9 Things Other Women Who Love Pussy Hats More Than Black Women Say

No… we’re not going to get over it.

It doesn’t get cool until 1:28 seconds into the video. Don’t try this at home?

Have you had a conversation about pussy hats with Other Women? They’ll seem so ‘woke’ and ready for the resistance, until you bring up the pussy hat. That’s when sweet Bobbi with an ‘i’ becomes mean Ms. Kutzing, my homeroom teacher in middle school who always yelled at me and blamed it on her divorce. Mean, right?

If you doubt that one of your pussy hatter friend’s would choose the pussy hat over you, tell them you think pussy hats are exclusionary, no matter what color they are. Out of love and protection, I provide you with a list of common responses from Other Women who love pussy hats more than cis and trans women of color. Brace yourself:

9. “The pussy hats were created by women of color!”

We are well aware. We don’t blame them. We blame you.

Of course, the creators of the pussy hat didn’t think, “Omg, white women are going to love this so much they’re going to keep it to themselves and totally forget to include women like us!” Regardless of who created the pussy hat, it’s a symbol of white feminism, exclusionary to non-white women. It’s also a smack in the face to Black women like me who have been pleading with Other Women to help lend a hand and bring attention to the maternal mortality crisis that’s killing Black women three times more often than white women. You support women of color who created a silly hat, but, no time to spare for women of color dying in the delivery room? Huh.

8. “The Pussyhat website explains everything!”

Just like announcing that the creators of the pussy hat are women of color, the pussy hat website is old news, even with the updated mission statement. It’s as obsolete as a manual to a Macintosh. When someone tries to ram that website in your face, show them this article that describes in detail why Other Women are allowing pussy hats to cause further estrangement between them and women of color. Also remind them that national organizations, including Together We Will USA and the Human Rights Campaign have discontinued supporting the pussy hat. Ask them if pussy hats are more important than supporting the organizations they claim to stand in solidarity with.

7. “The pussy hats aren’t pink because they’re for pussy, they’re pink because that’s the color for girls.”

Ugh, that’s even worse! What are we, five? Also… I hate the name. Announcing that will lead Other Women to try to convince you that pussy is for cat rather than… you know. Lies. Not all… you know, are pink (I am acutely aware of the fact that I’m able to say the name until it is directly involving my own… you know).

What’s even worse is when women go into some long, boring story about how pink used to be for boys and blue used to be for girls. Right. What millennium was that again? Exactly.

Spare no mercy with this brand of Other Woman. She’s going to play off the name and the color of the pussy hat as much as she can, changing what it stands for and what it represents at her whim.The color of the pussy hat was problematic, but, not the biggest issue. Don’t let Other Women think they’re proving you wrong by breaking down the history of the color pink. Remind them of the history of Black women in this country and ask them which is more important.

6. “This is why we’re not united!”

Nooo, the reason why we’re not united is because Other Women keep treating cis and trans Black women and women of color with intense dismissal and detachment. We’re not united because Other Women don’t know us and don’t care to. Other Women rarely ask why women of color feel so hurt and excluded by pussy hats. And, when we tell them, they always challenge our experience and testimony.

We will be united when the Other Women start identifying with the problems of women of color as problems of their own. What problems? Here’s a quick list:

5. “How dare someone tell me what to do? If I want to wear the hat, I will wear the hat. I will not be policed!”

When Other Women tell you what they won’t do, start asking them what they will do. If they are not willing to let go of the pussy hat for the sake of solidarity and inclusion, what are they willing to do to create a safe, welcoming environment for cis and trans women of color (marches, postcard parties, and and donations to organizations don’t count)?

In regard to the whole being told what to do, that’s a six-pack of Bullshit Brew. They’re simply vilifying us for daring to speak against their precious pussy hats (which are all pur and no change, by the way).

4. “Making these hats were and are such an amazing experience! Women of all ages gathered to sew hats and give them to each other!”

How nice… for those women.

Just because you have to retire the pussy hat doesn’t mean you have to hang up your needle and thread! This country is filled with homeless people, trying to survive through this abnormally cold and brutal winter. And, there are also Baltimore students, wearing mittens and bubble coats while in class, because their schools don’t have heat. Imagine how awesome that would be if you actually decided to… care about them! Get your sewing gang and whip them up some hats, scarves, gloves, and blankets!

Note: This approach has proven to be successful on more than one occasion! While the Other Women continue to treasure the pussy hats they own, two agreed to talk their sewing groups into donating handmade gloves, scarves, and hats to Baltimore public schools.

3. My Black friend loves the pussy hat!

Black people are non-monoliths. We don’t all do the same things. We don’t all agree. We didn’t all think OJ was innocent. Yes, some women of color still wear pussy hats. That doesn’t mean disregard all the other cis and trans women of color protesting the pussy hat, along with the organizations and groups who no longer support it.

2. I don’t even like the pussy hat, but…

This Other Woman isn’t going to give a hair about you, me, or our cis and trans sisters. Anything you say, they will refute. For instance, a woman we’ll call Jean said we needed the pussy hat as a symbol. I reminded her that history’s most important movements, from the suffrage movement, the civil rights era, right up the #MeToo movement (thank you, Tarana Burke) were successful without a ‘symbol’ to acknowledge their resistance. Her response, “The civil rights movement used a symbol. They all dressed really nice when they marched!” That’s. Not. A. Symbol (you fill in the blank of what I called Jean next, in my head). She offended me and an entire movement. I wasn’t mad at her, I was mad at myself. Why the hell did I spend time talking to a woman who cares about pussy hats more than people?

  1. I’m going to wear the pussy hat and I don’t care what anyone says!

This is a celebration of apathy. When Other Women hit you with this line, she’s letting you know exactly where she stands. There is no reason, no human, no crises that will come in between her and her pussy hat. These Other Women have terminal cases of burning pussy hat syndrome.

Cis and trans women of color are not protesting because it’s fun. There are actual crises in our community that’s taking our lives. Trans women of color are incredibly vulnerable to domestic violence, rape, and murder. Besides the maternal mortality crisis that Black women are facing, there’s also the ongoing prejudice and exclusion that we experience in many white-centered organizations and groups. It’s not fun. So when I tell Other Women why I’ve got a problem with pussy hats, and they hit me with that, “I don’t care!” bullshit, I hit them with this:

“Lady, listen! It is your right to wear that ugly pussy hat! You don’t have to care about me or any other woman of color. I think it’s great that you actually have a symbol that allows the rest of us to know how apathetic you are towards the issues concerning cis and trans women of color. Matter of fact… That pussy hat looks good on you! You go girl. Literally. You go the fuck away from me before I knit your mouth shut.”


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. To contact Tamela for speaking engagements or creating your own women’s empowerment group, email shewritestolive@gmail.com