Class Action Collective | Essays

A Judicious Choice

In 1729, the public essayist and pamphleteer Jonathan Swift anonymously published A Modest Proposal deploying satire to bring attention to the inequalities of the poor in society. He famously wrote that the impoverished might ease their economic hardship by selling their well nursed young children as wholesome food to rich gentlemen and ladies. He even provided recipes.

Irony, sarcasm, pranks, hyperbole, and their relatives remain effective disguises to hide moral imperatives. From The Yes Men to Randy Rainbow to the Birds Aren’t Real movement, activists use satire and humor to puncture the aura of authority. As Swift understood nearly 300 years ago, culture jamming can unseat the powerful and reveal the pretentious and the dangerous.

We exist in an era of the 24-hour news cycle. It is more challenging than ever to disrupt and reframe the conversation around the myriad issues that matter — climate change, racial and LGBTQI+ justice, voting access, and on and on. Now, Americans anxiously await a Supreme Court ruling that will dramatically impact personal autonomy and the well-being of families. On this April Fool’s Day, we imagine a path toward equality and say, why not? We call upon SCOTUS to take women seriously and uphold our long established legal rights.

In the present case, justices with wombs are outnumbered two-to-one. Which is the joke? That Brett, Clarence, John, Neil, Samuel, and Stephen would recuse themselves... or that they would not?

Class Action Collective creates visual messages to advocate for social change. Composed of design faculty from major universities, the group aims to challenge the way public issues are understood and motivate audiences to participate in civic dialogue.

We encourage readers to share this visual commentary on social media. #scotusrecusal #recusal #funnynotfunny #aprilfools #judiciouschoice #scotus

A version of this image was published in the Provincetown Independent during Women’s History Month.

Posted in: Graphic Design, Politics

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