Let’s look back.
Last year started with the Women’s March—a sea of pink hats, pink signs, pink frozen faces, a sea that swept from coast to coast, that hit D.C., L.A., Boston and swept millions of women along with it.
This mass celebration of feminism didn’t come out of nowhere. It was preceded by Sheryl Sandberg’s sold out cries to "lean in" in 2013, by calls to #bringbackourgirls in 2014, by the viral HeForShe campaign in 2015, by a woman just missing the presidency in 2016. The day of the march, it seemed the journey had finally come to fruition. Pink wasn’t uncool anymore, feminism wasn’t insanity. We had reached the promised land, one in which every woman wore a pink hat and a shirt proclaiming: “A woman’s place is in the House and the Senate.”
After the voices of women were unleashed, the year was explosive. In the fall, Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault. Then it was a wave, a flood, almost like something had been seriously wrong this whole time. A movement was born (#metoo), and suddenly senators, journalists, and celebrities were challenged and removed, naturally, as if this had always been meant to be.
In December, Merriam-Webster named “feminism” the word of the year, and the transition was complete. Pink was back in.
I wear a pink coat now. Bubblegum pink, lovely, pale pink. It’s my favorite article of clothing—I wear it everyday, and it’s how friends recognize me. But, the thing is, my coat is just a coat. A pink hat is just a pink hat. Neither are a feminist statement.
Because feminism isn’t about pink, really. Yes, it can start with marches or hashtags. But it is about so much more. Feminism is about action—action that goes beyond wearing a specific-colored dress to a red-carpet event. Feminism is about showing up for one another. It is about challenging rape culture. It is about respecting the autonomous decisions of all women. It is about upholding marginalized voices. It is about taking a step back to understand and amend your own flaws. It is about constantly trying to do better.
We need the sea of pink hats to sweep through our everyday lives. We need pink to color our conversations, our interactions every single day. We need to ensure that our feminism is more than an annual post on Instagram.
Because now that pink is back in, it’s time to get to the hard stuff.
Shireen Younus ’20, a Crimson Editorial Comp Director, is a Government concentrator in Pforzheimer House. Her column appears on alternate Thursdays.