Sunday, January 22, 2017


Women's March - Portland, Maine 
For much of my life I pretty much avoided any association with the color pink.   To me the color pink represented a femininity that I did not want to be a part of.  Pink represented passivity and weakness. It was too cute, to soft, too...(yes, I'm going to say it) was too girly.

In 2002 I began to be involved in the peace movement.  Leading up to the Iraq war some of the bravest acts of civil disobedience that I witnessed were done by Code Pink, a group of women activists founded by Medea Benjamin who were willing to put their bodies on the line for what they believed. With their hot pink banners, clothing and signs, they were also some of the most visible among a sea of other activists.

In 2004 I attended the March for Women's Lives in Washington D.C and found myself in a sea of pink; 600,000 or so people with pink shirts, pink signs, pink hats.  It was worn by women and men alike, all of whom where there for the purpose of making their voices heard on women's issues.

My view of pink began to change.

I began to recognize that for all of my life pink meant someone else was defining for me what it meant to be female.  To wear pink, to like pink, meant that I was in agreement with that definition.

These thousands, upon thousands of women activists who I have witnessed and met did not fit into any predefined mold of what it meant to be a woman.  Instead they were defining for themselves what it meant to be a woman, to be female. And what did many of them choose to represent that power to decide for one's self what it means to be a woman?  The color pink.

They claimed it, owned it and turned it into a visual call to arms.

Yesterday, when I marched with 10,000 other people in my home city of Portland, Maine, pink was once again dominant, on signs, in clothing and the now familiar pink pussy hats.  Photos of marches across the world were also dominated by the color and the hat.

I have seen comments on social media about how pink pussy hats won't change the world.  And they are right, on their own neither the hats nor the color changes anything, but the power behind what these things represent does.

Yesterday that power was out in force around the globe.

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