The Pinkpussyhat Project
Here’s something US President-elect Donald Trump said about women in 2005 that was recorded and surfaced during the US presidential election: “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” For women who value their essence and dignity, that is an insult.
Hereabouts, President Duterte, when asked by a male reporter about his health, retorted angrily and spoke about foul-smelling vaginas.
Well, Trump won over Hillary Clinton but his controversial win is still a puzzle, with some help from Russian hackers, US intelligence has revealed. As the Inquirer banner headline said yesterday: “World on edge as Trump era nears.” The blurb below the headline: “From China to Germany, nations across the globe are accustomed to US President-elect Donald Trump’s provocative Twitter messages, but they are less clear about whether his remarks represent meaningful policy guidelines, personal judgments or passing whims.”
Trump’s remark where he used the “p” word sure shows the kind of worrisome president of women he could be. What is it about women’s private parts that these have to be disdainfully dragged into discussions? And what is it about the men who refer to them in such a distasteful and derogatory manner?
On Jan. 21, the day after Trump is sworn into office, the National Mall in Washington could become a sea of pink if women are able to mobilize enough people attending the Women’s March to wear pink pussyhats. The march is meant to call attention to civil and human rights issues which include women’s rights. About 1.7 million people can fit in the Washington Mall.
The term “pussyhat” comes from Trump’s infamous statement. The hat—a knitted rectangle-shaped bonnet with two corners that look like cat ears when worn—is meant to be a visual statement, a protest against the denigration of women as exemplified by no less than the man who would be the president of the most powerful nation in the world.
The pussyhat idea was hatched by two women from Los Angeles—Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman, who have called on those attending the Women’s March to wear pink pussyhats. Those who cannot be there can knit the hats for those who can’t make them. The website https://www.pussyhatproject.com/ shows how. They’re bonnets with ears. I think one can even make do with fabric if knitting is not among one’s talents. Even cardboard might do.
Women in the United States are encouraged to hold knitting parties to make hats for their sisters. It is cold over there so knits are in fashion. A problem: Pink yarn is running out, a report said.
(Here in the tropics, Filipino women are not into knitting but more into crocheting.)
The Pussyhat Project stresses the “power of the handmade”: “Knitting and crochet are traditionally women’s crafts, and we want to celebrate these arts. Knitting circles are sometimes scoffed at as frivolous ‘gossiping circles.’ When really, these circles are powerful gatherings of women, a safe space to talk, a place where women support women. Anything handmade shows a level of care, and we care about women’s rights, so it is appropriate to symbolize this march with a handmade item, one made with a skill that has been passed down from women to women for generations.”
There is the “power of pussy”: “We love the clever wordplay of ‘pussyhat’ and ‘pussycat,’ but yes, ‘pussy’ is also a derogatory term for female genitalia. We chose this loaded word for our project because we want to reclaim the term as a means of empowerment… Women, whether transgender or cisgender, are mistreated in this society. In order to get fair treatment, the answer is not to take away our pussies, the answer is not to deny our femaleness and femininity, the answer is to demand fair treatment….”
I wish our American sisters, Fil-Ams among them, great pink success. This kind of project should go global.
To quote Eve Ensler of “The Vagina Monologues” fame, founder of V-Day and on how these became phenomenal: “Something is unfolding. It is both mystical and practical. It requires that we show up, do our exercise and get out of the way.”
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