The Pussy Project

A Portrait of Women and Politics

Today I released another photo project. This time, it’s political.

I named it The Pussy Project.

The name is a trigger for all of us. For many it represents the moment in the Trump campaign that incited so many women to finally get angry, get involved and speak out. That shift — the sudden activation of women across America to vocalize their feelings about this election — is what I set out to explore with this project.

Many women have strong opinions on this election — and yet, we aren’t talking openly about it. Even right now, there are so many women who are enraged by our current election but they are terrified to share their feelings in fear of retaliation. That feels crazy to say about America in 2016.

In more conservative parts of the country, speaking out could mean destroying relationships with our church, social groups, fathers or husbands. In more liberal parts, it could mean dealing with trolls or hackers who want to suppress our voice as a woman on the Internet. I could be putting myself in danger by doing this project.

I am from a very conservative small town in North Carolina and grew up Republican, so I am deeply acquainted with the culture of politics in red states. I am also the daughter of a Norwegian and have spent quite a bit of time in cultures on the socialist side of the spectrum, and I’ve spent almost a decade living in arguably the most liberal city in the country, San Francisco. I have seen all sides.

That said, I know that pro-Hillary rhetoric sounds just as crazy to Trump voters as pro-Trump rhetoric sounds to so many of us. Rhetoric is not enough to change minds. I truly believe that exposing voters to people who are relatable in some ways but different in others, sharing personal stories, and increasing empathy on both sides, is a more reliable path to change.

Ladies: I hope this project inspires you all to be more open about our experiences and unafraid to share our views. To have conversations with our male friends, fathers and husbands about what this election means to us. To share our stories with other women who may not understand the gravity of how this election could affect them. To support other women, and to examine your own biases if you don’t.

Gents: I hope this inspires you to sit down and really listen to the experiences of women close to you.

Please share this project if women’s voices are important to you. Thanks for reading.

xo