Nearly one week ago, it was decided that an outwardly intolerant bigot would be the next President of the United States. Donald J. Trump, a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist rapist, a reality T.V. star with absolutely no prior political experience, has been appointed to lead this country, with an equally-as-awful VP Mike Pence by his side. I don’t think I need to delve into the details to explain what, exactly, is so terrifying about this decision. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re fully aware already. This election was, and is, for lack of a better word, a total, uncompromising shitshow. It’s wholly repulsive, and it has left me, and so many people I know and love, shaking with fear — and with good reason.
Remember when this pathetic excuse of a man openly celebrated sexual assault? Right. Me too. How could we possibly forget? All of us stood by and heard Donald Trump say that he can do whatever he wants to women.
“Grab them by the pussy,” he proudly proclaimed.
We all thought, (naively, apparently) that those words would be the final nails in the coffin. How could Hillary Clinton, an undeniably experienced, qualified and influential candidate, possibly lose to this incoherent woman-hating Cheeto in an ill-fitting suit?
Yet, it happened. The worst happened. And thus, in the wake of this catastrophe, we’re left asking, “What can we do? Is there anything we can do?”
Anti-Trump protests have erupted across the country. My vocal cords are still strained from all the rallies I attended last week. I’ve marched, carried posters, signed petition after petition. I’ve donated money to Planned Parenthood, to the ACLU. And yet, I’m still dissatisfied, and I want Trump and Pence to realize the extent of my dissatisfaction.
As I was contemplating expressive strategies, blood ran down my thigh, reminding me it was time to change my tampon. I was sitting with my friends, grieving, when I jokingly suggested, “Maybe I’ll just mail my bloody tampons to Trump and Pence.” A close friend of mine looked me in the eye and said, “Honestly, Gabby…That could probably go viral.”
And that was the birth of my project, #TamponsForTrump, #PeriodsForPence. And this, dear BUST readers, is my inviting you to participate.
The newly appointed leaders of our country think that our bodies exist solely for their consumption. They believe they can strip us of our autonomy and our rights, that because of their privileged social status, they can grab us by the pussy.
If it’s pussy they want, it is pussy they’ll get. In all its bloody, uterus-chunky glory.
#TamponsForTrump, #PeriodsForPence is a call for you to get artistic, to get messy. With the help of the internet, I’ve gathered nearly 600 people (so far) to send their best period art to the offices of Trump and Pence.
Please note that it is a federal offense to mail *real* blood, as bodily fluids are considered a biohazard. As much as I would love for all of us to send real, gory remnants of menstruation to them via the U.S. Postal Service, we can’t. Seriously, don’t do that.
Instead, let’s get crafty. Stir up some fake blood. To make fake blood that's convincing yet simple, add a couple drops of red food coloring and a little bit of blue food coloring to a bottle of corn syrup. As you go, shake the corn syrup between every couple drops until you get a deep blueish-red (it should not be a bright true red). To make uterus-like clots, pour some rubber cement in your hand, and as it dries/becomes tacky, roll it up into a ball in your palm. For larger clots, add more rubber cement. Once you get the size you want, cover the clot in the fake blood, and voila! Menstrual magic.
Then, grab your tampons, your Soft Cups, your pads, your underwear, whatever you prefer, and bathe them in the blood-like concotion, or soak them in red glitter, package ‘em up with a letter expressing your disdain, and drop them in the mail.
If you don't want to mess with mailing, here's another option: take photos of your period or period-inspired art and tag @RealDonaldTrump and @Mike.Pence using the hashtags #TamponsForTrump and #PeriodsForPence.
Let’s have some fun and let’s get nasty. Let’s remind these men that they cannot control or possess the bodies of menstruating people. The more people we have on board with this project, the harder we are to ignore. So, bloody buddies, share this idea, and share your art.
If you need inspiration, here are a couple of examples:
The mailing addresses are as follows:
Name: DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC.
Address: 725 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10022.
Office of Governor Mike Pence
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797
One final note: I realize that this form of protest is not necessarily productive. As I mentioned, it’s merely an artistic method of expressing frustration. That said, I urge you all to engage in other forms of protest, as well. Considering donating menstrual products to people who are in need and cannot afford them. Donate money to organizations like Planned Parenthood, volunteer at a rape crisis center or a local LGBTQ+ community center, research organizations that provide helpful services for the marginalized people that a Trump presidency is threatening, etc. We can make a difference, and it’s imperative that we do everything in our power to do just that.
Images from The Shining, Gabrielle Diekhoff, and Halle Luksich
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