I have just spent the last two hours trying to navigate the issue of the pink ear hats, and why they may or may not be offensive to people, on Facebook.
I was trying to determine exactly how offensive they were or weren't, and felt bad that something that had been so fun and well intentioned was now the arbitrary symbol of white supremacy. I felt bad for all the older ladies who had been so happy to spend all their time knitting those hats, and then banding together wearing them.
I still feel that labeling pink pussy hats as white supremacist is a little extreme.
However, lots of other people seem genuinely offended by them, and not for my purely aesthetic reasons. The Facebook group got tired of my asking for precision – I've been in the position of having to answer the same questions over and over, on sensitive issues related to female oppression.
So, I apologized for asking a lot of questions, acknowledging that it can be exhausting to have to explain your position over and over.
Hopefully, I did that one thing gracefully.
(I feel the need, right now, to go on Facebook, and look at what people have said, if they've answered me. It's that “someone is wrong on the internet, and this time it was me” thing.)
Not long after I wrote that, someone told me that I have to be careful of microaggressions. It's very interesting that this was an example of my exhibiting microaggressions.
It makes me have more sympathy with white men. I mean, some little kid, defensive part of me is feeling like I'm just supposed to shut up and disappear, and they're making too much of it, and like clearly they don't want me to be their friend, how must white men be feeling?
I'm lucky to be in a position where I can feel both ends of that exchange.