The Pussy Hat: An intersection between needlework, feminism, and identity

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2017-01-01
Authors
Earnest, Tyshaia
Leslie, Catherine
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Abstract

On January 21, 2017, over one million individuals participated in the Women's March on Washington. Media coverage noted the "strong collective visual statement" created by a "sea of bright pink" pussyhats with top corners resembling cat ears. The purpose of this study was to employ Identity Theory to explore the making and wearing of pussyhats as "a weapon of resistance for women" (Parker, 1984, Introduction). Content analysis of 40 mainstream news articles and editorials between November 8, 2016 and March 8, 2017 revealed a notable frequency of specific terms occurring more than ten times. These terms were aligned with the three enabling factors of identity salience: esteem, social connections, and media connections/visibility. Results indicate the presence of an identity where needlearts and feminism intersect. Making and wearing the pussyhat demonstrates an ever-evolving concept of feminism, which holistically encompasses the wide range of expressions and activities available to contemporary women.

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