I always wear my grandmother’s diamond bracelet and a pair of pointed toe heels when I march for women’s rights.
Just teasing…I actually stumbled upon the local women’s march while I was taking my daughters to see The Sound of Music at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. I was wearing Lilly Pulitzer and the aforementioned impractical heels; the girls were decked out in smocking and bows. There was nary a pussy power hat among us, but we were listening to The Sound of Music original motion picture soundtrack in the car. “…Lo and behold you’re someone’s wife, and you belong to him…” These words were literally playing in our car as we came upon the women’s march. Subversive is how I roll.
I think the pussy power hats are cute, in the same way I think flower crowns and unicorn headbands are cute–and y’all know I love a flower crown. Anything with kitty ears is automatically adorable, and I naturally support accessories that come in shades of pink. I’m not sure I could bring myself to walk down the street wearing a pussy power hat, though. I am just way too traditional. Wearing a “Pussy Grabs Back” foam claw is completely out of the question.
It’s not that I don’t applaud these protests. I do. I like that they were nonviolent, and, honestly, it seems like an amazing event to be a part of. I’m a little sad that I didn’t attend the Washington march, if only because I have FOMO and I love a party. (Although, how much of a party could it really be without a lot of boys? And wine. Do we know the wine situation at the march?) To me it sort of looked like Derby, only with more angry signs and fewer (zero) sundresses and wide-brimmed picture hats. Still, comparisons could be made between the two events, but only if mint juleps and Korbel champagne splits were available for purchase at the march.
I was excited about checking out the Louisville march–we got downtown early because I didn’t know the traffic situation, so we ended up having about an hour to kill before meeting people for lunch. I let the girls choose between checking out the march, or going to the Bristol for special Mommy and Me time at the build-your-own bloody mary bar. They went with the bloody marys, which makes me think I raised them right. Or did I? I’m honestly too weary of it all to go into an existential tailspin over this question.
As I said before, I’m a traditionalist, and rearing daughters requires me to strike a delicate balance. I want them to be proud to be girls, to grow up with the same rights and pay and opportunities as their male counterparts. I’ve been that girl, working in an old boys’ club. I know how it feels to realize that the men in the meeting really don’t care what you have to say. I remember the day in seventh grade when I learned that shutting up and being pretty was more attractive to boys than raising my hand and answering questions. The thought of my girls coming to that realization makes me sad, but doesn’t every girl learn that lesson at some point? Maybe the millions of women marching today never did. Either that, or they just don’t care what the boys think. I have to respect them either way.
At the same time, I’m trying to teach my daughters to present themselves well, and to have good manners. Do we have to be so crass, with all the “Pussy Power” business? Is it really constructive to scream about blood and periods in the street? (I’m looking at you, Ashley Judd). Sometimes I think we have all just completely lost our minds. Can’t we conduct ourselves gracefully, while politely requiring men to be respectful? Maybe we can’t. Maybe without the agitators making demands, girls like me wouldn’t have the freedom to conduct ourselves with grace and politeness in our everyday lives. Maybe there is a gentler way to get things done, or maybe there isn’t. If that’s the case it means others are doing the hard work while I reap the benefits.
I feel like I should write them a thank-you note.