Protestors donned handmaids’ costumes during the arrival of Vice President Mike Pence and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a New York City summit last month.
Alyssa Milano recently sported the show’s garb at a “Rise Up For Roe” rally in Phoenix, thrown in support of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. The actress held up a sign that read, “Never Kavanaugh, Never Gilead,” referencing the fictitious country from the Emmy-winning hit.
Ane Crabtree, the costumer designer for the acclaimed hit, has previously shared her support for those using her designs to provoke social change. In the wake of Tuesday’s protest, she retweeted an image from the event.
“Every time it happens I actually, physically fall to the floor crying, because it’s more than emotional. It goes through my soul, when I read this,” she told Think Progress in May of seeing the pieces worn by activists. “I never thought that a girl from my upbringing, from Kentucky, from a very conservative place, from my background, I never thought that I would have anything to say, even indirectly, via costumes.”
“That gives me hope,” she added. “There is something we all can do, and it may not feel big at the time, but it resonates. And thank God for social media, so more people can see it.”