PHOTOS: Protesters Greet Mike Pence in “Handmaid’s Tale” Costumes

The red cloaks and white bonnets made for quite the spectacle. We’re not sure if the vice president appreciated it, though.


mike pence, handmaid's tale

Hundreds of people dressed in garb from The Handmaid’s Tale to protest Mike Pence on Monday. | Photo via Refuse Fascism Philly

As anyone who traveled through in the area probably knows, the vice president made an appearance on Monday in Center City, and protesters (once again) went all out to welcome him — Philly-style, of course.

Last time Mike Pence stopped by Philadelphia, demonstrators piled dozens of shoes in Rittenhouse Square to protest family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico.

This time, roughly 100 people turned up in the red cloaks and white bonnets referenced in Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale.

Why? Because dystopian times call for dystopian measures, protesters said. They felt that the novel-turned-Hulu-show, which revolves around a totalitarian society that treats women as property void of any purpose beyond reproductivity, would send a fitting message to Pence, a devout Christian with a strict anti-abortion resume.

The results made for a pretty dramatic display on Monday.

The protesters, mostly women, gathered outside the Union League building at 5 p.m., when Pence was set to attend a fundraiser for Republican 11th District congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta. (He’d applauded Donald Trump‘s tax cuts at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel shortly before.)

Many of those who protested on Monday made their gowns themselves and gathered to prepare for the protest beforehand at places like Fergie’s Pub. After the demonstrators grouped up outside the Union League building around 5 p.m., they mostly stood in silence, except to read a pledge to “refuse Fascism.” Eventually they shed them robes and piled them together on the street. At least a hundred other people protested nearby in plain clothes.

The Handmaid’s Tale—themed protest was organized by Refuse Fascism Philly and the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women, among other groups. Organizations like Tuesdays with Toomey, NextGen Pennsylvania, Philly UP, Indivisible Philadelphia and Planned Parenthood also rallied on Monday.