Once upon a time, crafting and mending was a necessity for many women. These days it can be a pleasant hobby – but for some it is so much more.
Creating a connection between women and their ancestors, there is a new generation of crafters who use their heritage to fight for what they believe in. While not necessarily a new phenomenon, mixing craft with social activism has recently hit the spotlight in a big way. Inspired by the rise of the Pussyhat, Heather Dowling explores the world of ‘craftivism’.
In the United States of America (USA), a sea of pink could be seen at women’s marches all over the country following the announcement that Donald Trump would be their next President. In response to Trump’s “Grab them by the pussy” line, thousands of people around the world have bonded, marched, sang, laughed and yelled to get the message across that women are not objects.
A simple pattern, written by Kat Coyle, the Pussyhat is a hot pink beanie with little cat ears. It may be cute, but its message is fierce: don’t mess with a woman who knits.
In the lead-up to womens’ rights marches in Washington and across America in January, and the global International Women’s Day in March, knitting groups around the world have been meeting for the sole purpose of creating the hats to pass on to others, so that as many women, and men, as possible could wear one at these events. An image of a lonely hat even made the cover of Time Magazine.
While the campaign originated in the USA, co-founded by Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman, the concept has resonated with people around the world, including in Australia.