Racism and Transphobia Behind the Pink Pussy Hat Ban

When I first heard that the pinky pussy hats were starting to be viewed as racist, I laughed out loud. I figured these were the mindless thoughts of white liberal reddit threads… until I was informed that entire marches are beginning to ban the hats for promoting racism and transphobia. It began with the Pensacola “Women’s March (am I allowed to call it that?? Is my bigotry showing already because I used the word “woman” and not something more gender inclusive?),” and now third-wave feminists across America have joined Pensacola to bask in their inclusionary glory by banning the iconic pink, cat-eared hats scattered through every “Women’s March” last January. Despite that the hats were banned for their unbearable racism and transphobia, I’m left thinking that they are the ones who seem to be harboring racism and transphobia the most.

Let’s start with the transphobia. I’m normally not one to talk about transphobia much, seeing as I’m gender critical. But I couldn’t help but notice which group within the gender spectrum is being silenced every single chance SJWs get: trans men. In the midst of everyone constantly going out of their way to make room, make space, change language, etc. for the inclusion of transwomen, transmen are left forgotten and muted. Talking from a non-gender critical perspective, both transmen and women have pussies. Both transmen and women have historically and systemically been oppressed solely for having such genitalia, and odds are both groups have experienced firsthand violence as a result. For example, the pussy hats were made in response to a crude and violent comment made by our President: “Grab ’em by the pussy!” He didn’t say “Grab ’em by the womanhood!” Gender critical women are continuously slandered for being transexclsionary, but it is clear that we are the only ones willing to listen to and lift up the voices of transmen, because we know their oppression doesn’t go away after testosterone treatments or surgery. The pussyhat ban is transexclusionary because it is excluding, as always, trans men. It is silencing and ignoring the violence they receive, as well as the violence we receive, for being born with pussies. It does “exclude” transwomen, yes, but does every bit of speech on female oppression have to speak of transwomen’s violence? Are no statements just allowed to talk about violence “women-born-women” and transmen receive because talking about the violence we receive solely on behalf of our vagina is bigotry now? It seems that silencing and ignoring the violence of anyone born in a female body is the main liberal agenda, and it is leftist misogyny as its peak.

Now let’s get to the part white liberals shout about on an endless loop through their white SJW echo chambers despite clearly not giving two shits: racism. Leaders of “Women’s Marches” are claiming the hats are racist because only white women’s vaginas are pink and that isn’t very inclusionary… Was there a biology class I missed? I always strived to be white when I was a kid, ashamed of my desi heritage. I got over it, but now?! How am I supposed to get over the fact that white women have magenta genitalia?! I mistakenly thought they were different shades of peach and tan… Do they grow teal pubic hair, too? Thank goodness for liberals informing us uneducated women of color. I know now that pink is the new color of racism. Nevermind the fact that the co-creator of the pussy hat is a woman of color herself, and attributing them to white women is erasing the work of a woman of color on what became a global symbol of female solidarity across the globe.

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It quickly became very obvious that women of color were not on board with this decision, never even on board to make the decision. Women of color, myself included, began filling comment threads of the Penascola “Women’s March.” We addressed that no woman of color is on record saying the hats are racist, stating that they are not racist and we do not need men or white folks to speak for us (see screenshots below). Were any of our comments, the comments of the same women of color that white liberals and men gave themselves credit for liberating, even met with a discussion? Nope! But we got something that truly exemplified how liberals feel about listening to women of color instead: we all got blocked. As soon as I got blocked, my inbox filled with fellow woman of color, all with a similar story. As soon as we have beliefs regarding our oppression that don’t meet the standard white liberal narrative, such as being gender critical, we are silenced. Didn’t Crenshaw coin “intersectionality” to promote listening to women of color in the first place? As a fellow woman of color said to me, “they claim they must center our voices but it seems to me they are just using us as pawns for the trans agenda.”

The Pensacola “Women’s March” claimed to ban the hats partially on behalf of white feminism. I can’t think of a way to make feminism anymore white feminist or white supremacist than only allowing the the voices and thoughts of white folks and men to be heard.

“I wrote this statement based off of years of research I have been working on and contributing to,” commented Devin Cole, the white male who figured it was necessary to ban the hats, on the Pensacola “Women’s March” Facebook page. “If the petty bourgeoisie, white supremacist ‘feminists’ in Pensacola shitting their pants on this thread can’t realize that, then please feel free to stay the hell home.” Though, I will give credit where credit is due. Staying home from someone who self-identifies as a “gender terrorist” sounds like a great idea. Especially if their highest form of activism is banning pink hats and silencing women of color, who experience enough oppression to not need years of research to understand oppression itself, and to understand that we have bigger problems than pink hats with cat ears. If the goal of the “Women’s Marches” banning the pink pussy hats was to achieve intersectionality, it is clear that they severely have ways to go.

-Unsilenced Brown Girl

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Author: unsilencedbrowngirl

21 year old Indian, vegan feminist (and not the fun kind). Here to offer my uncensored, unapologetic thoughts on feminism, racism, and anything else.

40 thoughts on “Racism and Transphobia Behind the Pink Pussy Hat Ban”

  1. your post is the first news i heard the hats were being banned or seen as racist anywhere…
    I still like the hats… i’m sure many white folks do.
    i realize you don’t respect white women or liberals and see them in a general lump according to a limited vantage, but then you’re only 21 years old, so you have time to investigate how much of what you’ve written is really true or not.
    it’s too bad you are are not having fun as a vegan or a feminist.
    peace to you little sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are reading my writing without processing it. Nowhere did I say all white people are liberals, in fact I surround myself with many brilliant critical white women and am glad to. I am saying it is liberal white women silencing woc and erasing our voice, despite that they claim to advocate for it.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. but I did read your writing in full and I processed it. But then i realized… “liberal” means different things and language gets mucked up. It’s not the same thing in the USA as it is in Brexit land. So maybe I am not sure of which liberal you even mean.
        And in no way do i think U need to “surround” yourself with brilliant white women to prove yourself to me. Heck NO!
        I am not as sure as what woc is anymore and need to do more learning on the matter.
        I am grateful for your voice and hope you keep it as loud as possible.
        I also hope you have fun as a vegan and a feminist. Your BIO said “and not the fun kind” and I think you deserve happiness in what you do. No matter what is wrong, may you find joy.
        Thanks for your reply to me. Your writing is great.

        Like

      2. Well thank you. But also sidenote: I am not the type of human that ever feels a need to prove myself to white women to get their acceptance. I was saying that I did not lump “white” and “liberal” together because there are women in my life that are more critical than liberals.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Thank you for the forum. I realize feminism is different for you as it is for all women and that’s why we never had a real unified movement… while at the same time it was important to try.
        I don’t know what you mean by “liberal” or how they supposedly harmed you.
        I think you should clarify that and be able to defend it. So far you have not.
        You are not obligated to prove it to me…
        I am against the patriarchal, white supremacist, institutions…
        but I also support the “slut-walk” and at 21 years old, you might not have the same reasons why to feel empathy as i do.
        Feminism is about Equity not equality. It’s financial. It’s about the money. In a “man’s world…” it’s about ownership… right????

        Like

      4. Do not come here only to patronize me about my age. I have every right to voice my opinions, and all of the feedback I have gotten of people who related to and found truth in this post are women of all ages and ethnicities. It seems clear that you don’t agree with parts of this and are just trying to use my age as a way to call me uneducated.

        Liked by 4 people

      5. I didn’t patronize you about your age, I challenged you at best… And I thanked you for your forum. Get a grip. You feel offended by me because I speak the truth also? Excellent. Feminism is about all of us. Yes. Thanks again for allowing my comments. Best wishes to you and your faction.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I am sorry i hurt your feelings. I never thought you didn’t have a right to your voice.
        You are young. You will come to understand what that means in time, without finding me patronizing. I welcome your friendship, if you want one with me. It’s important e speak about misunderstandings as much as we do unity. You don’t need to be coddled. I will not be the white woman who coddles you. I will be the human being who calls bullshit. I was always that woman.
        If you have no interest in me or my voice… NO BLAME.
        do what you do.
        Thank you again.
        Kate

        Like

      7. Personally, I would have checked out as soon as she said “you’re only 21” and called you “little sister.” How patronizing. She didn’t come here to think and engage, she came here to be a bully.

        Liked by 6 people

    2. I’m a white woman and I didn’t see an ounce of disrespect in this article for white women. “Liberal” in this context is used to contrast against “leftist” not to contrast against “conservative”. “Feminist, not the fun kind” is a famous Dworkin quote and it means prioritizing effective politics over making antifeminists and liberals comfortable, not that the speaker herself isn’t having fun. Given how confused you seem to be I think the condescension towards the author is really unwarranted.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Should I know all the “famous” quotes Katy? Do I need to know you are white for some reason? Do I need to know about your comfort level? Are you the gauge? For reals? How come? I don’t feel disrespected. But thanks for your silly input…
        I am not “confused” by this author and you don’t need to “feel” defensive. Get a grip.

        Like

      2. btw Katy… why are YOU telling me the contrast about/between leftist and conservative? I don’t believe YOU. I don’t think you have begun to explain what you mean by “leftist” and that you wouldn’t know a “conservative” if she was under your nose.
        I think your politics are getting in the way and that YOU feel disrespected as a white broad.
        Dworkin has nuthin’ on me. That whole “prioritizing effects bullshit” I don’t gotta be brainwashed to know how to fight for women. I never believed in or aspired for “comfort” so don’t box me in with book learning…
        If you wanna ask me sum questions, do so… but do NOT presume upon my experience.
        And do not “speak” for the author. She will correct me and or bitch slap me as she sees fit. I don’t need a white woman’s feedback or correction. Get sum self respect.

        Like

    3. @katherinejlegry–Andrea Dworkin famously said, “I’m a radical feminist, not the fun kind.” Saying we’re “not the fun kind” means we don’t believe it’s our job to make sure men enjoy our feminism, not that we’re not having fun ourselves. As a middle-aged, radical feminist, I’m having a great time–even more so when I see younger women catching fire and seeing through the nonsense some people are trying to foist on them.

      For Julie Bindel’s excellent take on the subject of fun feminism:
      https://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/08/fun-feminism-women-feminist

      Liked by 5 people

      1. That was an excellent source to provide U radical feminist. Thank you for enjoying the process. It’s sooooo necessary if it’s gonna actually ring true.
        I will certainly investigate Dworkin upon yer referral Oak and Ash.

        Like

      2. And I’m not “foisting” anything on anyone btw. (if that wuz yer meaning) Ya’ll need to be able to come to the table. Defensiveness and condescending shivving are a natural result of coming to terms but we don’t gotta keep acting like there’s no way to connect. I’m practical that way.

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      3. one more thing Oak and Ash… as a self proclaimed middle aged radical feminist, is feminism now a spectator sport for you or what? When you say you enjoy seeing younger ones catch fire, what does that even mean?
        bell hooks was one of my teachers. I like what she brings. how she’s still active. I like how she talks about transgressions in public spaces with cinematographer Arthur Jafa… and how the Gaze, and “who” is “looking” depends… I like how she calls out white supremacy.

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      4. Okay I read the “fun feminism” post…
        and whatever!!!! I have wonderful sisters who worked in the stripping industry and it was NOT fun. They were molested or raped as girls and whatever led them to industry was predatory. However, the “Slut-Walk” is not about “fun” it’s about not degrading our sisters who have been in porn or prostitution or whatever… It’s about not shaming them.
        What is an “excellent take” on feminism?
        You are all bullshit.

        Like

  2. Gotta love white males who id as women claiming to be more oppressed than females of color while white handmaidens get their backs. Thanks for sharing this. I was being sold the “Pink is for white pussies only/is racist” narrative, and duh, falling for it.

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Your essay is a brilliant take on this issue! The goal of these activists, as you’ve noticed, is not intersectionality, but the silencing of women. First they use supposed concern for women of color to silence white feminists, since they’re the largest group by numbers in the west, then they find reasons to silence WOC–perhaps by calling them “white feminists” when they refuse to go along with the trans agenda–in order to gain control of the movement. This sort of “feminism” looks more like “The Patriarchy Strikes Back.”

    Liked by 9 people

  4. OMFG! I’m so EMBARRASSED by these fellow white women! I’m appalled at the whiplash version of oppression they’re espousing as if they can’t even grasp the insanity of their own logic.

    Please forgive my sisters (if you can!) – they’ve obviously been brainwashed by the transgender cult. They’ll learn soon enough what it’s going to cost them – and all women. It’s crazy-making!

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Reblogged this on Freegoddess's Blog and commented:
    What more effective way to divide and conquer the women’ movement than for men dressed up as women and claim THEY’RE the ones oppressed. Read this and weep for our daughters who will be inheriting the fallout of this insanity.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Oh. My. Gawd. My mind is blown. I couldn’t imagine that it was racist, but now that you pointed it out, it very obviously is. We should also start burning everything that could possibly be seen as either pink or as a hat, because they all are racist now.

    At the same time, we of course can just go around avoiding anyone with a slightly darker skin than our own. But that’s just normal, right?

    Seriously, some people should really try to think things through.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. This argument put out by the trans community about not wearing pussy hats because they exclude trans, is just plain nonsense. I wear all kinds of hats all of the time to support specific causes. Don’t they know the world exists without them? Why can’t they just be supportive to someone with a pussy?

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Right?? I’m annoyed by this and by people complaining about “no uterus no opinion” for the same reason, which is that they are (from a liberal mindset) completely gender neutral and trans-inclusive statements! Trans men are in need of abortion rights and are also targeted and degraded by the statement “grab em by the pussy”. But the trans movement is monopolized by “AMABs” who don’t actually care about any “AFAB” issues, it has to be the “all me all the time” channel.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Exactly! Not many years ago, we were told we had to use “female” to identify our reproductive class, because “transwomen are women,” then people started saying that trans women were also female, and we had to call ourselves “uterus-havers,” but now when we talk about reproductive anatomy directly? Transphobia!

        This sort of progression–in which the rules continually change, what’s allowed becomes ever more constricted, and minor transgressions produce disproportionate rage–is a classic technique of abusive control, and giving in to any part of it only encourages those who are abusive/authoritarian/narcissistic. The way to fight back is to maintain our own boundaries and refuse to cave, whether the issue is clothing, language, or private spaces.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Oak and Ash, I can remember being far more accepting of transwomen many years ago, before it became fashionable and when most of them seemed to be gay. Then, bit by bit, exactly as you describe, they moved the goal posts.

        Since I hit peak trans I won’t give an inch. Using female pronouns for men is inaccurate. It may seem a small thing but it encourages a lie. Transwomen are, by definition, male and have no place in female only spaces.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I want to start by apologizing for the white women losing their s*** on this post. You wrote a beautiful and insightful essay on the silencing of WOC by white feminist to appease transwomen. And to those who want to call me racist for saying that, bite me, I am a white feminist. No movement will every speak to the issues of every single person in it at all times. And to use gender neutral terms or language when talking about violence and denigration experienced by those with the pussy because they have the pussy negates the context of the arguments. Without context we could just as well be arguing that Bills fans have a tough time in Steelers country. As to your age, I wish I had found my voice when I was 21, you’re on your way to becoming bell hooks, writing and changing the dialogue at every stage of life. Please don’t every let uber-libs take your voice.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. But it IS a symbol of racism and exclusivity. Just because a Woman of Color creates something that’s supposed to reflect ‘women’ doesn’t mean it’s not influenced, at least by these frameworks. Haven’t we seen this time and time again throughout the years when girls of Color painting images of white women, getting white dolls, etc.,

    The women’s march is a white woman-centric event and nothing short of a radical act of violence against countless women across time and space. Non-white women have, for centuries, challenged violence perpetuated by the state. We can’t ignore years of medical experimentation and torture on Black women, challenges in having access to safe abortions, sterilization, the ‘global heart transplant’ (separating [overwhelmingly Women of Color] from their children), Black women being separated form their children, rape and murder at the border and countless other ways WOC have and continue to suffer the varied injustices while white women remained silent. Trauma against women didn’t start with Donald Trump. But it was only when white women, who have forcefully been considered ‘real’ women, finally became threatened, the march gained a level of attention.

    There is nothing wrong with centering women. But to say these hats are not symbolic — of exclusivity — of white women — of excluding hair texture and a historical trajectory of doing so, and having to wage resistance to this type of exclusivity, is ludicrous.

    I get what you’re saying about white liberals centering their own agenda with this notion to ban the hats. I truly do. And that’s why I’m surprised there’s not a larger critique of the supremacist march itself, as it is continuing to work only on preserving the sanctity of the white female body.

    Like

    1. Under patriarchy, the forces against feminism are always more powerful than our resistance. To fall for the idea that feminism should be split along racial lines is a grave mistake, one that can only weaken any feminist agenda. We need to work together to make progress, and the work must be international.

      Too many Americans think the US = the world. They don’t look beyond their borders. The rest of us see it differently. American WOC are treated worse than their white sisters, but they are still very much better off than women in most of the rest of the world. So are African American women campaigning for the rights of, for example, Russian or Syrian women? And if not, why not?

      Like

      1. Hello, I’m not quite sure how you’re referring to my comment and saying that I suggest feminism be split among racial lines. I’m saying that the event and it’s signifiers are based on ideals of solidarity among white women, and aren’t doing anything to actually address the concerns of women outside of themselves. The suggestion that what white women are practicing is actually feminism is itself false.

        Also to address your question — the answer is YES! Even though I wasn’t discussing Black women specifically, as a matter of fact Black women actually do work for all women. This has been proven time and time again as we work at ending global domination and injustice. Our ideas of liberation and freedom do not stop at the borders of the United States, as is clear in various efforts to challenge issues related to women and girls around the world. Everyone knows Black women always try and save everybody.

        Like

  10. This is unbelievable — this idea that the hats are racist on top of “transphobic.” And yet, it’s not. How deeply moronic and misguided “the left” has become.

    Thank you for writing about this.

    Liked by 2 people

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