Politics & Policy

SJW Blog: The Vagina Imagery at the Women’s March Was Offensive to Women Without Vaginas

“Pussy hats” at the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017. (Reuters photo: Shannon Stapleton)

You may think that the only people who’d be bothered by vagina-related imagery at the Women’s March on Washington would be puritanical conservatives, but it turns out that some of the social-justice crowd is upset, too — because, apparently, it “isolated” transgender women from the march.

In an article for Mic titled “How the Women’s March’s ‘genital-based’ feminism isolated the transgender community,” the author, Marie Solis, explains that even though those pink, knitted “pussy hats” may have seemed like a cute idea, they “set the tone for a march that would focus acutely on genitalia at the expense of the transgender community.”

“Signs like ‘Pussy power,’ ‘Viva la Vulva’ and ‘Pussy grabs back’ all sent a clear and oppressive message to trans women, especially: having a vagina is essential to womanhood,” Solis writes.

Hey, Solis? No they did not.

Many women wore “pussy hats” and made “Pussy grabs back” signs as a direct response to Donald Trump’s pussy-grabbing comments on the Access Hollywood tapes. These women were (and have every right to be) upset about those specific comments, and so they were protesting in a way that made that message clear.

What’s so ironic about all of this is that people like Solis undoubtedly consider themselves to be social justice-y feminist-y people. And I just have to ask: How the hell is it a feminist move to make women feel bad about reaffirming ownership of their own bodies? You may want to call a “Viva la Vulva” sign oppressive, but if you ask me, I’d say that that is something that deserves that label far more than any sign ever could.

Yes, a large amount of women had signs referencing their vaginas, but that’s because the comments on those tape — about vaginas — had an impact on a lot of women. If you don’t have a vagina, and there is a non-vagina related reason that you are marching, then feel free to express that on your sign. Nobody has the right to tell you how to feel, but the fact is, you don’t have the right to suggest that other people shouldn’t express how they feel, either.

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