Activists who are members of the Women’s March movement have decided to retire their pink “pussy hats” out of concern they might offend minorities and transgender women.

Following the inauguration of President Donald Trump, many women who attended Women’s March events wore pink hats which featured cat ears, a mocking reference to Trump’s mentioning in the “Access Hollywood” tape that he grabbed women by the “pussy.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, women activists in Michigan and elsewhere are dispensing with their hats over concerns that they exclude and are offensive to “transgender women and gender nonbinary people who don’t have typical female genitalia and to women of color because their genitals are more likely to be brown than pink.”

Phoebe Hopps, the founder of Women’s March Michigan, said, “I personally won’t wear one because if it hurts even a few people’s feelings, then I don’t feel like it’s unifying. I care more about mobilizing people to the polls than wearing one hat one day of the year.”

Hopps said that she and national Women’s March organizers “are not making it the cornerstone of our messaging because … there’s a few things wrong with the message.”

A post on the Facebook of the Women’s March in Pensacola addressed the issue for its followers, saying, “The Pink P*ssy Hat reinforces the notion that woman = vagina and vagina = woman, and both of these are incorrect.”

LaShawn Ebly, co-chair of Black Lives Matter-Lansing, said that she intends to focus on the issue of the hats during her speech at an upcoming rally. In a preview of her remarks, Ebly said, “I will say this one thing: It is a problem.”

The original designers of the pussy hat contend that the color pink is not representative of skin color and say that pink was selected for its traditional association with femininity.

According to the Pussyhat Project website, “Anyone who supports women’s rights is welcome to wear a Pussyhat. It does not matter if you have a vulva or what color your vulva may be.”

From the Women’s March Pensacola Facebook page:

Trigger Warning and Content Warning for comments: 
Transphobia, Cissexism, Racism, mention of Sexual Assault, Genital Mutilation, Misogyny and Trans-Misogyny.

The Pink P*ssy Hats represent a very concentrated and thus, exclusionary sect of feminism that ignores, neglects, and ultimately harms the fight for global women’s liberation. The entire concept is based around the idea of biological essentialism and shared womanhood (Mia McKenzie, Black Girl Dangerous): two incorrect ideas that women are all on the same level despite conflicting classes, races, sexualities, etc. and are also bound by “the power of the vagina”. This is a very popular concept developed and expanded upon during the second wave of feminism, usually called “radical feminism”. This type of feminism, though hugely successful in terms of reproductive justice, ultimately emphasized a mistreatment of transgender women that continues today. Though some transgender women do choose to have Genital Reconstruction Surgery, many do not, and should not have to to prove their being a woman. The right to self-determination, a concept that all feminists must get behind, allows transgender women to be women. Thus, not every woman has a vagina, and with the right to self-determination existing for transgender men and non-binary transgender people as well, not every person who has a vagina is a woman. The Pink P*ssy Hat reinforces the notion that woman = vagina and vagina = woman, and both of these are incorrect. Additionally, the Pink P*ssy Hat is white-focused and Eurocentric in that it assumes that all vaginas are pink; this is also an incorrect assertion.

The Pensacola Women’s March organizers understand that this idea was a knee-jerk reaction to the heinous, sexist, misogynistic Trump administration, but it is also just that: a knee-jerk reaction, not fully thought out. Therefore, we ask that march goers refrain from wearing this hat and instead, pick an alternative headwear that focuses on collective women’s liberation for ALL women: transgender women, multinational women, disabled women, queer women — the most marginalized. It is only through the centering and leadership of these groups that women will be liberated — not through exclusionary white feminism, which the Pink P*ssy Hat is indicative of.

The Pensacola Women’s March team will be removing all forms of hate speech that they encounter in an effort to promote a safer environment for all women.