This is the first of two quilts submitted to the traveling show Threads of Resistance.
Not All Pussies Are Pink, Not All Women Have Pussies
The Women’s March on Washington was held on January 21, 2017, the day following Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States. Although the event was supposed to advocate for many human rights issues at risk due to his election, including immigration reform, healthcare rights, racial equality, LGBTQ rights and environmental protections, the focus was much smaller for the majority of participants.
The event’s organization was rife with mistakes that indicated clearly that organizers were not looking at feminism through an intersectional lens. The original name for the march appropriated the name of a historic civil rights march without acknowledgement. There were more cisgender men on the stage than there were transgender women, and one of the few transgender women invited to speak had her mic cut off part-way through. Shortly before the event, someone edited the mission statement on the march website to remove support of women who engage in sex work.
Despite these clear indications that the Washington march lacked intersectional feminism, satellite marches around the world repeated the same mistakes. The march I attended in Boston remembered to include Black women, but excluded Indigenous women’s groups. The march in Vancouver, Canada, where I live, included Indigenous women’s groups, but neglected to invite the local Black Lives Matter group to participate, or any local sex workers’ rights organizations.
In addition to the organizational problems, the marches themselves were very white and cisgender-focused. POC wondered why the same marchers who claimed to be fighting for women’s rights hadn’t been marching prior to this event. Where were they when women of colour and immigrant women were losing their rights, well before Donald Trump was elected president? And while they were patting themselves on the back for how “non-violent” their marches were, why weren’t they asking why police respond differently to a group of white marchers than they do to a group of black marchers, when both are equally peaceful?
The wearing of pink pussy hats, originally created in reference to Trump’s quote bragging about sexual assault, of “grabbing women by the pussy,” further perpetuated the focus on white women and cisgender women, forgetting that women of colour don’t all have pink genitalia, and that genitalia do not define a woman. The pussy hats encouraged the idea that the marches were primarily about reproductive rights, resulting in many participants carrying cissexist protest signs that reduced womanhood to body parts.
While the Women’s March inspired us all by showing how many people were appalled by Trump’s election and the risk to women that it symbolized, it also showed how far feminism still has to go in order to include ALL women.
started January 22, 2017, finished April 30, 2017
aprox 26 hours of work for construction and quilting, not including drafting the pattern or the embroidery
23″ x 22″
Techniques: foundation paper piecing, hand embroidery (couching), machine quilting
Self drafted paper piecing pattern to symbolize a crowd of pussy hat wearers at the Women’s March. Though there are 100 full “faces” shown in the quilt, all but 13 of those faces are very pale. Kona white, bone and snow were used for the pale backgrounds. Embroidery is on Kona white, with a binding of Kona bone. Quilted with a walking foot using Auriful 2024 in 40wt and 2021 in 50wt.