Even before the infamous Access Hollywood tapes revealed how Donald Trump speaks about women in private, gender equality was one of the topics defining the 2016 election. Two months into his presidency, it remains a pressing issue, and the #ReadMyLips campaign from Mogul will share women's concerns with President Trump in an unorthodox manner — a giant, letter-filled vagina sculpture delivered to the White House.
For the campaign, Mogul, a women-focused social media platform, is gathering messages from women across the world regarding women's rights and healthcare under the Trump administration. "Here is your opportunity to write a message to President Trump on what you want from him over the next four years," reads the #ReadMyLips website. These thoughts, concerns, and hopes will be printed out and sent to the White House inside the aforementioned vagina sculpture on April 21.
The method of delivery is a reference to Trump's past remarks about grabbing women "by the p*ssy." By collaborating with Saturday Night Live prop fabricator Dan Castelli to send Trump a larger-than-life vagina, #ReadMyLips intends to remind everyone that women's bodies are deserving of respect.
Following November's election results, students in 24 universities, including NYU, Cornell, and Yale, took to Mogul to express their thoughts about Trump's upcoming administration. Soon, students at universities in other countries joined in, and Mogul created the #ReadMyLips campaign, which takes a "more is merrier" approach — participants of any political affiliation are welcome. "The more people we have helping to write these messages about these important issues, the bigger statement we can make and bigger impact we can have," reads the campaign's website.
"Through this movement, we can send a message loud and clear: nobody has the right to deny a woman the freedom to make decisions over her own body," says Oxford organizer Sasha Skovron in a statement provided to Bustle. "President Trump poses a great threat to this freedom, and so whether an American citizen or not, #ReadMyLips stands for women everywhere."
In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to send the White House messages inside a sculpture of a vagina for the administration to pay attention to gender equality. However, female anatomy remains a taboo in many ways, and #ReadMyLips uses this to its advantage; it's hard to ignore a message when it's delivered in a gigantic vagina. Furthermore, the sculpture is a reminder that there's nothing shameful about having a vagina — a sorely-needed reminder in the wake of the recent treatment of women's healthcare.
"By having the statue as this shape, it empowers women to be proud of their sexuality and bodies; women have nothing to hide, we only have our determination, spirit, and strong minds to be proud of," says Cornell organizer Michelle Wen.
It's worth noting that the campaign is not without its flaws. By its very nature, it equates womanhood with vaginas; however, not all women have vaginas, and not all people with vaginas are women. In fact, one of the major criticisms of participants in the Women's March in January was the plethora of p*ssy imagery. This imagery reinforces the idea that gender is defined by genitals, which has been pointed out to be exclusionary and alienating for many transgender and non-binary people.
The statue is certainly eye-catching, though, and it makes its point hard to ignore. If you're interested in participating, head over to Mogul to send your own message to President Trump.