What started with concerned students at 24 colleges airing their personal grievances on the unassuming social website Mogul has now gradually grown to become one of the most prevalent women’s issues campaigns. Titled #ReadMyLips, this grassroots effort has gained serious momentum on the female-run website as an international effort to ship an artfully crafted vagina statue to the White House on April 5, to coincide with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Inside the statue, the group will stuff the concerns of individuals, scrawled on pieces of paper, regarding women’s rights, women’s health and better support for those impacted by sexual assault.
The 55-inch statue, commissioned by Mogul, will be built in collaboration with artist Dan Castelli, a long-time SNL specialty-prop fabricator, in order to present the messages in a “strong and beautiful manner.” The structure’s design is inspired by Trump’s now-infamous statement about grabbing women by their lady parts. The activists at Mogul want to promote a vagina’s beauty, which, contrary to the president’s beliefs, is not a built-in handle that can be grabbed at will. “We hope that President Trump will accept this kind gesture from our team and from women worldwide,” Mogul’s Juli Szaller told Playboy.
Since its launch in February, Mogul’s supporters have grown to include millions worldwide. Students have hosted rallies on campuses and have otherwise spread their message through stickers, vagina pins (see below), angsty blog posts and flyers. The campaign has been widely covered in school papers; now, national and international publications are taking interest.
To participate, all supporters have to do is create a profile on Mogul and post a message—which can be a poem, a letter, a video or a missive—with the hashtag #ReadMyLips in the title. “This is your chance to send a message loud and clear to the White House on why you believe it’s vital for women to have access to health care and all other rights you are passionate about protecting for the present and future,” the website states. Everyone is welcome— Democrats, Republicans and yes, even men.“
“Women’s rights are human rights, and we strongly believe that here at Mogul,” Namisha Bahl tells us. “Change occurs when we all stand together—men, women, LGBTQ community—and ask for it.” Mogul suggests men dedicate these messages to their sisters, daughters, mothers or any loved one that that we may want to support.
When asked the best-case scenario of the campaign, Bahl says, “We are looking forward to the statue being sent to the White House and accepted gracefully, and thereafter leading to a hopefully better understanding of our concerns with regards to legislation of women’s health and women’s rights.”
While there is no shortage of outrage regarding the current political climate—especially with regards to women’s rights—it seems the #ReadMyLips effort is a peaceful campaign that has serious promise, with potential to grow to the ranks of Rape Revealed, Eleanor Roosevelt Girls’ Leadership Worldwide and Women In Innovation. Considering the time and effort that is going into the art piece, as well as its visual likeness, you’d think President Donald Trump might make time to log off Twitter and give the sculpture an honest look.
If you wish to participate in the #ReadMyLips campaign, head over here for more details.