Minneapolis women line up for ‘she persisted’ tattoos

Published 1:15 pm Saturday, February 25, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — So many women showed up at a Minneapolis tattoo parlor for a permanent reminder of female solidarity that it had to turn away some latecomers.

Local women Chelsea Brink, Nora McInerny and Kate O’Reilly organized a fundraiser in which people could get a tattoo of the words “Nevertheless, she persisted,” for $75. Proceeds will go toward Women Winning, a group dedicated to boosting representation of pro-abortion rights women at all levels of political office.

More than 100 women came in for appointments at Brass Knuckle Tattoo Studio during the event Tuesday afternoon.

Email newsletter signup

Their tattoos reference a phrase that Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said about Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was formally silenced on the Senate floor earlier this month for reading a letter by Coretta Scott King. The words became a rallying cry for Warren’s supporters and women’s rights proponents.

O’Reilly said they were words she wanted to remember. She emailed Brink, a graphic designer, to ask if she could turn them 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 woman with the idea. McInerny, a Minneapolis writer, also emailed Brink and asked for a similar design.

The three women created an event on Facebook, turning it into a fundraiser for Women Winning.

Hundreds showed up to get tattoos, and within an hour, they were turning people away.

Mary Beth Settergren, 54, got her first tattoo at the event “so I can look at it,” she said. “Because I think that it’s really an encouraging message for women to persist, no matter what. I think it speaks to the challenges I’ve faced in my life.”