This series consists of three images of a man, clearly portrayed as Donald Trump, making unwanted sexual advances towards three different women. Each scene was inspired by behaviors that made frequent appearances in the 22 accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against Trump: non-consensual kissing, breast grabbing, and touching of genitals by reaching up a woman’s skirt. The photos represent Trump in his various public roles - pageant owner, golfer and campaigner, and President - but are not intended to convey one specific incident or point in time.
When Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct coupled with the “Access Hollywood tape”, I felt appalled and hopeless - and the situation did not improve from there. Just over a year later, when the #MeToo movement was gaining traction, a HuffPost/YouGov poll showed that 66% of Trump voters found the allegations against Harvey Weinstein credible, but that number dropped to 8% when asked about allegations against Trump. Now, another year later, credible accusations of sexual assault made against Brett Kavanaugh did very little to disrupt his confirmation to the Supreme Court. While we as citizens did not elect Kavanaugh, Trump’s dismissiveness of these accusations demonstrates the far-reaching effects of electing him as President.
Sexual assault should not be a partisan issue, and it makes me furious that it has become one. Men who show such little respect for women have no place in government, regardless of their party affiliation. In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men have experienced some form sexual violence in their lifetime. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you almost certainly know and love someone who has. My hope is that these photographs cast these accusations in a new light and show the gravity of them in a way that a news story can’t. They are my plea to everyone who sees them to not only go out and vote, but to vote armed with knowledge, empathy, and purpose.
Shot at Fulton Studio.