I’m not a fan of pink. I scorned the traditionally feminine color as a child, insisting that all my clothes had to be blue. This was not easy for my parents, thanks to gendered marketing. Blue dresses were tough, and a girl’s blue bathrobe was downright impossible. They gave me a boy’s blue bathrobe. I loved it.
I wanted a blue winter coat. In the midst of a bitter divorce, struggling financially, my dad didn’t have time to hunt for a blue coat (this was before Amazon). So I wore my blue bathrobe to school.
I got a big blue coat within a week.
My sisters grew up and joined the battle against gender stereotypes and pink.
We are all feminists.
We all voted for Hillary.
We were all devastated on Election Day.
We are all marching on Washington on January 21st.
But the minute the whole pink pussy cat hat question came up, there was dissension. For those unfamiliar with the pink pussy hat, it’s a knitting or crocheting pattern that gives the hat the look of cat ears. And yes, it is in response to Donald Trump’s infamous boast about how he would grab women “by the pussy.” Women all over the country have been creating them, sharing them, and plan on wearing them to the Women’s March on Washington.
I complained to my sisters, “Pink! I HATE pink. Why can’t it be blue for chrissakes?!”
Brilliant Blonde Lawyer Sister said, “Why do they have to try and reclaim the word ‘pussy?’ I hate that word.”
Pretty Space Cadet Sister said, “I want a hat.”
Singing Sister was all, “What? Are we wearing vaginas on our heads?”
Boyfriend Stealing Baby Sister said, “I am so wearing a hat.”
Judgmental Genius Doctor Sister: “I am not wearing that hat. Ever.”
I wasn’t sold on the hats. Then an opinion piece in The Washington Post argued that the hats would make women look too festive or too silly. No one would take the marchers’ message seriously, the author insisted.
That piece pissed me off. I hate it when ANYONE tells women what they should or shouldn’t wear. Partly because of thousands of years of oppression, wrapped in corsets, burkas, and PINK.
But also because I’m still that little girl, determined to wear a blue bathrobe.
So from that moment on, I was Team Pink. One of my readers offered to crochet me a hat, which turned into five hats. My old friend CS, who made me my fabulous Black Valentine, knitted me another five hats and shipped them to Washington.
Both refused to accept payment, asking only that we donate to Planned Parenthood…if we hadn’t already. (We all have.)
Most of my sisters are now Team Hat. But Brilliant Blonde Lawyer Sister, who lives in DC, remained ambivalent.
We didn’t talk about the hats when I arrived last night.
We didn’t talk about them as we ran errands today in the somber, empty D.C. environs. Like everyone else, we were quiet. I haven’t seen a city so stunned and sad since September 11th. Only this time, there were no flags anywhere except the parade route…which was deserted.
We didn’t talk about the hats when we went out for lunch. Instead, we sniffled and cried over our ramen as we lost our beloved President and our hope. We looked on Twitter for humorous memes to save us, but even Twitter couldn’t break through our gloom.
We worked on our signs that afternoon with sorrow.
We ran out of supplies. Lawyer Sis ran off to Michael’s to get more poster board.
She came back gushing, “Oh, my God, that was the stupidest idea ever. You have no idea how many women are at the craft store, the line is at least fifty people long and there are no supplies at all!”
I said, “But…you’re smiling?!”
“You know what? There are women everywhere, and they are all wearing pink pussy hats and I know I was against the hat, but it just made me feel so much better for the first time to see how many of us there are! They are everywhere.”
As I type this post, Lawyer Sis sits on her couch, playing the videos of pink-hatted women landing in DC. She’s still smiling.
And here’s what she’s wearing tomorrow.