Vermont Activists Use “Grab Them By The Ballot” Campaign to Advance Clear Message: Women Unite To Protect Their Bodies
Montpelier, Vermont – January 26, 2019: A diverse group of women undressed in front of a crowd of 1,000 in near-zero temperatures at last weekend’s Women’s March on the State House. They delivered a powerful message: women and their allies are coming together to promote justice and reclaim their bodies, voices, and choices regardless of the climate.
The moment was captured on video, in photos and testimonials shared by the women and available on our website, Facebook and upon request.
Also, new in this campaign was a separate male photo shoot after the march. These men showed their support of women’s rights and solidarity by getting naked too! Robertson points to the recent controversial “toxic masculinity” ad by Gillette, which reflects the need for dialogue around the dynamic between women and men.
The bold movement #grabthembytheballot was launched by Harvard Law School-educated Dawn Robertson last fall during the mid-term elections. When the photos of women with genitals covered by ballots went viral, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream allied with the initiative and supported the campaign.
Those involved with the campaign to date include women of different ages, races, sexual orientations, and identities, from Lakotah Standing Rock elder Beverly Little Thunder to mastectomy survivor Pam Alexander to non-binary/femme activist Sabrina Parker.
Many people ask why nudity is involved. Why wouldn’t it be involved? What is wrong with the nude body? Artists such as the Guerrilla Girls have been using nudity as a form of protest for centuries. It reveals our vulnerability and the urgency of our message. This political landscape demands it.” Said Robertson during a local ABC/FOX affiliate interview that aired last weekend.
“Women get a level of hostility that is about body shaming and looks, and this [movement] is about who we are collectively”. Christine Hallquist told reporters for the interview. She added, “that when she was running as the first transgender governor of Vermont, she felt more hostility for being a woman than being transgender.” Christine is an active member on the Grab Them By The Ballot’s Board.
The popularity of the first campaign caught organizers by surprise. The photos were seen by tens of thousands of people in media outlets around the world. A backlash followed in which members of the group were harassed particularly after the images were prominently featured on Fox News and Breitbart News.
Nevertheless, organizers are undeterred and plan to expand the campaign and empower hundreds of thousands of women and their supporters to vote for justice and equality in the 2020 elections.
Grab Them By The Ballot is dedicated to women’s empowerment, civil rights, intersectionality, gender justice and reclamation of women’s bodies, voices and choices. We aim to advance our agenda by promoting dialogue and innovation through the arts, voting, education, healing alternatives, and intellectual discourse. Bodily sovereignty is a basic human right. We have the right to determine what happens to our bodies, to have our boundaries respected and our bodily integrity inviolate and to make our own choices. We are here to reclaim these rights with integrity and self-responsibility. We aim to promote discussion around these tender and often shunned topics.
Also, new in this campaign is a separate male photo shoot. These men will show their support of women’s rights and solidarity by getting naked too! Robertson points to the recent controversial “toxic masculinity” ad by Gillette, which reflects the need for dialogue around the dynamic between women and men.
Dawn Richardson, Founder/Director, Grab Them By The Ballot
Phone: (631) 830-3003