kestrell: (Default)
The color pink and I have a complicated relationship.

On second thought, our relationship was, until recently, actually pretty simple: I really loathed and despised pink.

When I was a kid, I was asked what color I wanted my bedroom to be painted in.

"Purple," I said promptly.
"No, purple is too dark."
"Lavender, then."
"Too dark."
"Too dark."
"How about...yellow?"
"No, the dining room is yello."
"Okay," I sighed, "anything but pink."

And that is how I got a pink bedroom.

And by pink I don't mean shell pink, or peachy-pink, or even pastel pink.

I mean Pepto-Bismol *PINK*.

There was even more compulsory pink in my teen years (I'm pretty certain people were concerned that, since I didn't have a boyfriend, I was a baby lesbian, and somehow pink would be an antidote for that).

You can see why I felt that pink was a tool of the patriarchy.

What could possibly change my lifelong loathing of pink?

It's the hats.

I love the hats! All the hats, be they knitted, crocheted, sewn, woven from straw or made as origami, glittered, Bedazzled, beribboned, or with little metal claws.

Donald Trump has managed to accomplish something that decades of social pressure failed to do: get me to wear pink as a subversive color.

I declare The Pussyhat Project to be the twenty-first century suffragettes.

So, last night I was googling for some pussyhat DIY and was taken aback to discover the following article.

begin excerpt
"The Women's March Needs Passion and purpose, Not Pink Pussycat Hats"

Please, sisters, back away from the pink.
Pink pussycat hats, sparkly signs, color-coordinated street theater - all of it is gleefully in the works for the upcoming Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21.
And that scares me a little. Because all of this well-intentioned, she-power frippery can make this thing more Lilith Fair than Lilly Ledbetter. And the Women’s March of 2017 will be remembered as an unruly river of Pepto-Bismol roiling through the streets of the capital rather than a long overdue civil rights march....

The Women’s March needs grit, not gimmicks.
end of excerpt

I felt as if someone had just stuck a pin in my pink pussyhat balloon.

And then I got angry.

I grew up as an orphan living in an unsafe environment, but I made myself the bibliophile with attitude who stands before you today.

Is that enough grit for you?

I spent most of my adult life wearing mostly black to show how cynical and tough I was, so, for me, wearing pink represents getting rid of a lot of baggage.

Is that enough grit for you?

I am a blind woman with a degree from MIT.

Is that serious enough for you?

But, mostly, I am a woman who is pretty darn peeved to find another woman spouting one of the oldest male lies that still gets touted as a legitimate excuse for men to behave badly, namely: that the way men disregard, disrespect, and dismiss women has anything to do with how women dress.


Men have said and tried to do all sorts of unbelievable things to me while I was wearing anything from a Catholic school uniform (and yes, I was a Catholic schoolgirl at the time) to baggy jeans, an old Johnny Winter t-shirt and my hair in a braid. I wasn't wearing makeup, or nail polish, or high heels. It wasn't nighttime and I wasn't on my way to a club; it was broad daylight and I was on my way either home or to the library.

Does anyone remember a few years back during an especially cold winter when there was some man wandering around Somerville exposing himself to women, and police were walking around warning women not to wear sexy clothing? Someone on LJ posted that yes, obviously it was something she wore while coming home from work that drove a man to expose his junk in sub-zero temperatures.

Let me state it clearly for the benefit of other women: it does not matter what a woman wears, a sexist man with poor self-control and anger management issues is still going to behave however he wants to behave, because he thinks his right to do or say whatever he wants trumps a woman's right to just go about her way and do her own thing.

If you want to wear a pink pussyhat, you go girl! If you want to wear a red hat and a purple dress, go for it, woman! If you want to wear a pink leopard minidress and one of those absurd miniature hats, I'll support that too.

Wear what you want to wear, live how you want to live.

Btw, I now have two pink pussyhats: one is the classic baseball cap with a black cat on it, and the other is a furry hat with a Cheshire Cat embroidered on it.


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