It’s My March and I’ll Wear Pink If I Want To

railing-chainedI just read an op-ed about pink pussy-eared hats. You see, after the election, a few knitters suggested a show of solidarity for those marching in the Women’s March in Washington D.C.  It is a little yarn nod to the now famous line about a different kind of pussy.

The author’s opinion was they were silly.

Before that op-ed was a spate of articles opining the pointlessness of wearing a safety-pin. In the last few weeks, more news articles highlighting the rift among the four million strong Pantsuit Nation.

What the fuck?

Some of us are trying to form a freaking coalition here, people. A super coalition of women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ, Environmentalists, Dog Lovers, Vegans, Vaccinators…anyone who feels their voice is drowned out by the voices currently in power. Why would news writers and bloggers, some with huge audiences, think it’s a good idea to get all uppity and start shaming people who are trying to get involved, in ways small and large?

I’m not talking about the people who are going to shout “Snowflake!” regardless. That’s a given. I’m talking about people who claim to be progressive.

Shut up already. If people want to wear a safety-pin, it’s not, as some posit, simply because they desire visible proof they aren’t a racist. Could it just possibly be because a lot of people feel hopeless and scared and this is a small way to do something? If there are those who are offended, wouldn’t it be more helpful if they could point folks in a direction where help is needed rather than shaming or mocking them?

Golly, we’re always telling folks to get involved and yet when they do, we shame them by telling them it’s the wrong way or not enough. On what moral high ground are we shouting from here? Because the view must be pretty damn good.

Knitting thousands of pink hats is not, by itself, going to stop the incoming administration from running roughshod over women’s rights. But it is certainly not going to do any harm. What good comes of adopting a holier-than-thou attitude about it?

This is why we never get anywhere, folks. We’re too busy arguing and shaming one another to actually do anything. Who the hell cares if a thousand women attending a march in DC, many of them marching for the first time in their lives, want to show a sisterly solidarity by wearing a pink hat?

There are articles theorizing that marching does no good. That protests do no good. Calling, letter writing, Meryl Streep. None of it is any good. Or it should be better.

What’s the alternative? Curl up in the fetal position and hope that the world doesn’t implode in the next four years? Not everyone is going to run for office. Not everyone is going to disrupt town halls, start a grass-roots movement.

woman-arrested

Activism is not always chaining yourself to a railing or getting arrested. Sometimes activism is as simple as acknowledging something is wrong. Or reading. Or checking facts. Not everyone has the time, the freedom from economics, or even the courage to throw themselves in front of a moving administration in the name of protest. Yes, we need those people, we need them desperately. But we also need everyday people who are wiling to show that they are there to make a stand about something they strongly believe in. Whether that stand is a safety-pin or a pink hat or boarding a bus and traveling down to Washington DC to march with a hundred thousand others who feel similarly. Whether it’s writing a letter to their Congresswoman or making a phone call, boycotting a brand, or yes, even sharing something on Facebook.

Why would anyone want to throw a wrench into that by acting too cool for it all?  Why would you want to sabotage those baby steps into something that could blossom into activism? Who knows if the girl who put a safety-pin on her backpack, knowing that she’s going to get teased mercilessly at school for being a snowflake, isn’t going to grow up to be a Senator? Who knows if the women who started the knitting project won’t take their next project global and donate the proceeds to women in need?

Back the fuck off, people. Perhaps then instead of shaming someone for trying to do something good we should collectively encourage them to take the next step on a journey of doing good.

If we want to encourage people to take part, the last thing anyone should be doing is making them feel silly, shaming them, or telling them those small acts of micro-activism don’t matter. Of course they matter.

woman-chained-to-fence-with-suffragettes-85705In a world in which some days we are struggling to find something good, why would we shit on it when we come across it?

We could all do better. White women need to listen to women of color because we are failing them, miserably. Feminists need to listen to civil rights activists, need to listen to Native American activists, and so on and so on. But we are never going to get anywhere if we don’t start somewhere. And it’s certainly not up to me to tell any other person where that starting point should or must be.

Advertisements

35 thoughts on “It’s My March and I’ll Wear Pink If I Want To

  1. amommasview January 13, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    Boom! Yes! Well said! And by the way: What’s wrong with using something to show that you’re not a racist? Great post, well said!

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 13, 2017 / 10:22 pm

      I don’t know! Sometimes the stuff that people choose to get outraged over makes me shake my head in disbelief.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. aviets January 13, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Good God, yes. Thank you. I, too, have been throughly disgusted with the infighting. Any little act that any individual chooses to preform as their form of protest is legitimate. Same goes for Colin Kopernick. I say we all chill, stop backbiting, and appreciate our differing ways of expressing ourselves.

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 13, 2017 / 10:22 pm

      Oh, don’t get me started on Colin Kopernick. All I saw was he should be donating money, he should be doing X! Y! Z! As if what one COULD do should negate what one IS doing. Grrrrr…..We need all hands on the freaking deck right now. We don’t need to be fighting over safety pins.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie McNeil January 13, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    Do. That is the most important thing, more important, often, than what someone chooses to do. And all the shaming for symbolism is infuriating. But what makes me angrier is shaming for speaking out and acting. OH? Really? TODAY is the wrong day to talk about gun safety?? (Pick any day within 6 months of a headline-making act of violence.) Which day will be the right day? Thoughts and prayers, on that issue or any other, are not enough. Thanks as always.

    Like

    • Melanie McNeil January 13, 2017 / 11:43 pm

      Okay, here is another thing that pisses me off. On facebook, a dear one often posts about trump. She links complex articles from reputable sources, which she clearly has read and understood. Unfortunately she is a “niece” in the family (of the younger generation), she is female, she has been dealing with a multi-year battle with Lyme disease and often comments on her brain fog, she has 5 children and often comments on her “adventures” and mix-ups in dealing with the kids’ lives. So she has an unearned reputation for being flaky and perhaps not very smart. She’s a GIRL, for pete’s sake!! So when she links articles and comments intelligently on them, although often with alarm, older male relatives tell her to “calm down” or “relax” or the equivalent of “don’t worry your pretty little wimin-brain.” THAT pisses me off. And it’s only barely related to your post, so … But I know you get it.

      Like

      • Dina Honour January 13, 2017 / 11:51 pm

        Oh, I get that. It’s like getting patted on the head by a dog. Second to my current favorite, ‘don’t be so sensitive.” You know who says that? People who KNOW they’re being an asshole and too afraid to deal with the fact they are being an asshole, hope to God you don’t call them on it, and when you do, pull out the old “don’t be so sensitive”. I’m not sensitive, you dimwit, you’re an asshole. There’s a difference. Don’t put the burden of your dickish behavior on ME. I hear you, loud and clear.

        Like

      • Melanie McNeil January 13, 2017 / 11:52 pm

        Yes. And “where’s your sense of humor?” Same…

        Like

    • Dina Honour January 13, 2017 / 11:47 pm

      It’s too early! Don’t politicize it! Not everything has to be about gender/race/sexuality (of course it does when your entire life is filtered though one or more of those ‘other’ boxes. Speak. No, don’t speak. Roar. Loudly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah January 14, 2017 / 1:21 am

    In 2005, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee requested donations for Doctors without Borders on her blog, Yarn Harlot. http://www.yarnharlot.ca/knitters-without-borders/ Those donations are now at $1.1 million. Don’t underestimate the hearts and power of knitters. I’ll be knitting those hats for my granddaughters and, when they’re old enough, I’ll explain to them why the fight for equality never ends.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dina Honour January 14, 2017 / 10:31 am

      See! Thank you for providing that concert example (and a knitting one to boot!) My sister knit me one for Christmas and I cried when I opened it. Why do we feel we have to disparage the good? It is good to have a symbol of solidarity, of purpose. Keep knitting and keep roaring–we’ve got a helluva long way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. writerspilecki January 14, 2017 / 1:27 am

    I wear a pin on my indoor clothes, primarily so my students know I am an ally/resource. But I happened to wear it at a New Years Eve party, and a gay guy practically a foot taller than me thanked me for wearing it. Sometimes I guess even a little solidarity in bitter times can help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dina Honour January 14, 2017 / 10:33 am

      That’s exactly it. Why would we mock that? Why would we discourage others from trying to help by saying, that’s the wrong way or not good enough or any of a thousand other things I’ve heard or read. How can we affect any change if we can’t even agree on the fact that trying to help is a good thing?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The Enchanted Outlook January 14, 2017 / 2:08 am

    Bravo! There is certainly a time and place to discuss minutia. Yeah, one charity might be more reputable than another. A call to a senator might be more effective than an email. But this is not the time to squabble; this is the time to stand together. And yeah, if there is an issue, why not bring it up kindly and suggest an alternative? Personally, I’ve been trying to do one thing every day to promote the growth of goodness in the world, whether it be signing a petition, educating myself on an issue, buying a fair-trade product, or simply investing in quality time with my loved ones. It gives me such a sense of efficacy, even when the world seems to be working against me.

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 14, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Especially as we encourage people who have previously felt unmoved to be engaged socially or politically. I like your plan of action. At the end of the day, we all need to lead lives. For some, writing a letter to a Congresswoman is something they’ve never done, it’s pushing them beyond a boundary they are used to. Why would anyone want to discourage that? I just don’t get it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dina Honour January 14, 2017 / 10:24 am

      You think this would be a no-brainer, right? But nope. Let’s nitpick and argue. Because that’s worked so well for us all in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dina Honour January 14, 2017 / 10:23 am

      I try! I’ll be wearing my pink hat my sister made me for Christmas with pride while I march in solidarity in Copenhagen.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jaishree Garg January 14, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    Well said! Moderates are the worst and then there are these bullies, trying to call people who care silly! At least there are people out there who give a damn and participate in things and issues they care about! Too many idiots out there trying to tell you, “How would that help” and very few to encourage people. I loved reading your post Dina!

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 14, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Thank you. You know, I firmly believe that many small acts are just as powerful as large one sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. wendygblog January 14, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    I have already, and proudly, knitted three hats with 3 more to go before next weekend to gift to those who have asked. I wish I had more time. It is unbelievable to me the pushback that I have received from certain friends and family. “Why the hell are you doing that”, they have said. BECAUSE I CAN! It is amazing the sense of power it has given me participating in such a small, non-confrontational way.

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 14, 2017 / 8:01 pm

      See! You just proved my point with this very comment. Who knows what one knitted hat will lead to, right? March on in sisterhood. March on!

      Like

      • Anonymous January 15, 2017 / 6:15 am

        This afternoon I received an email from my high school bestie who now lives in Hawaii. Her message made my day because I never thought my mention about the pussy hat project would have an impact. I thought I would share. This is what she said…

        “Hey girlfriend –

        I can’t thank you enough for turning me onto the Pussy Hat Project – just finished knitting up 8 (!) hats for my mom and her 7 friends that are attending the march in DC next Sat. Really appreciated the opportunity to participate from my neck of the woods. Plus, it has really helped with my knitting skills.”

        Like

      • Dina Honour January 15, 2017 / 4:00 pm

        This is exactly how grass-roots moments start. With something small, not too scary. Something that folks think “Hey, I can do that!”. And if it is a good enough idea, it snowballs from there.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. poetsjasmineblog January 14, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Lovely article, I applaud your bravery. In this cruel world of misery, despair and hopelessness, your words act like a sword to quieten the voices of pomp and evil.
    Thank you for your encouraging posts. ❤

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 15, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      Thank you–for taking the time to read, but even more for taking the time to reply. Time, it would appear, is a commodity and so to ask people to take time out of their day to read something is an exercise in vanity. But I’m always thrilled when people then take the time to leave a comment. I’m not particularly brave. Just loud ;-).

      Liked by 1 person

      • poetsjasmineblog January 15, 2017 / 4:15 pm

        My pleasure. And I like loudness. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Laura M January 15, 2017 / 1:26 am

    Hear, hear. A single pebble can start a landslide so who is anyone to say this isn’t enough? We should be standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, not trying to tear each other down. God knows there’s enough people doing that already.

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 15, 2017 / 4:03 pm

      I know. Women. There are more of us! It shouldn’t even be a thing! Why is it even a thing? But we are our own worst enemy most of the time.

      Like

  11. ravenhawks magazine January 16, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    I applaud your post it reminds me of a quote that is appropriate for those who nay say the efforts of others to get involved when they see something wrong
    “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
    Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

    Like

  12. graceunderfire13 January 28, 2017 / 6:55 am

    I enjoyed this post. You articulate a lot of the things I felt about the criticism of the Women’s March. What I’ve found particularly egregious is that it’s usually white men who have apparently relished trivializing and dismissing the hats. As though they are invalid simply for the fact that they are a predominantly “female” form of protest.

    There has been a great deal of deliberate shaming, trivializing and mocking. As though a March of 3.5 million people around the globe is not to be taken particularly seriously. One of the other things that ticked me off was that the headlines were often along the lines of … “The March was REALLY big. But was it particularly important? Will it really translate into a “proper”political movement?” Yes, yes those questions are very important but why, WHY was that the focus on the SAME DAY that we had this historic event?

    Honestly if 3.5 million MEN had marched around the globe it would have been a declaration of war. We still have a long way to go.

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 29, 2017 / 9:43 pm

      What a great point your last one was. That is exactly right. If 3. 5 million men had marched, it would have been taken as a declaring of something. But they have been shaming women who are unafraid for centuries. They used to call us witches. Now they call us feminists. We always have a long way to go. That’s ok, as long as we don’t stop fighting to get there.

      Like

Talk to me, Goose.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s