According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Vice President Mike Pence will be met by a parade of protestors dressed as characters in the hit Hulu show, The Handmaid’s Tale, when he arrives in Philadelphia on Monday.
At least 100 people are expected to appear dressed as handmaids to protest the vice president’s second visit this summer. Protestors are expected to gather outside of the Union League club, where Pence will be holding a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Lou Barletta. Barletta is currently running against Democratic Senator Bob Casey.
One of the organizers of the protest, Samantha Goldman, has been meeting fellow organizers in coffee shops across the city to help sew white and red handmaids costumes for around 100 men and women over the past few weeks. Commenting on the specificity of the protest, Goldman said the following.
“We just felt that the visual of the Handmaid’s Tale costumes, a society in which women in Gilead are stripped of their most basic rights and their humanity, was appropriate.”
Handmaid’s Tale-themed protests, however, are nothing new, continually occurring throughout the Western world since the show’s premiere.
Women in Texas showed up to protest abortion legislation in March wearing scarlet red robes and white bonnets. In May, Missouri protested abortion restrictions wearing the same handmaids costumes as well.
The Hulu show is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, which tells the story of a dystopian America, renamed Gilead, in which fertile women are deemed handmaids and forced to bear children for wealthy and distinguished families.
Goldman, however, claims that her group is specifically “protesting Pence for what they see as anti-woman and anti-LGBT stances.” Her group, Refuse Fascism, is also affiliated with the Philadelphia and Delaware County chapters of NOW, or the National Organization for Women.
When Vice President Pence last visited Philadelphia in June, protestors filled Rittenhouse Square to denounce the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy separating migrant children from their families the border. At the time, protestors lined up hundreds of children’s shoes to visually display and represent their condemnation and discontent.
Since then, however, things have changed. Goldman added that Trump has since appointed a new Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who could serve as an influential vote on many key issues.
“A lot has happened since the last time he came here. Not that it wasn’t important then, but the necessity to be heard has only increased,” she said.