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Monday, November 14, 2016

To safety pin or not to safety pin. Is this a question?

This is part of my Anger and Loathing Series re the 2016 election.  Feel free to read my other posts.

So women of all hues have opted to start wearing safety pins in a silent protest and show of solidarity.  We, as women of the Pantsuit Nation have chosen to wear this symbol to let people who need to SEE allies see them.  People are seeing the pins and making eye contact, and smiling, because that symbol makes one feel not alone. I think it is a great idea.

Furthermore, the pin for many is a promise that if they see you being stepped on, marginalized, or threatened that the wearer will step in.  I think it is a beautiful thing.

(The safety pin movement offers solidarity post-election)

But then there's the opinion that the safety pins may not be such a good thing.  (I'm just going to add here that a white man wrote the article and has started the question... and directed it toward white women, the article spoke to both protect and shame in my opinion).  I get his point too....  He's asking people, if you are going to wear the pin, what else are you going to do.  Are you just putting on a pin to make yourself feel better, or will you put your money where your mouth is?  Will you step in and take a punch if it is thrown?  Wearing the pin is not enough... in fact, it is embarrassing, is his point. I think.

Ok, so maybe people didn't think out this safety pin thing too well.  A woman got called the C-word on the way to work... for wearing the pin, and a man spit in her face.  Wearing that little pin is no joke... it is hard.  It makes you a target of friends, family members, and the worst (in my personal experiences) it makes you a target of your friends friends who will come straight for you as they feel close enough to speak their mind, but far enough away to not feel any responsibility for your hurt.  Yes, the pin is a dangerous thing.  (...and I am crying while writing this)... there is gravity here... It is serious.

But still people go too far.  A jewelry maker decided to monopolize on the trend... Unless they are donating ALL the proceeds to planned parenthood or civil rights groups or some kind of protection agency, battered women...something ... shame on them.  (Jewelry maker charges $335 for Safety Pin "solidarity" necklace)

And some people will go farther.  Me, a Christian woman, (while many will disagree) am designing a special pin for myself and the women close to me... I only have it partially figured out right now.  It will have a rainbow aspect to it for LGBTQ but I also want a muslim aspect and a jewish aspect and a BLM aspect too... maybe I will need multiple pins, but I want people to know that I see them, and they are safe with me...  Can I protect them, maybe, maybe not, but I am a safe person to talk to, to find solace in, and I am always game for a hug.

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