SPLIT: Feminists Reject Pussy Hat As Offensive to ‘Women with Penises’ and ‘Brown Genitalia’

SPLIT: Feminists Reject Pussy Hat As Offensive to ‘Women with Penises’ and ‘Brown Genitalia’

An iconic symbol of progressive activism may be going the way of the dodo. 

Debuting at the 2017 so-called Women’s March, a multi-city rally protesting the election of Donald Trump as president, the pussy hat has been a stalwart symbol of progressivism over the past year.

But many feminists see it as problematic and report they won’t be donning the pink head gear at this year’s reboot of the protests. 

“I personally won’t wear one because if it hurts even a few people’s feelings, then I don’t feel like it’s unifying,” said Phoebe Hopps, founder and president of Women’s March Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press

The problem, according to the Free Press, is the hat is exclusionary to transgender women, gender non-binary people, and non-white women “because their genitals are more likely to be brown than pink.”

Never mind that the hat has cat ears, and not a vulva. The color pink, according to the Pussyhat Project, which first designed the headwear following the 2016 general election, was chosen “because pink is associated with femininity,” according to a post on its website. 

“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,” the post continues. “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.” 

But that’s not good enough for many. 

As the Free Press reports,

LaShawn Erby, of Black Lives Matter-Lansing, declined to talk about her views on pussyhats because the topic is a cornerstone of the speech she plans to give at the Jan. 21 march in Lansing.  

“I will say this one thing: It is a problem,” Erby said.

You know, nobody can speak for your experience but you, so it really is important that people that look like you, that have experiences like you to represent you,” she said. “You often can look just about anywhere and see a white person leading black people. But rarely do you see it in reverse.

On January 21, several progressive groups are planning another Women’s March in cities across the country, with mixed reviews on the pink hat. 

The Pensacola, FL Women’s March chapter is discouraging its attendees from wear it, posting to its Facebook page,

The Pink P*ssy Hat reinforces the notion that woman = vagina and vagina = woman, and both of these are incorrect. Additionally, the Pink P*ssy Hat is white-focused and Eurocentric in that it assumes that all vaginas are pink; this is also an incorrect assertion,” it posted to its Facebook page. The post has been shared more than 1,200 times.

The Pensacola Women’s March organizers understand that this idea was a knee-jerk reaction to the heinous, sexist, misogynistic Trump administration, but it is also just that: a knee-jerk reaction, not fully thought out. Therefore, we ask that march goers refrain from wearing this hat and instead, pick an alternative headwear that focuses on collective women’s liberation for ALL women: transgender women, multinational women, disabled women, queer women — the most marginalized. It is only through the centering and leadership of these groups that women will be liberated — not through exclusionary white feminism, which the Pink P*ssy Hat is indicative of.

As of press time, there was no indication if knitted brown penis scarves are preferred attire for the event. Nor if pro-life women are welcomed this year.

Feature Image via Women’s Electoral Lobby

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