Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kids are never too young to learn about systems of oppression and word play, right?

Ben convinced me to dump my FB profile picture of me holding my patriarchy is for dicks sign, so I did, returning to the professionally photographed perfect little family picture I had before.  Ben always objected to the sign's vulgarity because the march was going to have children (but! not my children! I pointed out), but I loved it.  I had an Audre Lorde quote on the other side (Your Silence Will Not Protect You, it said in glitter letters, i's dotted with glitter heart stickers) because to me, the frivolous vulgarity of patriarchy is for dicks felt like I was dismantling the master's house with new tools, and I am almost never in public without my kids or as a non-mom person, so that felt empowering, too.

I read lots of criticisms, though, of cis white women with vulgar signs that reduced feminism to reproductive parts while women of color and trans women carried signs that meant something more.

I think the pussy signs and the pussy hats were a given, since POTUS copped to being a pussy-grabber and all, and the uterus signs were generally supporting Planned Parenthood, but what did the vulgar for vulgar's sake signs get us?

I don't know, but I do know that I love wordplay (dicks like jerks! and also dicks like penises!), and I think our patriarchal political system is a valid concern.  Also?  It was hard to encompass a complex march agenda on a simple sign, you know?


  1. I'll admit to being really frustrated with the backlash against "vulgarity" at the marches. For me, it smacks of being called a "nasty woman"--like we should be polite about fighting for our rights. I don't have to be polite, and neither should anyone else.

    And I totally did not think your sign was vulgar in the LEAST and also found it to be completely awesome in its wordplay and overall genius.

  2. Someone on FB posted something like, "There are women in other countries being mutilated and you're wearing a vagins costume." I agree that the backlash against the vulgarity is an attempt to keep us "ladylike." A lot of the more colorful signs started some great conversations with my girls (though I admit to pretending not to hear the one about the bloody coat hanger.) I hate the new assertion that cis white women can't complain because we don't have it "that bad." I call bullshit. Also, I love that the march was full of pink and lace and glitter. Fight like a girl!

  3. An instructive post. People to really know who they want to reach and why or else, they'll have no way to know what they're trying to achieve. People need to hear this and have it drilled in their brains..
    Thanks for sharing this great article.

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