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Naked and Unafraid: Vermont Women Strip Down to 'Grab Them by the Ballot'

A diverse group of 10 Vermont women gathered over the weekend to create an edgy get-out-the-vote campaign urging participation in the upcoming election. Unhappy with the direction of the country, the women of varied shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds bared it all for an intimate, empowering photo session in Burlington, said organizer Dawn Robertson. “How can we inspire women to vote after the Kavanaugh confirmation, the #MeToo movement and Trump?” said Robertson, a Harvard Law-educated attorney who writes about sexuality and relationships. “It’s a culmination of all those factors.” Robertson was inspired by Massachusetts photographer Anja Schütz, who shot similar nude photos of women in the lead-up to the 2016 election, around the time the infamous “grab 'em by the pussy” Donald Trump tape was released. Both photo projects play off Trump’s crass comments. Robertson's, which she dubbed “Grab Them by the Ballot,” features women of color, a pregnant woman, a transgender woman and a woman with disabilities.

The models held well-placed ballots and photographer John Schreinerdigitally added slogans across their chests to intertwine politics and female sexuality. Z, a 28-year-old trans woman who asked to be identified only by her first initial, said she participated in part to protest President Trump’s continued assault on the trans community, including a proposed federal policy that would define gender based on the genitals with which a person is born. “I want to bring awareness to the existence of trans people and the variety in our bodies,” said Z. “To show I exist, this is me, I’m here, I’m a woman, I’m transgender. With everything that’s going on, I just think it’s really important to be visible.” Gina Carrera felt the same way. She’s a Latina and mother to a daughter with a disability and has felt marginalized by the political climate. “I don’t often have a voice lately and to use my body as my voice, I think, is a very powerful thing,” said Carrera, an artist and disability advocate from Essex. “If we don’t vote and use our votes to make changes, then I don’t think anything is going to change in the near future.”

To see the rest of the photo shoot click here

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