When Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump asserted that Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton's "woman's card" allows her to best opponent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, it resonated with Zach Wahls.
The 24-year-old Clinton supporter from Iowa City, Iowa, was home watching Tuesday's presidential primary election results with his mom when Trump fired off his attack.
"Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote," Trump said. "The only thing she's got going is the woman's card."
Without missing a beat, Clinton's campaign responded by posting a Twitter video of a line she'd uttered weeks ago. "Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in," she said.
Wahls said he and his sister, Zebby, intend to do just that — by producing a full deck of playing cards that would feature Clinton, as the ace card, and singer Beyoncé, as the queen. The rest of the deck would feature other historical women figures, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as the king, and abolitionist Harriet Tubman, as the eight card.
"I think we often hear the cards being stacked against women, but this is about reshuffling the deck," Zach said in a phone interview Thursday, ahead of the launch of a "Women Card(s)" Kickstarter campaign. Zach and Zebby, who have already identified a manufacturer for the deck, said they wanted to gage public interest in the project with the fundraiser. If they meet their initial goal of $5,000, they'll ship card decks in July, according to their campaign page.
The deck isn't just a way to poke fun at Trump's remarks, Zach said. The idea comes as American women dominate the news cycle. For example, Saturday's release of Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade and the recent announcement that Tubman will be the face of the new $20 bill continue to trend around the web and social media.
"This is about recognition of the accomplishment of these women," Zebby said. "There has to be recognition of what women have been able to achieve despite the odds stacked against them."
Zebby, a staff illustrator for the Daily Iowan who is finishing her bachelor's degree in fine arts at the University of Iowa, said she planned to hand-illustrate the portraits of American women featured in the deck. Her brother said he hadn't found another deck of playing cards like it, save this deck featured on Amazon.
If Zach's name rings a bell, it may be because he was nationally recognized in 2011 for the speech he delivered to the Iowa legislature about its same-sex marriage ban and being raised by lesbian parents. Zach considers himself a feminist, in addition to being an LGBT activist.
"I don't think they would have let me stay [home] if I wasn't [a feminist]," Zach said jokingly in reference to his mothers. He and his sister didn't want to take all of the credit for the idea behind the Woman Card(s) project. After the back-and-forth between Trump and Clinton, it was "Texts From Hillary" creator Adam Smith's tweet that helped light the Wahls' fuse.