Friday, February 24, 2017

The Revolution will be Merchandized

I'm uncertain about the signs, not the sings we carry at the rallies, but how we find each other. I've bought three t-shirts; Samantha Bee's simple "Nasty Woman," which hasn't come yet, "I Never DREAMED I'd Grow Up to Become a Nasty Woman, but here I am Killing IT!" and I just ordered "Still, She Persisted." I have knit myself a pink pussy hat with ears (that actually make me look like an annoyed cat, because the ears tend to flatten out), and I have a few pins on my knapsack to identify myself of a Hillary Supporting Liberal.

Is this how we find each other? By our clothing choices? Because I really can't wear them all the time. At work I am supposed to wear "business like" attire, and t-shirts with slogans are not permitted.

I wear the hat to and from work, though. People smile at me. No one has said anything suggesting that they think the hat is inappropriate, but of course, that's because I'm in New York City, commuting between Brooklyn and Queens. It's a safe space, which might lessen the significance of wearing the hat. Now, when people wear them to the Westboro Baptist Church, that will be another story. But will that show that we have won? Or will that show that it's become safe and sanitized enough to wear the pussy hat.

In the 20th Century Cynthia Heimel wrote a piece Notes on Black in which she wrote, "If we didn't have clothes, we'd have to walk around wearing signboards saying 'Hello, I'm a radical lesbian mother with a Stalinist streak,' or 'Hello, I prefer you to think I'm athletic.'"  (Heimel, Cynthia.  If You Can't Live Without Me Why Aren't You Dead Yet?  Grove Press, 1991.)  So I guess I'm right after all, we do need to wear clothes to identify ourselves.

1 comment:

Red Emma said...

Cars also identify us. A friend would not buy a Subaru because she didn't want anyone to think she was a lesbian. Apparently, the Subaru is the car choice of lesbians?