Issues

Knitters Are Furiously Making Pink ‘Pussyhats’ For The Looming Women’s March On Washington

Posted by: Kevin Coyle

This post was curated from an article written by  for DCist.com

When looking overhead at the Women’s March on Washington, organizers of the Pussy Hat Project are planning to see a sea of fuchsia, rose, blush, magenta, and pepto pink.

“We want every marcher to have a pink hat to give a very strong visual statement,” says artist Jayna Zweiman. Zoom in closer to find two pointy ears sticking out from each head, shielded from the elements with a hand-knitted “pussyhat.”

Zweiman and her co-organizer, Krista Suh, have been working since November on the project, marshaling knitters and crocheters from around the country to pick up their needles and stitch. (They offer free patterns on their website.)

Some will wear their own creations on D.C.’s chilly streets, but many will send in their handiwork to be worn by a marcher. “It’s way of creating representation for people who can’t be at the march,” Zweiman says.

The L.A.-based artist is among those who wants to be here but can’t make it, in her case for medical reasons. “When a marcher wears a hat, there’s this idea that it represents not just one person but two people: the marcher and the person who made it,” she says. Knitters are also encouraged to include a note to forge a connection between maker and marcher.

The project is now officially partnered with the Women’s March organizers, though it remains to be seen exactly what that will entail and how distribution will work logistically. But like the march itself, Zweiman and Suh conceived it as a direct response to the president-elect’s attacks on women.

“We really want to take the word ‘pussy’ back, and I have to say, myself I did not personally feel comfortable using it,” Zweiman says. But after two months of leading the Pussyhat Project, any skittishness has flown out the window. “I use the word pussy a thousand times a day and it doesn’t phase me.”

Thanks to Donald Trump’s locker room talk bragging about sexual assault, “the word pussy is now very much in the zeitgeist of our country and I think just ignoring it is not necessarily something that’s smart to do,” she adds.

As for the pink, they note that it is the color most traditionally strongly associated with women. Weaving hats with it, Zweiman says, is about “the power of femininity and really claiming it.” They accept all shades, for those who prefer hot magenta to baby pink.

It is hard to estimate exactly how many have already been made, but the organizers know that they are well into the thousands. One woman has already made more than 80 herself. Yarn shops around the country are hosting pussyhat knitting sessions. And hundreds are sitting in a garage in Reston, where a local volunteer is storing them.

There’s a long history of craftivists wielding traditionally feminine pastimes for subversive social social ends, and the pussyhat knitters aren’t the only ones adding their handiwork to the Women’s March.

Local artist Katie Garth put together a screenprinting event to create signs for the march that quickly sold out. When she added a second event, it sold out again (proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood and Calvary Women’s Services).

In total, nearly 150 people will attend the sessions to print posters designed by local artists that address racial justice, violence against trans women, immigration, reproductive rights, and indigenous rights/climate justice. Garth plans to make the designs available on her website on Jan. 16 for those who wish to print them out at home.

MooreWomenArtists welcomes comments and a lively discussion, but comments are moderated after being posted. For more details please read our comment policy