Can the Tramps stop Trump?
UPDATE: Hours after this article was published, Instagram deactivated Tramps Against Trump's account. An Instagram spokesperson, when reached for comment, said that they would not comment on individual accounts and pointed Motherboard to the platform's community guidelines relating to nudity: "… we don't allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples…"
Tramps Against Trump, in a statement sent to Motherboard, maintain that their posts were "completely in line with the community standards" and that all nudity was appropriately censored. "It is clear that Instagram's politics are in line with Trump's politics—they are both openly anti-women and have no intention of changing their ways," the statement reads. Tramps Against Trump is also starting a Snapchat account, with the handle "trampsxtrump".
Sluts Against Harper's Instagram account was also briefly deactivated, but was reinstated hours later. At the time, an Instagram spokesperson told Motherboard that Instagram employees may initially miss the "political context" of some accounts.
The women behind Sluts Against Harper, the votes-for-nudes campaign that helped to oust the former Prime Minister during the 2015 federal election, have passed the torch to some American friends in their time of need.
A group of women in the US are hoping to replicate Sluts Against Harper's success by turning their attention to pestilential Doritos-dust gremlin Donald Trump with a new campaign called, you guessed it, Tramps Against Trump.
The rules are simple: send a direct message to the group's Instagram account with a photo of yourself outside a polling station (you don't have to show who you voted for), and the Tramps will send you a nude pic from their roster of women, men, trans, and non-gender binary people.
Trump has more or less seized the Republican nomination for himself at this point, so Tramps Against Trump is focused on getting US citizens registered and excited to vote, so that they're ready to make an impact when the general election rolls around.
"Whoever becomes president will have a direct effect on what we can and can't do with our bodies"
"In the past we had Rock the Vote and other ways to get the vote out, but what do young people like now? They like naked people on the internet," said Tramps Against Trump creator "Jessica Rabbit," who wished to remain pseudonymous to avoid online harassment. "So, we're using naked people on the internet to make a change and get people excited about something."
Jessica Rabbit—an homage to the pseudonym of the woman behind Sluts Against Harper, "Jessica Simps"—is herself a sex worker, she told me, and so are many of Tramps Against Trump's volunteer staff. Trump has been particularly vocal about his anti-abortion (and some would say anti-women) stances, making the upcoming election's outcome of crucial importance for her.
"Whoever becomes president will have a direct effect on what we can and can't do with our bodies, and how the law will move forward relating to us," Jessica Rabbit said. "For sex workers, this is a really important election."
The Tramps Against Trump campaign is also sure to face criticism from those who might see women using their naked bodies to swing a political fight as, well, anti-feminist. In the US, a debate about gender and feminism in politics is already in full-swing as Hillary Clinton moves closer to clinching the Democratic nomination. If the final race for the presidency ends up being between her and Trump, the rhetoric will only get more heated.
But the Tramps are ready, Jessica Rabbit said.
"Of course that critique is going to come, and Hillary Clinton followers will definitely be some of the people that push that rhetoric forward," she said. "We're sexualized by audiences, by men, and by the media. If we engage with it and send nudes, we lose, if we don't, then we still lose. In the end, we're consenting adults who are choosing to participate in this campaign."
Sluts Against Harper had a staff of roughly 20 women working to meet the demand for nudes in Canada, a country that has roughly the same population as California. In the US, the demand is sure to be much, much higher. According to Jessica Simps, the Montreal performance artist behind Sluts Against Harper, this won't be easy.
"Nobody loves nudes more than Americans, they have such a hyper-sexualized porn culture," Simps said. "They're going to need a team of girls to hold them while they cry and feed them."