While many women were disgusted after hearing leaked audio of a 2016 presidential candidate bragging about sexual assault, the remarks struck a deep and personal cord for Massachusetts-based photographer Anja Schutz.
"I've been cat-called and sexually called out by more men than I can count," Schutz wrote on her Facebook page last week. "I've been forced into performing a sexual act on a person against my will when I was in a position of vulnerability. I immediately felt confusion, helplessness, self-loathing and disgust. I never reported it out of shame. Even now, typing these words out, I feel shame. And extreme anger."
Like many women, Schutz was especially appalled at the misogynistic "grab them by the pussy" remark heard in the released audio, so she created a photo series to empower women to make their voices heard on Election Day. She called the series "Grab Him By The Ballot."
Last week, she posted a message to Facebook to recruit "fearless, art-loving ladies" to participate in the photo shoot.
"It, much like the other shots I've been doing, will be nude, seeing as a woman's body seems to be as political as ever, if not even more so," Schutz wrote on Facebook.
Schutz posted the first three photos on Wednesday night — and they were shared 200 times by Thursday morning.
Candidates who make lewd comments about women might want to rethink their strategy, because women tend to vote at higher rates than men. And people of all genders will certainly be motivated to vote in this November, thanks in part to projects like this one from Schutz.
"I'm deeply and truly floored by the response to the first two portraits in my project," Schutz wrote on Facebook. "I never imagined I'd have so many people reacting so receptively."
A Plus reached out to Schutz for a comment.