FLUFF

What exactly is a pussy hat?

Source: Twitter@rmayersinger

The US may as well be renamed the land of the red, white, and pink following the Women’s Global March on Saturday.

An estimated 500,000 people gathered for the Women’s March on Washington, and a further estimated 2.5 million across the rest of the US and the other six continents, to advocate for gender equality on President Donald Trump’s first full day in office. Many sported pink knitted beanies with cat ears, called “pussy hats,” as a symbol of solidarity among protestors.

A group called the Pussyhat Project helped make the hat part of marchers’ uniform.

Project co-organiser Jayna Zweiman said anyone who planned to march could download a crochet, knit, or sew pattern for the hat on the project’s site. Alternatively, people could make and send them to the organisers to give away at DC’s march.

Since it launched in late November, the project has garnered thousands of social media followers, and Zweiman estimates nearly 100,000 people have downloaded the hat’s pattern.

Following the election, Zweiman and co-organiser Krista Suh designed the hat’s pattern with Kat Coyle the owner of The Little Knittery, a Los Angeles-based knitting shop. Besides the cat-ear shape, the hat’s name was inspired by Trump’s 2005 comments in the Access Hollywood audio leaked in October 2016, in which he bragged about grabbing women by their genitals.

The Pussyhat project is “about women refusing to be erased from political discussion,” Suh said.

The team also organised knit-alongs — where people can learn how to make the hats together — in 100 knitting shops across the country. Suh and Zweiman said they have received hats from people outside the US, including those in Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Canada, who could not make the march but wanted to show support.

Suh said she received an email from a daughter whose mother participated in the 1963 March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For this march, however, the daughter needed to take care of her mother, but they knitted and sent their hats to the project’s organisers “to represent their family at the march.”

Two days after the project’s launch, Zweiman also received a note from a woman whose daughter used to be an avid knitter. But she quit after she suffered a brain injury and had trouble manoeuvring one of her hands. The pussy hat, which is a simple pattern, inspired her to start looming again.

“No matter who you are, no matter what your skill-set is, people can help you make it. Everyone can participate,” Zweiman said.

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