'Nevertheless, She Persisted': Tattoo Speaks Volumes for Angry Women

'Nevertheless, She Persisted': Tattoo Speaks Volumes for Angry Women

'Nevertheless, She Persisted': Tattoo Speaks Volumes for Angry Women

He is 75-years-old. Republican. And, as Senate Majority Leader, one of the most powerful men in the U.S. Congress. Who would have thought Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would become the impetus behind a tattoo trend and a rallying cry for feminists.

Women everywhere have been lining up to have McConnell's spoken phrase "nevertheless, she persisted" inked onto their body parts as a means to show their displeasure with President Trump.

At one point, after an accidental post to Facebook triggered the groundswell, 100 women were packed into the Brass Knuckle Tattoo Studio in Minneapolis waiting for appointments to get the same tattoo.

The phrase gained national attention during a Senate hearing on the nomination of Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for attorney general. While speaking on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was told she was in violation of congressional rules and ordered to sit down after she impugned the reputation of the Alabama senator.

McConnell defended the action when he claimed Warren had been warned against reading a letter by Coretta Scott King that accused Sessions of abusing his power to intimidate black people from voting in 1986.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” he said, thereby, enraging feminists. Those who claimed the remarks were sexist became intent on seeking retribution via the nearest tattoo shop.

McConnell's words provoked Kate O'Reilly, who emailed a graphic designer friend, Chelsea Brink, to ask if she could transcribe the phrase into a tattoo design.

"It's the first tattoo I've ever considered," O'Reilly said. "I like the idea of flipping it around and using it in a way he didn't intend for us to."

O'Reilly wasn't the only person upset and with a plan. Nora McInerny, a Minneapolis writer, also emailed Brink asking for a "persisted" design. Together, the three turned anger into a fundraiser and posted the event to Facebook.

Brass Knuckle tattoo artist Emily Snow agreed to donate her time. For $75, people could get the simple tattoo in black ink, with proceeds going to Women Winning, a local group that encourages women who support abortion rights to run for political office. Snow said women are getting the tattoos on their forearms, upper arms and even their feet.

Beyond the politics, demand for the "persisted" image demonstrates just how significant a role social media can play in promoting not only a design, but a shop's body ink operations as well.

"Social media can be the most cost-effective tool to promote a tattoo shop," he said. "Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest can compliment a shop's website and enable artists to show off designs and their talents."

Image via @noraborealis / @brassknuckletattoostudio

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