A poster to print and put up during this American election cycle: “Never Again”

Woman holding coathanger on poster reading "never again"

Found via Copyranter. Powerful image, and appropriate considering moving abortions into the back alley is practically a Republican party plank.

A poster to print and put up during this American election cycle: “Never Again”

8 thoughts on “A poster to print and put up during this American election cycle: “Never Again”

  1. 1

    Except that if you’re only reading the words it says, “Never again vote.” That’s not quite the message you want to get out. Worse, it has a woman holding a coat hanger on it so if you’re really ignorant and trying to read it wrong, you’ll read that it says that women should never vote again (and get back to that housework).

    I’m sure it could be redone somehow so even those who will try to misinterpret it couldn’t.

  2. 2

    I used to keep a plastic coat hanger I spray painted red with the note “Never Again” on it to hold out my window when I daily drove past a Planned Parenthood clinic that was being picketed.

    I guess I need to get make a new one.

  3. 4


    I can see what you’re saying about misinterpretation, but for what it’s worth I’m pretty sure my initial reaction to it was the intended one, even seeing it out of context.

  4. 6

    So, Erin, you are completely unfamiliar with this issue, over the last fifty years? Never have seen a coathanger with the slogan “Never Again”? It’s also clear in an artistic and historical context: the formula of an image, with or without text, stating the issue, with a banner at the top or bottom containing an “action” slogan (“Vote!”, “Buy War Bonds”, “Don’t Waste Transportation”, “Lend a Hand”), is a familiar poster technique.

    I would assume, with good reason, that anyone “misinterpreting” this poster as you suggest is willfully manipulative, rather than ignorant.

    BTW, the original source for this evocative image is Armchair Patriots:


  5. 7

    So, psanity, you are completely unfamiliar with the concept that not everyone is interested in the same things as you? Or perhaps you feel that everyone has the same level of education as you?

    As it happens, I do know the history of coat hangers being used for abortions (and of the particularly nasty poisons before that). I may have even seen a few pictures similar to the one above, but I don’t remember everything I see (and even less now that I have children). I’ve seen the war bond posters. Do you know why they worked? A lot of that had to do with the overwhelming support for the war effort. People wanted to do what they could to help.

    I also happen to know about marketing. Here’s the deal. If you’re trying to get a message across, you need to be clear. The war bonds ads were clear. The VOTE! ads were clear. Everyone understood that the war needed money and that you should vote during election time.

    If you hand this poster out to only people who are actively interest in women’s rights, then it will be clear. Granted, those people were probably already going to vote so it’s redundant. But, there are women out there who don’t know how bad it used to be. They truly may never have seen the old posters nor heard about the coat hangers – it’s not like they teach it in secondary school (and you can’t assume that everyone looks for this information on their own or takes the courses in university that would teach them about it).

    By just sticking these posters up willy-nilly, you guarantee that a percentage of the people seeing them will not understand the message. To assume that anyone who does is “willfully manipulative” is a mistake.

    Consider the communities where girls are still taught that they should stay home and take care of the house and family. The communities where people think that women should still be submissive to men, where they feel that women shouldn’t vote. Do you truly think that this poster would be interpreted the way you assume it would be in those communities? It’s not that the women there are being manipulative, it’s that they’ve been manipulated for generations and honestly believe the tripe that they live by.

    These aren’t the voters you want? These are the voters you NEED. FFS these are some of the very women you’re trying to help.

    By they way, you know what they say when you assume…

  6. 8


    I expect most of Jason’s readers to have the intended initial reaction. Mine was only off because I briefly saw the poster before running off to stop the chaos that comes from having a houseful of children. I registered the words but didn’t really see the picture and did a WTF before being able to come back and actually look at it.

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