Pussy Hats: The Confederate Flag for White Feminists

As cis and trans women of color enter 2018 with new plans of action, white feminists repeat their failures, complete with exclusion and pussy hats.

For over a year, Black women, women of color, and the Black and brown LGBTQ community have watched white feminists resist the inclusion of non-white cis and trans women in virtually ever communal space — both online and offline. We watched white women claim corn rows, #metoo, and Doug Jones, never once paying proper homage. We don’t expect them to care about the shivering Black children in Baltimore classrooms. We know damn well they don’t care about how or why so many Black women are fighting for our lives in delivery rooms. Most don’t even know there is a trans community let alone stay in-the-know as to what’s going on in it. The only thing white feminists have added to this resistance is poor fashion — safety pins, pussy hats, and 42 ACLU bumper stickers on the back of their Prius. They think they’re really doing something. Soon enough, they’re going to look back and realize they were batting for the wrong team.

“From one flawed feminist to another, I just want you to know that saying #thefutureisfemale is transphobic.” That’s the response I got from a woman who took issue with the popular hashtag I used to end a Facebook post. Da fuck why? Was my first thought. Then I thought about how I would want another woman to respond to me when I tell her she’s crossed my line.

If my pussy looked anything like this, I would make an appointment with my local gynecologist as soon as humanly possible. credit: Sydney Morning Herald

I have to educate myself on that. Thank you and apologies❤,” I replied. She was pleased as punch with my reply, and provided several article links that further explained why a plethora of feminist hashtags, phrases, and invitations isolate trans women. Having only known life as a cis woman, that was super new news to me. I thought about all the poems, articles, and essays I’d published on women, and regretted that I hadn’t let my trans sisters know, This includes you most. I was and still am grateful for my trans sis that loved me enough to educate me.

Back to the pussy hat.

Well-trained allies are breaking down every reason why the pussy hat is exclusionary, inappropriate, white-centered, and transphobic. And, it’s coming from the top. But, it doesn’t matter, because there’s no voice louder and ruder than white feminists.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Whether someone tells you that you stepped on their toe, you need to stop using the n-word, you need to be more accountable for providing a welcoming environment for every cis and trans feminist, or, your pussy hat is offensive to cis and trans women of color, respect that and correct it. Ask yourself how many times you’ve felt the need to challenge the request of a person of color.

After a year of postcard ‘parties’, marches, and safety pins, all they have to show for it is a fucking hat and no offline friends of color. And, they’re mad about it. White feminists have time to celebrate their one-dimensional pussies because they don’t have a body count that haunts them. They don’t have a horse in this race compared to any cis or trans person of color. It’s one of many curses that come with a white feminist; that ‘I’ mentality detaches them from reaching real heights of true feminism. We have to fight — CARRY white women for the same things they want, and then work over-time to keep ourselves safe and alive. Your presence in this resistance is unbearable. Deplorable even.

To be honest, I’m oddly appreciative for white feminists who cling on to their pussy hats with the same devotion as Trump supporters who find ‘culture’ in their confederate flags. We need to know who the defectors of intersectionalism are so we can weed them out. They shouldn’t just have a hat, they deserve a name to describe who they are and warn others of you the carnage they produce. White feminists are Terrible Humans Oppressing Trans Sisters. Yes. White women who wear pussy hats are the T.H.O.T.S. of 2018.


Tamela J. Gordon is a writer, intersectional feminist, and creator of the women’s empowerment group, Sisters with Aspiration, as well as SWA’s Intersectional Book Club. You can gift books for readers or send Tamela a monetary gift here: To contact Tamela for speaking engagements or creating your own women’s empowerment group, email shewritestolive@gmail.com