How These Feminists Are Taking A Stand At The RNC Gives Hope To Feminists Everywhere
Meeting a feminist at the Republican National Convention sounds as hard as capturing the elusive Zubat in "Pokémon Go." Since the 1970s, the words "feminist" and "Republican" have seemed practically antithetical to each other, and it's not so uncommon to hear Republican pundits and radio hosts spout anti-feminist comments on a daily basis. (Does anyone remember Rush Limbaugh coining the term "feminazi?") So it was a bit surprising to come across some feminists at the RNC — although they mostly materialized outside the convention doors.
While 100 nude women flanked the Cuyahoga River as part of a protest / art installation, Bustle talked to some feminists taking a stand outside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Many women, like 73-year-old Ingrid Kunstel, went there with anti-Trump signs, promoting social justice.
"I've been a feminist since the '60s," Kunstel tells Bustle as she holds a "One Nation Indivisible" sign. "I taught consciousness-raising groups, [and] did my dissertation on women's consciousness-raising."
Martha Neuman, wearing a bra and a polka-dot skirt, showed up to the arena with a feminist anti-war message: "Women Say... Disarm." She tells Bustle: "I am a feminist because I believe in equal rights, and also because I do not want the government or the laws to control my body and what I get to do with it."
Self-described feminist April Brucker attended the RNC with a puppet in hand — a Donald Trump puppet. The puppet claimed that he was a feminist as well, telling Bustle in an (entirely serious) interview: "I am a feminist because I loooooove women, and they looooove me. Why do you think I've been married so many times?"
Brucker, meanwhile, took a firmly anti-Trump stance, wearing a "Unite Against Trump" shirt. She tells Bustle that she believes in "equal rights for everyone."
Many feminists took a stand outside the RNC as members of Code Pink, the women-led antiwar organization. The Code Pink protesters carried various progressive messages, ranging from antiwar mantras and welcoming messages to refugees to calls for protection of personal liberty. Below, you can see Code Pink member Suzi Allen unfurl a scarf bearing an ACLU slogan. (Allen tells Bustle she is also a member of the ACLU.)
"Both of the candidates on the Republican side are buffoons," Allen says. "I'm with the group Code Pink. ... Actually, people seeing this sign on both side of the political spectrum seem to agree with this statement."
These are just a handful of the proud feminists who showed up to the RNC to fearlessly spread a message of equality and unity, especially to a party that often treats women as less than their male counterparts.
Image: Seth Millstein & Hayley Saltzman/Bustle