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Artists Create Mural That Shames Men for Shaming Women

Photograph by Getty Images

For all the talk about women's bodies that male politicians are doing, it's funny how most of it is wrong. And rude. But mostly wrong.

It's like lawmakers with penises and even wives don't technically understand anything about what goes on down there or in there or around there. Even the president thinks it's not such a big deal to walk up and grab something and then go talk about it with—oh ha!—a guy named Bush.

Whatever. It's awful and it is a big deal and most of all it's just still kind of shocking, even for women have heard it all, who hear it all —which is, like, most of us who have ever left the house.

STILL: It's not normal. And when the pussy-grabber Republican presidential nominee became the pussy grabber-elect, despite his pussy grabbing and (what many suspect) because of his pussy grabbing, artists Zoë Buckman and Natalie Frank kind of couldn't stand it. So they made art.

"Natalie and I have been talking for months about the mass of upsetting statements made about women and women's bodies during the election process," Buckman said to the editors at Creators, a site for Vice. "This research-based mural project is about the cumulative effects of negativity, hate, and the abandonment of science that has completely bewildered us, on women and girls."

They collected ignorant quotes from 37 politicians on all sides of the misogyny aisle (looking at you, Bill Clinton!) and assembled them into a big, stupid, shocking art installation, a 30-foot-long mural called "We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident."

Buckman, who has also explored female-focused messages in hip-hop, explains that the piece was an attempt to find a way to show the basic lack of understanding of the female body and women's reproductive systems.

This lack of understanding, and disinterest in the facts, drives lawmakers to call birth control "abortion" and abortion "the end of life," among other anti-female things.

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The title of the piece is from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions," which she delivered in 1848 at the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Buckman and Frank create a background for the mural that is an image of an old boys' club of white men sitting at a conference table. An image of a classical odalisque—a concubine—hangs over the room's mantle.

In the foreground are quotes from Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, and also from men like Ben Carson, Steve Bannon, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush and Ted Kennedy. A number on the quote corresponds to a list of faces and descriptions about what, when and where their statements were spoken.

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Case in point: Vice President Mike Pence, who, after watching Disney's "Mulan" with his children, said, "Moral of the story: Women in military, bad idea."

Really? That's what he got from the movie?

"We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident" is currently on view at New York Live Arts in New York City.

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