I visited a historic battleground monument and museum today. As usual, I was quite bored. As my 2 year old took a break in a hand-carved wooden chair, laid against a well-maintained marble wall, I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn’t have to pretend to look at all the war memorabilia, at least for a little while. As she started to squirm indicating the break was over, I said to her, “Well, are you ready to look at more old, white dudes?”
An over-simplification, to say the least, but a fairly accurate generalization (there were a few photos of white women hidden among the displays as well). As we gazed at the guns and swords and rifles and pistols and military uniforms, my 2 year old asked what they were and it was difficult for me to give her a clear, but appropriate answer. “These are weapons to kill other humans” was accurate but a little much for a 2 year old (and even for me). So I simply told her this was a ‘sword’ or ‘rifle.’
Even that felt a little wrong to me. I want to shield her from the violence that we humans commit against one another or the fact that we’ve created machines to perfect it. I don’t let her watch something so violent on television so why would I show her this shrine of violent instruments?
As we continued on, it became apparent that the museum was severely lacking in color. As in people of color. There were no indigenous people or African-Americans in this war of the Americas according to the museum’s display (although they surely had been there). No, the largest and most prominent displays were of old, white men and their weapons.
The old, white men and their weapons. That seems to be all I hear about these days. And I wonder if perhaps these shrines to violence that we’ve built all over this country don’t contribute a small part to all that is going on today. There are towering monuments to war and the heroes that fought them. There are entire museums that document the wars and their weaponry in great detail. Even my history classes in junior high and high school talked mostly about ‘the great wars.’
I understand that wars are huge, world-altering events that take many, many lives and those lives must not be forgotten. And I understand that, sometimes, we must fight for justice and what we believe in. But I wonder if we were to build more statues and monuments of peace and less of war, if things might be a little different. If we had more museums of peace and fashion and science and food and love instead of war, if things might be a little different.
I wonder how different the world might be if my 2 year old and every 2 year old were able to go to a museum of kindness today and be shown the great acts of kindness that humans are capable of. I wonder if things might be just a little bit different and a whole lot better.
Strawberry Fields in Central Park, New York City – A Tribute to John Lennon
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ll be marching in the Houston Women’s March, Sister March to the Women’s March in DC this Saturday. Many of the women in both marches will be wearing ‘pussyhats,’ an idea crafted by the Pussyhat Project. As the Houston march will be in the mid to upper 70s, I’ve created a simple, lightweight pussyhat tutorial for any warm weather marches. For those who don’t sew, there is also my Super Easy Paper #Pussyhat.
SIMPLE, LIGHTWEIGHT #PUSSYHAT
Disclaimer: I am a sewing novice. If you see areas that could be improved or mistakes, please let me know! 🙂
What you’ll need: Lightweight rib knit fabric in pink, matching thread, scissors, sewing machine
1. Cut a rectangle 18 inches x 7 inches – if you’d like bigger ‘ears’ go to 19 or 20 inches. MAKE SURE the fabric ‘ribs’ are running parallel with the longest side.
The ribs of the fabric are running vertically in this photo.
2. Fold the fabric in half, hamburger style, with the ‘right side’ of the fabric facing in and pin the sides together in preparation for sewing.
3. Sew the sides of the hat up using a zigzag stitch. I used #4 on my machine.
4. Trim any excess from the sides.
5. Turn the hat right side out and roll up the bottom two times. Pin it in place in preparation for sewing.
6. Sew the roll of the hat all the way around the bottom using a zigzag stitch. Make sure not to sew the bottom shut! 😉
If you’d like, this can be your final product! I tried it on at this stage and it was a perfectly acceptable #pussyhat. 😉
7. Cut up some fabric scraps into ‘confetti’ – these will be the stuffing for our cat ears.
8. Use your confetti stuffing to stuff your ‘cat ears’ and then pin them in place. Make sure to use enough stuffing so they ‘stand up.’
9. Switch to a straight stitch on your machine and sew your cat ears shut.
10. For added texture and to help your ears stand up, use a straight stitch to sew a little ‘pinch’ into the backs of each ear. I did this by folding the cat ear in half and sewing there. Mine were about a centimeter in length.
11. And that’s it – your final product should be pink, stretchy, and have realistic-ish cat ears!
My husband, daughter and I will be marching in the Houston Women’s Sister March this Saturday to support the DC march and stand together to show that love trumps hate. Many of the women in the march on DC will be wearing pink ‘pussyhats’ (more info at the PussyHat Project) to give a strong visual statement and while I support their efforts to make a statement while simultaneously keeping people warm, I won’t be wearing a fleece, knitted or crocheted hat at the 78°F Houston Women’s March. 😉
Instead, I’ve created a SUPER EASY paper pussyhat (crown, really) that can be made in literally five minutes or less, and requires only 4 supplies. Perfect for any warm weather sister marches or last minute hat needs.
I’ll also be attempting to sew a hat out of thin, stretch knit in the next few days so stay tuned for that if you’d like something a little more permanent.
SUPER EASY PAPER #PUSSYHAT
BY: Angelle Conant
Gather supplies: pink construction paper, marker and tape or glue.
Fold construction paper in half lengthwise and draw a pattern for your cat ear crown. Place the ears approximately an inch and a half apart.
3. Cut your pattern out. You should now have 2 identical pieces.
Take the band that will make up the back part of your hat and cut off the ears.
You now have your two pieces and are ready to assemble. Overlap the band approximately half an inch and tape or glue together.
Wrap the hat around your head and see how much you need to overlap the other two sides of the band to make it fit your head properly. Adhere with tape or glue.
Grab your marker and draw a couple of upside down V’s to complete your cat ear look. And you’re done!
Though this Love Series has been brewing for years, it is the most recent terrorist attacks that have broken my heart and urged me to start this series now. When I read about these attacks in France, I felt dismayed and helpless.
So this is me helping in my own little way. This is me saying, “I’m so sorry, France. My heart breaks with you. I’m here for you.”
This is my act of Love-ism.
#2 in THE LOVE SERIES. Click the image for a clearer, larger picture.