A massive protest of the Republican National Convention, being held in Cleveland, Ohio was held this past weekend (July 17). It was organized by photographer Spencer Tunick, to protest the hateful and violent rhetoric of presumptive nominee Donald Trump, especially that which has been directed toward women. He put a call out, and over 1,800 women responded.
The project, entitled "Everything She Says Means Everything", was staged Sunday morning, and featured 100 naked women holding mirrors. The mirrors symbolized the reflection of "the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of 'Mother Nature' into and onto the convention center". The goal was "to make art with what may be the most controversial subject in this presidential race, a woman's body". Tunick selected an incredibly apt topic. Trump has made numerous statements (some contradicting his others) on abortion, a woman's role in the home, and his perception of working moms. His running mate, Mike Pence, has a terrible record for upholding women's rights, having successfully led a number of campaigns designed to reduce access to abortion in the state of Indiana. He's also cut funding to Planned Parenthood, taking money out of HIV detection and treatment and trying to channel it into so-called "gay conversion" therapy.
The 100 women who participated were drawn from the nearly 2,000 responses received, and each woman was there for a slightly different reason. One woman told reporters that she was there because she was trans, and she wanted to respond to the common sentiment that trans women are "not supposed to like our bodies", other women were there to participate in "a peaceful protest", and to demonstrate that the "female body [is] something that shouldn't be shameful but beautiful and enlightening". Some women were seeking to reclaim a positive image of their body after pregnancy or sexual assault. Other women were quite frank in their admission that they were there to show that they do not support Donald Trump.
One woman, Deanna Bergdorf, wrote a Facebook note discussing her experience:
I fought to hold in my tears as [Tunick] explained that we were gathered together to make a statement against the rhetoric of hatred that's being spewed out from the Republican party; against the misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, anti-LGBTQ, ableist platform that has defined hating others as an acceptable American lifestyle.
And indeed that hateful rhetoric is a lifestyle choice, something that its proponents choose to repeat time and time again. These women wanted to demonstrate, however they can, that this type of hate will not be tolerated, but that it can be defeated peacefully, without resorting to the same hateful tones as being thrown out by the Republican party.
You can take a look at more from the project, as well as read the statements from the women who applied to participate. Be cautions, however, these images are definitely NSFW.