Explaining the "Pink Pussy Hat" Worn by Women Marchers

If over the last week, your family has seen images of women marching from around the country and the world, it's likely your kids have also had a glimpse of the "pink pussy hats."  I know it was certainly the case with my family and an explanation could not be avoided once one of these hats arrived by mail, knitted by a friend of grandma (pictured above with the rest of us).  How do you provide context to young children for terms that are used to degrade and insult women's bodies?

A brief, simple but honest explanation is what's needed.

The conversation can basically go something like, " The pussy hat represents taking back ownership of a word which is usually used to describe a woman's body in a very negative way, specifically her vulva. When a vulva is referred to as a pussy or when a person is referred to as a pussy, this is used as a put down or a slur and a way to make a person feel bad about themselves. At this point depending on the age of your child and their level of curiosity or interest you could stop here or offer more background, history and information.  With my own daughter's I gave more context and explained the direct connection to the President. In the end, they were satisfied with pussy hat= girl power.

I encourage you to use all teachable moments... good ones, bad ones and really bad ones to inform and empower your children and enable them to think critically about the words they're using and the way they talk about and treat themselves and one another.

With love and hope,

Tracy