“No matter who wins the presidency, it feels like the American public has already lost…The fight women fight everyday for our basic dignity and civil rights feels like it got harder.”
That’s just one of the soundbites from the Pussy Project, a powerful portrait series unveiled Tuesday, featuring women articulating the profound impact that this election could have on their lives. The subjects include a 45-year-old woman whose abortion allowed her to escape from her abusive husband, a 25-year-old trans woman who fears that hostility against women has been normalized in this election and a 34-year-old veteran’s advocate who was inspired to speak out about her sexual assault after hearing Trump and other Republican politicians rhetoric on women.
“There are so many of us who are villainized because we do not fit into the mold. It has been suffocating and disappointing to become scapegoats for their problems in our country,” Abby, a 25-year-old immigrant, said in her interview. “Every single aspect of my life is being threatened by the current GOP candidacy.”
The project is the brainchild of San Francisco-based photographer Helena Price, who told Motto that she was first inspired to create the project after a dinner with a group of friends. She said that the group all agreed that it was imperative for Hillary Clinton to win the White House — but none had spoken up publicly about it.
“We all started speculating: why aren’t we posting this publicly? For a lot of us, it was just fear,” Price said, noting that women often face abuse for sharing their opinions in a public forum.
Price found the perfect peg for the project last month, after the Washington Post published a 2005 tape that showed Republican nominee Donald Trump saying he could do anything he wanted to women — including “grab them by their p—”. Price posted an open call for subjects on Twitter so she could feature a diverse group of women, and received hundreds of responses.
“I think this election, for so many women, has brought PTSD — whether that’s being sexually assaulted, not being taken seriously at work, or something else,” Price said. “It’s just brought up so many things for so many women.”
But Price — and many of the women interviewed — said that electing Clinton won’t stop the cycle of misogyny unleashed during the election. However, she thinks that having women speak up — and having men listen, believe and empathize with their experiences — can go a long way. And that’s what she hopes people get out of the project.
And so far, it’s resonating. Price said that the project has been viewed over 29,000 times in the day since she published it, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive — so far, at least.
“The first day is a lot of positive reactions. And then as it grows, haters start to give it attention,” Price said. “I’m mentally prepared for that.”
See the full project here.