On the surface, the Women's March appears to be an all-inclusive resistance movement that has women of color's interest at heart. But for some, there are some questions that need to be answered.
This Saturday as cities across America shook with the millions of women and allies marching against President Trump's administration, a pink pu**y hat was discovered on top of a Harriet Tubman statue in New York. It is not yet proven a white protester put the hat there, but Twitter believes it is likely.
The image circulated on Twitter while photos and videos from the Women's March flooded people's timelines. It was a bit jarring for users who didn't know why someone would do this. Others, who believed a white protester put the hat there, were outraged by its placement.
— Corey Townsend (@JarrieBradshaw) January 20, 2018
Harriet Tubman was a disabled black woman, an enslaved person who risked her life to free other enslaved people. Keep your cutesy symbol of cisnormative, white normative, made-a-supposedly-subversive-joke-about-sexual-assault accessories off her head.— wikipedia “you can go read a book” brown (@eveewing) January 20, 2018
TL;DR - Harriet Tubman didn’t traverse the woods of this country with a shotgun and the slave catcher at her back TO BE DISRESPECTED WITH YOUR STUPID HAT— wikipedia “you can go read a book” brown (@eveewing) January 20, 2018
Many who are outraged say their anger stems from their belief that it was a performative act of solidarity from a white female protestor who could be implying that black liberation is synonymous with the fight to be treated better by the patriarchy. Tubman's legacy as a freedom fighter followed a different mission.
Twitter user Durags & Dialectics illustrates this point perfectly in this thread.
thinking that putting a pussy hat on a Harriet Tubman statue is solidarity with Black women is THE WHITEST THING I'VE SEEN IN A WHILE https://t.co/PHX15h8f0A
— Durags & Dialectics (@Hood_Biologist) January 20, 2018
Nothing more neocolonial than cister settlers putting a pussy hat on a Harriet Tubman statue.— Durags & Dialectics (@Hood_Biologist) January 20, 2018
That's the problem w/ identity politics, its based on symbolic actions that tap into sensory displays while changing nothing at all.
The grand empty gesture that is the moderate.
Ultimately, there have always been concerns that demands for women's equality do not center black women and reactions to Tubman's statue on Saturday show this.