Solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington
I am knitting winter caps. I have been knitting a lot this year. I find it comforting to feel the yarn slip through my fingers as I loop and knot it through the needles. The rhythm is peaceful. I find this small act of creation hopeful and encouraging. With Donald Trump energizing the most deplorable elements of society, I’ve needed help remaining hopeful this year. But knitting is not just a docile woman’s distraction. It has gained new popularity as a post-apocalyptic life skill and hipster pastime for all genders. Lately my own knitting has become a political act of resistance. Now that the electoral college has convened and Donald Trump will be installed as President of the United States (in spite of his loss in the popular vote by a startlingly wide margin and the foreign interference in our elections that gave him the electoral votes he needed to take the White House) I am knitting winter caps for the feminist revolution.
The Pussyhat Project encourages knitters to make pink caps with square edges that form cat-like ears when the cap is worn. These hats are being sent to Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington. I will be one of those marchers on January 21, 2017 and I will bring my knitted Pussyhats as well.
Liberté, Egalité, Sororité
Like Madame Defarge in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, the Pussyhat Project knitters may appear to be docile, quietly engaged in feminine textile crafts. But also like Madame, we remember the wrongs done to us with every stitch. Our knitting testifies against Trump and his supporters’ hostility toward us and our fellow citizens. On January 21st there will be a confrontation. The marchers, supported by the knitters, will meet at the United States Capitol and march to face Trump’s White House. We will remind our elected officials, especially the newly installed misogynistic President, that women’s rights are human rights. Any attempt to legislate a social and economic environment hostile to women is a violation of human rights. Any attempt to legislate control of our bodies away from us, is a violation of human rights. Any discussion of grabbing our bodies, objectifying us, or failure to bring our abusers to justice, is a violation of human rights.
The Pussyhat Project has many layers of meaning. It is a way for women to participate in the Women’s March on Washington even if they cannot march themselves. January is a cold month. Providing warm hats to the marchers represents an act of nurturing support. Many of our mothers have knitted hats for us and reminded us to put them on before going out into the cold. It is a distinctive, womanly act of care. The color pink is culturally associated with extreme femininity. By creating the visual spectacle of a sea of pink-hatted marchers, we are reminding our elected officials how strong the tide of feminine displeasure is in response to the sexist political rhetoric of the Donald Trump campaign. Finally, the pussy cat ears on the caps throw back into Donald Trump’s face how he bragged about committing sexual assault using offensive and derogatory language. It shows him we remember and hold his comments against him.
Want to join us?
If you want to join the march, you can read more about it on the Women’s March on Washington website HERE. You will also find information on the official Women’s March on Washington Facebook page. From there you can find your state’s Facebook group for help finding transportation and lodging. If you want to participate in the pussyhat project, visit the Pussyhat Project website HERE. There are free knitting, crochet, and sewing patterns and instructions how to send your finished hats to the marchers. You can even slip a note inside each hat for the marcher who will be wearing it and representing you.
“You knit with great skill, madam.”
“I am accustomed to it.”
“A pretty pattern too.”
“You think so?” said Madam looking at him with a smile.
“Decidedly! May one ask what it is for?”
“Pastime” said Madam, still looking at him with a smile while her fingers moved nimbly.
“Not for use?”
“That depends. I may find a use for it one day. If I do, well…” said Madam drawing a breath and nodding her head with a stern kind for coquetry, “I’ll use it!”
Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities.