Redefining Pussy, Pink, and the Power of Handmade

 

An extraordinary event, the Pussy March, took place worldwide the day after the US inauguration. Women knitted pink hats by the thousands, for themselves and others, and marched in solidarity for the rights of all women. The creations for the event were not just pussyhats but also Quiet, a song performed by women who astonishingly met and rehearsed on-line. It’s become the unofficial anthem of the march. See it performed here and be moved, perhaps to tears like I was.

  • Why pussy? Lots of women have real problems with the use of the word pussy. It makes perfect sense. From the time women hit puberty, we become all too aware of derogatory terms for our genitalia. This march, this movement, has redefined the word as an expression of women’s empowerment. The very act of taking it back celebrates our femininity, our femaleness, and all the wonderful and valuable things about it. It’s getting to sound silly to hear a man use the word with its original meaning.
  • Why pink? It’s traditionally a female colour, so making the choice of pink for the pussy-eared hats redefined the colour as powerful, as well as feminine, and said, “We are women and proud of it”. No apologies. Get used to it. Hear me roar.
  • Why knitted? Knitters create beautiful and useful things with their hands, but knitting, and all fibre arts, when done by women, have been scoffed at. The Pussy March and the Pussyhat Project have made visible the powerful personal and collective action of working together and working with hands. Those of us in the community, by that I mean all knitters and crocheters, know how big and strong we are, and how talented. The march has taken a further step to reclaim hand work as worthy of celebration.

Want to make a pussyhat? There’s a free knit pattern on Ravelry designed by Kat Coyle.

 

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