I don't usually notice graffiti until there's a lot of it in one place.

What I do notice are the public spaces that have been covered by murals, like the "Greetings from Missoula" mural by Caras Park, or the mural of Kurt Cobain at Veera Doughnuts, or the Stella Nall mural by the parking garage downtown.

But lately, there's been a piece of graffiti that's been showing up all over Missoula. It's a stencil that says "Vote Womn."

Having worked as an editor, the typo caught my attention for a split second, but when I read the full message, I assumed it was intentional.

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Then I saw the message in another location and another--I've probably seen it in at least four different places around Missoula. I mentioned the tag to my cohost today and he said he'd never seen it, but then went out for lunch and while he waited at an intersection, he saw it painted on the side of a building. He snapped the photo above.

I went to the internet to see if there was any explanation. Turns out I'm not the only Missoulian wondering about the message. A thread on Reddit asked if the message was a typo or political and people weighed in:

  • "I know in certain feminist circles they avoid using men when spelling women. Regardless, it's clearly in response to Roe being overturned. I don't mind it as the message is important, the actual harm done is zero, and no private property was bothered." - AntiworkDPT-OCS
  • "Women can vote, so why is the graffiti telling women to vote..seems sexist!"
  • "It's _____ annoying...Especially when they put it on mailboxes...It's just vandalism." - stuntmanbob86

Regardless of the intention or meaning of the graffiti, the City of Missoula does have a form to report graffiti or vandalism in parks, trails, open space, or public facilities, and a form for graffiti in other places and private property. Additionally, the Downtown Business Improvement District funds an Anti-Graffiti Task Force.

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