As you may be aware, there is a new president coming to the US in about a week. I am not sure what your political views are, but I will be up front in saying that I do have concerns about what the new administration will bring to the table. I think those fears are natural given any big change like this, regardless of who you voted for. I did take offense to a number of remarks the president-elect made about women (you know, being a woman, especially one with more socially liberal leanings) and minority populations, and though I do believe he has every right and the next four years to prove me wrong ... I firmly believe that as an American, I can use my freedom of speech to speak out against that which I disagree with.
I like to think that "freedom of speech" also means "freedom of artistic expression." Enter, thus, the Pussyhat Project, wherein knitters around the country are asked to knit pink cat beanies for people to wear in the Women's March on Washington (and other solidarity marches) organized for next Saturday.
Due to a prior commitment, I won't be attending either the DC or Atlanta marches, but click those links and you can learn more about them, should you be so interested. I am proud to say that three 3KD Pussyhats are making their way to the march even though I can't be there in person! Two are finished ... one I have to go get more hot pink non-wool yarn for. :)
Different marchers march for different reasons, because being a woman means something different to each of us (and to the other folks who march with us). I know there's some discord in non-white, non-middle class communities about these organized marches not representing concerns of women who aren't like me. So I'd like to take a moment and share what this march, and what knitting these hats, means to me.
1. It is a reminder to the new president and vice president that they will be held accountable; that there are people watching and listening.
2. It is a chance to show solidarity with others who believe about certain policies as I do, and therefore a chance to remind myself that I am not alone in my beliefs.
3. It is a talking point. Perhaps in a few months when one of these Pussyhat recipients is standing in line at the post office, someone will compliment the hat, and she will have an opportunity to share what it means to her and spark an open conversation.
4. It allows me to share my personal beliefs about feminism, which is that women should be afforded the same choices and opportunities as men, regardless of color, creed or gender, and that we as women should lift each other up regardless of our differences.
5. There were times during the campaign cycle where presidential candidates said and did things that made me wonder how far back womens' choices would be taken should that individual get elected. It's a pretty commonplace joke that "so-and-so wants to send women back to the 1950s." Well, I don't know about you, but for me being a white chick in the 1950s, I would be frowned upon for having much of a job because the war was over; the men were home; they needed someone to cook and clean and keep house and organize bake sales (if you ever ate one of my cookies that tastes like a rock, I can garun-dayum-tee you that you do not want me organizing a bake sale). My clothes would be adorable, however, and I could think ... I just couldn't really talk about what I thought. My children would have a decent education at a school with shiny new books and pencils and sack lunches.
But think about the 1950s for other women who aren't white. The 1950s in the South was the Jim Crow era, which meant black women couldn't hardly do anything without being discriminated against ... and they had to put up with the same discrimination against black men for fear of retribution. What about for lesbian and transgender individuals? They were lucky if they woke up the next morning without being arrested, or worse, physically assaulted or killed for their sexual orientation. And immigrants?! If John F. Kennedy's WHITE family was treated like second-class because they were IRISH CATHOLIC, y'all can bet that a non-white, non-any-Christian-denomination immigrant had few to no rights at all.
Y'all, we have a hard enough time today, in twenty seventeen, acknowledging that not all Americans have ever been treated equally. Imagine if people in power began to backtrack on the choices and opportunities we've already been given!
To me, those Pussyhats represent a change in the tide. I believe ALL Americans should have the chance to make choices, and we should not tear each other down because the choice I make is not the choice you make. My Pussyhats mean I want you to go to a religious service if you choose. To have a child, to not have a child, to put a child up for adoption, to surrogate for a family if you choose. To run for public office or be a homemaker, if you choose. To date or marry whoever you want. To earn based on your job and skill set and not your gender or race. To have access to healthcare and safe housing (... little judgey but I hope all of y'all want those two things). To be able to serve our country in the armed forces if you are medically cleared for service if you so choose. To breastfeed in public. To walk down the street and not get arrested. To protect those you love. To not be shut down or receive hate mail or death threats because you wish Hollywood cast Asian actors to play Asian roles; because you think women shouldn't be sexualized so much in video games and comic books. To cheer for the Cleveland Browns. To TRY OUT for the Cleveland Browns and not be told you can't because of your gender.
I am not sure what a Pussyhat means to you. If you'd like one, I am happy to knit you one free of charge (you may need to supply the yarn ... I am fresh out of pinks!), and you can use the $15 you'd normally pay for a 3KD hat to support an organization of your choice.