Today is International Women's Day, and as Gloria Steinem once explained, 'the story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.' And in the past year with thanks to the Pussyhat Project, the cause has never been so visible...
News and social media feeds across the globe have been taken over by seas of pink ever since the Pussyhat Project took hold of the collective consciousness last year. Protests were held after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, when accusations of his sexual harassment were widely reported in the media, along with the advocation of legislation affecting the rights of women and many other marginalised groups. Millions of people across America and the world came together wearing matching, pink knitted hats for the Women’s March in January 2017 – and again in 2018.
A clever and simple design, the Pussyhat is a symbol of support and solidarity for women’s rights and political resistance. Supporters far and wide were (and still are) invited to create their own hats and wear them to public demonstrations and marches that continue to be organised in support of womens’ rights, immigration reform, healthcare policies, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality and freedom of religion.
For the creators of the Pussyhat Project it is no accident that pink was chosen as the hat’s colour. Historically and politically, pink has long been considered a womanly colour, often associated with ‘typically feminine qualities’ such as care, compassion and love. The creative forces behind the project are now aiming to reclaim the cultural meaning of pink, turning it from something implicitly considered as weak into something strong – and what a feminist force the Pussy Hat has become. Instantly recognisable with an easy pattern for people of all skill levels to learn, it wouldn’t be surprising if the seas of pink hats in streets and on screens soon turn into a tsunami of feminist power, knittable and wearable by anyone, of any gender, and any knitting ability.
To find out how to knit your own Wool and the Gang Pussyhat, pick up the latest issue of Selvedge, issue 81: Japan Blue.