The Minority Report | Ashley Kim
There was an alarming amount of white women still wearing Pussyhats at the second annual Women’s March this past weekend. If you’re unfamiliar with this new and trendy “symbol of feminism,” it’s seriously okay. The Pussyhats are knitted pink beanies that have cat ears on them, and their design makes a commentary on comments made by Donald Trump in the past.
The creators of the Pussyhat share that the name “was chosen in part as a protest against vulgar comments Donald Trump made about the freedom he felt to grab women’s genitals, to de-stigmatize the word “pussy” and transform it into one of empowerment, and to highlight the design of the hat’s ‘pussycat ears’.”
While the purpose of these hats is to create a visual narrative that boasts inclusivity and solidarity amidst political uneasiness, the hats do anything but that. The hats, instead, exclude women with intersectional identities. Their color mimics female anatomy—but only a white, cis gendered female’s anatomy. They are a symbol of ignorance and apathy in a time where there is no space for either.
The Pussyhat hides under the guise of inclusivity, but what it really does is further separate groups within an already marginalized group of people. The sea of hats among the thousands marching makes it known that intersectionality seems to be a word that is obsolete from most people’s vocabulary, or one that most people don’t seem to understand. Maybe the pride attached to Pussyhat-wearers should otherwise be directed toward pride in marching for every single woman, instead of the ones that look like them. The hats have become a symbol of white feminism—not to be confused with feminism.
If we took the time to understand each other, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this situation at all, where something like a Pussyhat becomes a misread symbol and face of the modern feminist movement. Maybe feminism wouldn’t seem so trendy or annoying, and instead, just common sense. Until everyone takes the time to understand one another, the work done and progress by so-called “feminists” will always be slower than it needs to be.
Feminism is not easy. It is hard, and it is a learning process for everyone. And, it can start with taking off your Pussyhat.