- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Women’s March organizers are moving away from the iconic “pussyhat” because it may be offensive to trans women who don’t have female genitalia.

“I personally won’t wear one because if it hurts even a few people’s feelings, then I don’t feel like it’s unifying,” Phoebe Hopps, founder and president of Women’s March Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press.

“I care more about mobilizing people to the polls than wearing one hat one day of the year,” she continued.

The Women’s March was an international anti-Trump demonstration the day after President Trump’s inauguration. Hundreds of thousands attended the flagship march in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Hopps is organizing the anniversary marches on Jan. 21 in Lansing and Marquette. She said hers is not the only Women’s March chapter to reconsider the propriety of the pink knitted hat with cat ears.

She said several state and national organizations have tried “to move away from the pussyhats for several months now” and are not using the hats in promotions because there are “a few things wrong with the message.”

“It doesn’t sit well with a group of people that feel that the pink pussyhats are either vulgar, or they are upset that they might not include trans women or nonbinary women or maybe women whose [genitals] are not pink,” Ms. Hopps said.

The Pussyhat Project was launched by a pair of feminists in response to the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape during the presidential race. Mr. Trump said on the tape that he could get away with grabbing women by their genitalia because of his celebrity.

The hats became popular in the run-up to the Women’s March and quickly became associated with the anti-Trump demonstration.

LaShawn Erby, co-chair of Black Lives Matter-Lansing, told the Detroit Free Press she would address the problematic headgear during her remarks at the Jan. 21 march in Lansing.

“I will say this one thing: It is a problem,” Ms. Erby said.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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