Throughout President Trump's campaign trail, he came under fire multiple occasions for his sexist, racist, and body-shaming remarks. And as hard as it to think about, the tearing down of women isn't new by any means. Politicians in recent years, on both sides of the aisle, have made comments that are not only cringe-worthy—they're repulsive.
Artists Zoë Buckman and Natalie Frank have created the mural "We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident" with the hope to spark a change in the way women are addressed in the political sphere as a whole.
Using text gathered from statements that former and current male politicians have made about women and their bodies, the mural is meant to raise awareness for the way men in politics have not only disrespect women, but seemingly mock sexual violence and its effects.
"Researching the quotes was tough, emotionally," Buckman tells Huffington Post. "Seeing these words typed out, reading sentiment after sentiment of disrespect and hatred, the preposterous absence of science, fact, or reality, the utter lack of compassion, and the blatant misogyny: It's blindingly clear that there is a war on women right now and that there always has been."
And the quotes are not easy to read.
- "Some girls, they rape so easy." Roger Rivard, former member of Wisconsin State Assembly (Republican)
- "[Rape victims] should make the most of a bad situation." Rick Santorum, former Senator representing Pennsylvania (Republican)
- "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy." Milo Yiannopoulos, British journalist and public speaker
- "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States (Democrat)
The mural is not only hoping to raise awareness for the negative statements that have been said, though. It's also meant to raise awareness for the increase in understanding and education surrounding reproduction, the female body, and what a woman's rights should be.
"There's a real lack of basic understanding of the female body and the reproductive system," Buckman tells VICE. "We wanted to find a way to make a statement that's not just arresting but also hopefully quite exciting and aesthetic because beauty and art is our currency."
Next to @nataliegwenfrank is where I like to be! Thank you friend and co-conspirator for sharing this 30+ foot wall of crazy with me. Thank you to everyone who showed up last night and THANK you to everyone who donated the coin to help us produce this badgal. @nylivearts for president 🙏 (📷: @chrissyford )
And Buckman emphasizes that this change needs to happen now in order to influence the mindset of the next generation of women growing up in they are viewed—and the way they view themselves. This is especially important to Buckman—a mother of a 5-year-old daughter.
"I want this project to start a conversation about responsibility," Buckman tells VICE. "Particularly in the way we raise our children. I am incredibly concerned right now about the messages the next generation is going to grow up to receive ... I really want the conversation to be about accountability and [for] people who aren't having these conversations to recognize the vastness of these statements and realize how language feeds into actions and ideology."
Funds for the creation of the mural were raised via a Kickstarter, and it will be on view from February 8 through the spring season.