When it comes to women's rights, most Republicans in Congress just don’t get it. Maybe it's time to try another approach, say, from the backend?
Sex toy subscription box UnBound wants you to mail your congressman a vibrator — a message that they can't ignore.
With the campaign “Vibes for Congress,” if you purchase a $15 vibrator, Unbound will donate 75 percent to Planned Parenthood. So even if the message is lost on someone like Ted Cruz, who has likely never seen a sex toy in his life, at least your purchase still goes towards a good cause.
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UnBound founder Polly Rodriguez, who was formerly a staffer for Missouri Senate democrat Claire McCaskill, told Elle that with the campaign, she hopes to “raise awareness in a way that gets people excited, that's funny and creates a conversation, that can get people to feel more comfortable with the idea of women's sexuality."
On Unbound’s site, you can either enter your address to find your representatives, or select the elected official of your choice via a drop-down menu of names.
He or she will receive the vibrator along with an educational pamphlet explaining some basics about the state of women’s sexual health in the United States today. Facts include that one in five women has visited a Planned Parenthood in her lifetime, and that more than 99 percent of sexually-active women between the ages of 15 and 44 have used birth control.
Rodriguez explained that she got the idea after learning that four Planned Parenthood centers in Iowa were forced to close after being defunded by then-Gov Terry Branstad (he resigned shortly after to become US ambassador to China).
And it’s not just Iowa: Planned Parenthoods have shuttered nationwide. The current Senate healthcare bill would impose a one-year block on federal reimbursements for care provided by Planned Parenthood, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, that could result in 15 percent of women losing access to reproductive and family planning services.
The message will likely come across differently — good or bad vibes! — depending on who you choose. If you mail to the likes of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Ted Cruz — Rodriguez’s top picks, she said — it’s very, “shove this where the sun don’t shine” (our words). If you mail one to, say, Kirsten Gillibrand, it’s more like, “Enjoy yourself, you earned it.”
Will a vibrator and a few statistics change anyone’s mind? Probably not, but never say never. And no matter what, your money is contributing to a good cause.