Purr-Sist button, Bethel, 2017


In 2017, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when she objected to the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. She was attempting to read a letter from Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King. In defending his decision, McConnell said that Warren had been warned she was violating Senate rules but that, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Feminists quickly adopted this as a shorthand way to refer more broadly to women's persistence in breaking barriers, despite being silenced or ignored. In keeping with the theme of the “pussy hats,” this was sometimes written as “Purr-sisted.”

Ellen Crocker of Bethel was 78 when she attended the Women’s March in Augusta. She said, “I was at a loss as to what an old lady could do. I went on Etsy and found someone who would make me a batch of my design.” Her Purr-Sist buttons are a tip to Elizabeth Warren, pussy hats, and sisterhood.

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