Your Body, Your Ballot: The University of Pennsylvania protests Trump

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by Sarah Friedland, Staff Writer

Last month, a video revealing Donald Trump’s past came to light. In the video, Trump commented on his sexual exploits in which he forced himself on multiple women during a bus ride. Since the release of the video, people began to stand up and speak out against Trump’s past actions and sexal assault in general. Some people, such as students at the University of Pennsylvania, went as far as staging protests.

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A feminist art protest occurred at the University of Pennsylvania, Trump’s alma mater, on Tuesday, October 11 in response to the aforementioned video. As reported by The Huffington Post, students called the protest “Your Body, Your Ballot” and stationed people with voter registration forms onsite. Amanda Silberling, the organizer of the protest, hoped the event would “make a statement that the students of Trump’s alma mater reject his candidacy for president on the basis of his hateful behavior, speech, and actions” and “show support and solidarity with… groups of people who are represented on Penn’s campus but are not represented by Trump’s campaign for President.”

Occurring on the final day to register to vote in the presidential election in Pennsylvania, the protest featured original works of art created by students on campus. The artists include organizer Amanda Silberling and fellow students Isabel Kim and Syra Ortiz- Blanes. The art features naked and clothed women of various races and body shapes pulling at holes cut into their stomachs. Quotes such as “we will not be silent” and “grab Trump by the ballot” surround the figures.

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This protest is part of the University of Pennsylvania’s “We Are Watching” protests, which also included an earlier event in response to emails containing sexually suggestive language that were received by several freshman women. Silberling hopes “We Are Watching” protests can “be a platform for those who Trump has maligned to feel supported.” For more information on the University of Pennsylvania’s protests and to read the protest’s artistic statement, visit pennwearewatching.tumblr.com.

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