With the election beginning on Oct. 9, several different campaigns have been developed to entice and encourage voters to go out and showcase their civic responsibility, and this week a cheeky campaign offering nude photos in exchange for proof of voting was launched.
The volunteer-based, all-woman team founded by Montreal artist and activist Jessica Simps has taken it upon themselves to hit Stephen Harper in his weakest spot: his stance on women’s issues, women’s rights and women’s bodies.
For the last two federal elections, women have voted at higher rates in all age groups. However, Harper has failed to fully address women’s issues and even cancelled his appearance at a debate focused exclusively on women’s issues.
While Sluts Against Harper may be an unconventional way to encourage voting, it is also starting a dialogue, empowering women sexually and politically and demonstrating the power of body positivity and awareness.
I had the opportunity to chat with Elizabeth M. from Toronto, who recently submitted her own photos to Sluts Against Harper. She explained to me, “Voting and politics are incredibly important, and I think that the people who are stripping down for Sluts Against Harper are showing how passionate they are about trying to change Canada for the better. I don’t see it as a frivolous project. I think it has some real meaning and depth.”
Elizabeth adds, “From what I’ve seen of Harper, it seems like he wants to try his best to forget that women’s issues exist, and I think the only way to even make him bat an eyelash is to be as outspoken and loud — and naked — as possible.”
Founder Simps told Vice magazine, “I think that we’re terrifying as women, and as young people. Basically, I’m willing to do anything to spark the vote and get some interest.”
Sluts Against Harper is also breaking down stigma against women’s bodies and sexuality. “Sometimes sexuality can be the greatest tool and sharpest weapon a person has,” says Elizabeth.
Although the campaign experienced a temporary ban from Instagram, it is back up and running and encouraging everyone to do something positive: Vote on Oct. 19.