Maybe Don't Buy A Solidarity Pin Necklace For This Much Money

The looming reality of a Trump presidency has caused as much fear as it has violence. Time reports that racist incidents are on the rise since the election last Tuesday, and people are doing everything they can to fight back — that includes wearing... safety pins?

Safety pins have become a symbol of solidarity with victims of racism and homophobia. While well-intentioned, this token might not be as helpful as people think — especially when they're solid gold and on sale for $335 on Etsy.

The seller, Rebecca Cullen, currently lists a necklace embellished with two 14k gold safety pins. While in what appears to be a more recent edit to the product description she notes that she's been selling these styles for a few years, this election has given the safety pins a whole new meaning. "This is a design I created in 2009 and have sold on and off on my site," Cullen writes. "People got excited when they saw it. Some people purchased it in silver and in gold to symbolize something they believe in."

Here's the thing: While 10% of the proceeds from each necklace purchase will go to Planned Parenthood, Cullen's still receiving a lot of cash for herself from a symbol meant to empathize with other peoples' struggles. Twitter users pointed out as much when they took to social media to complain.
If someone has $335 to spare and wants to help marginalized groups, that money is probably better spent as a donation to a charity that fights for the causes the safety pin is supposed to represent rather than a "symbol" that, while nice in theory, doesn't actually do much. (Plus: There's an irony in that safety pins were an emblem of anarchist culture, because it was cheap and easy to procure.)

Cullen responded to the backlash on the Etsy listing. "If you like it, buy it. If you don't, you don't need to buy it," she wrote. "I love what the safety pin has come to symbolize. I too, stand with Hillary. I think we should all go forward with positivity and hope. If I have offended anyone with my jewelry I apologize."
Advertisement