The Women’s March is set for a repeat event next week to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the march that launched a thousand Resistance Facebook groups. The march was populated mostly by middle-aged women that have done pretty much nothing other than send loads of postcards to Congress and traffic in Donald Trump conspiracy theories.
But this time, they’re likely to be without their signature headwear — the pink pussy hats — because, as it turns out, the knit caps designed to resemble female genitalia are both “transphobic” and “exclusionary” because not all women have traditional ladyparts, and not all of those ladyparts are pink.
“The pink pussyhat excludes and is offensive to transgender women and gender non-binary people who don’t have typical female genitalia and to women of color because their genitals are more likely to be brown than pink,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
The controversy has apparently been building for a while. Initially, the pink, cat-eared hats were supposed to be a metaphor — a reference to a Donald Trump quote from the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” tapes where the then-reality television star suggested his interviewer “grab ’em by the pussy” when trying to woo young ladies of a certain age. They were made in pink largely because that is the color most closely associated with women’s movements (think the pink breast cancer awareness ribbons).
At the time, some marchers even insisted the resemblance to actual vaginas was unintentional, however appropriate. The official website for the Women’s March proudly proclaimed that you didn’t have to have a . . . ahem . . . pussy . . . to wear one.
“We did not choose the color pink as a representation of some people’s anatomy. Anyone who supports women’s rights is welcome to wear a Pussyhat. It does not matter if you have a vulva or what color your vulva may be. If a participant wants to create a Pussyhat that reflects the color of her vulva, we support her choice,” organizers wrote.
But over time, as the pink pussy hat became associated with the Women’s March specifically and the “Resistance” generally, some feminists began to feel left out.
According to one organizer, the Women’s March has begun “to move away from the pussyhats for several months now, and are not making it the cornerstone of our messaging because … there’s a few things wrong with the message.”
“It doesn’t sit well with a group of people that feel that the pink pussyhats are either vulgar or they are upset that they might not include trans women or nonbinary women or maybe women whose (genitals) are not pink,” she added.
This year there is no main Women’s March — though there is a convention in Las Vegas — but individual Women’s March organizations are actively discouraging their members from donning the pink pussy hats for any anniversary events, warning them that the fluorescent headwear could trigger some of their fellow activists and cause a rift in the movement. With this year’s theme being “get to the polls,” organizers want as many women — and people who identify as women — to show up on election day as possible.
“I will say this one thing: It is a problem,” one Black Lives Matter activist told the Free Press.
As is typical with rifts in the feminist movement, not everyone is pleased with deep-sixing the pussy hat. The decision launched a thousand Facebook posts, as leftists and progressives took to social media to battle it out over whether the pussy hat was representative of women as a whole or whether only the unwoke would dare to wear something that so clearly reinforced outdated notions of the gender binary and white-exclusive feminism.
“For many, it’s a symbol of a type of feminism dominated by middle-class white women who have not always been stalwart allies of women of color or transfolks or marginalized folks in general. And to be frank, it’s been a pretty rocky year on this front,” claimed one Medium post. “Just stop wearing a hat.”
Others suggested a compromise: black hats like the black dresses the Time’s Up women wore on the Golden Globes red carpet. Hats that match the wearer’s color . . . down there. Some even suggest a return to the ridiculous safety pin that dominated coat lapels in the days after Donald Trump’s elections.
Any way you slice it, however, it seems all of them have achieved peak woke-ness.