Vermont activist and Harvard Law School graduate, Dawn Robertson, really wants to capture voters’ attention. She’s gathered a diverse group of women, some through social media and some from the local grocery store, to pose in the nude, covering their private parts with…paper ballots. She believes this effort will inspire citizens to get out and vote – for Democrats of course. Her campaign, called #GrabThemByTheBallot, can be viewed on the group’s Facebook page.
Robertson spoke to the Daily Mail:
She decided to organize the photo shoot with a cast of diverse women of different sizes, sexual orientations and races after #MeToo allegations against prominent figures continued to rise.
She said the Republican Party’s attack on women’s reproductive rights and transgender people’s rights also played a part.
“With the Kavanaugh nomination and MeToo and Trump, women are rising everywhere.”
“What the Republicans are doing to transgender rights, the way they are attacking women’s reproductive rights and the collective trauma means that women are really coming to the forefront now.”
“I hope that the pictures encourage women and marginalized communities to vote. I want them to know that their voice matters and this is serious s***.”
Robertson, who writes about sexuality and relationships, said she was inspired by photographer Anja Shutz’s 2016 series of nude photographs – called Grab Him By The Ballot – where women posed naked with strategically positioned ballots.
That series was in response to Trump’s infamous remark that he could ‘grab women by the p****.’
Robertson said ‘The difference is we are saying it’s not just Trump, it’s Kavanaugh and all the alleged abusers who have been exposed by the Me Too movement.”
“I faced a lot of backlash when I tried to recruit a diverse group of women,” she said.
“I was told I was objectifying women, that nudity equals promiscuity and even that I was playing the part of a white savior. But I don’t think that the pictures oversexualise the women.”
“Nudity is fine, being naked is a natural expression. Men have sexualized and monetized women’s bodies but these pictures give the power back to the woman.”
Z, a Jewish transgender woman, said that she took part in the risqué shoot to raise awareness of how the Trump administration is treating the transgender community.
She said: “I’m doing this to raise awareness about the impact voting has on the lives of people who are the target of erasure, violence, bigotry, oppression in all of its forms.”
“Donald Trump’s administration is aggressively trying to define transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people out of existence.”
“I’m optimistic that this photo shoot will serve as a starting point for more women to claim their bodies.”
Following are several photos appearing on their Facebook page:
Not everyone had praise for Robertson’s campaign. Many people responded with disapproval:
For obvious reasons, Robertson’s photos have gone viral. Robertson has certainly attracted attention. Whether that translates into votes is another matter entirely. There is nothing about these photographs that inspires me to go out and perform my civic duty.
It doesn’t project strength. These women don’t want to be seen as sex objects, yet they strip and have their photos taken. They watch those photos go viral and seem to believe they’ve accomplished something profound. To me, it’s an odd way to gain respect.
I don’t understand how exactly this campaign will inspire people to vote. Readers?