About Pink Hatters, Pussy Hats and More…

pink-hatter2

No need to say, the DC March impressed everyone around the world. Here, in Ukraine, we kept following the news minute by minute over the last weekend. Having lived through a series of most emotional elections, revolutions, and even a war, we can comprehend and empathize with the events happening in the USA these days. When I first saw crowds of people wearing pink hats, I realized that it was connected with a female movement for human rights (pink color is internationally recognized as a “female” color), and I had an immediate and quite logical intention to call the demonstrants “pink hatters”. But, interestingly, the term had already been engaged by a different social group some time before. Here is a definition of a pink hatter from Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pink%20hatter):

Pink hatter – one of the new-found “fans” of the Boston Red Sux who has limited to no knowledge of the game of baseball, and who buys expensive and scarce tickets to the ball game because of the frat-party like atmosphere, and so he or she can brag of their allegiance around the water cooler. The pink hatter is so named because their team apparrel purchases are unconventional in color, and are merely chosen in an attemp to call attention to themselves and their amplified hipster factor. Pink hatters can be found in the ballpark taking the seat of a more interested and less casual fan that was unable to get a ticket.

pink_hatter2 Well, this made me realize that I could not call the D.C. March participants “pink hatters”. I resumed my search and found this page of The PussyHat Project: https://www.pussyhatproject.com/ (the picture above was taken from their page), so now I know how the activists prefer to name themseves. Their mission statement says that they aim to “provide the people of the Women’s March in Washington D.C. a means to make a unique visual statement which will help activists be better heard.” I feel very supportive of their initiative, because I have learned on my own experience: democracy cannot be achieved by sitting quietly and doing nothing.

It was fun to get to know all this. I also feel bound to add that, being a foreigner, I have to check up every word I come across, and even then I am not guaranteed from surprises. I checked up Urban Dictionary for what pussy hat means, and itgave me gave me a bit unexpected response! (Here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pussyhat).

Yeah, I thought to myself. Sometimes, just knowing the definition isn’t helpful, either. The context is really important! 

So I stopped searching through the dictionary and returned to watching the news.

 

 

 

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Jerry Jay Carroll

New York Times bestselling author

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Understanding someone’s way with words isn’t as simple as you think.

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