Earlier this week, President Trump signed an executive order limiting women’s reproductive rights abroad in a room full of old white men. It was a stark reminder of his commitment to controlling women’s bodies and his refusal to listen to American women about what they want and need. People were quick to point out that we will never see a room full of women dictating what men can or cannot do with their reproductive organs, and a group of French feminists created a parody photo showing Hillary Clinton banning ejaculation for non-procreative purposes surrounded by women in the Oval Office.
The group, called 52 because women make up 52 percent of France’s population, posted the photo with the caption: “BREAKING NEWS: In the US ejaculation for non-procreative purposes is now forbidden.” The creators used a photo of President Obama surrounded by WWII female fighter pilots he awarded with the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2009, replacing Obama with Clinton.
“It’s a joke,” Sophie, a 52 member, told BuzzFeed News, “to ridicule something that boggles the mind: For centuries, it’s been men who dictate women’s bodies.” She continued, “Women are told what they should wear, what salary they’re entitled to… Trump has only just become president, and the first thing he does is take a step backward by signing this piece of legislation.”
The global gag rule Trump reinstated Monday (also known as the Mexico City policy) bans federal funding for international non-governmental organizations that offer abortions or advocate for women’s right to make their own choices. Obama trashed it pretty soon after taking office, and Trump wasted no time bringing it back. The 1973 Helms Amendment already bans American foreign aid from going toward abortions, but this gag rule takes it a step further and prohibits any federal money from going to organizations that so much as educate women about the procedure.
Sophie explained why a group of French women felt compelled to take a stance on the state of reproductive rights in America, telling BuzzFeed:
“This picture of the president shows very well how men get to dictate the rights women have. It really wound us up. On social media, some people pointed out the fact that one would ever see a photograph depicting a group composed exclusively of women signing legislature over what men are allowed to do with their genitalia. That was our starting point. We thought, Hey, why don’t we make such a picture?”
The group’s Facebook page says it “aims to convince women that they must organize themselves to have a real place in society” and “promotes women’s mutual aid as a lever to bring to fruition the projects of women from all walks of life.”