For as long as I can remember I have been wearing, almost every day, a sleek 18k gold safety pin brooch that my mother gave me. My father gave it to her and she wore it often. I’ve always loved it. In fact there are three: the large one, about two inches, and two small ones, about a quarter of an inch. Sometimes I wear them in a little cluster.
They make me happy. Do you have accessories like that, that mean more than what they are and just seem like a part of you?
That’s what my pins are to me.
Then, the other day to my great surprise, my daughter, who has seen these pins her entire life said to me: “Do you know what your safety pin means?”
“Yes, memories,” I replied, adding: “One day they’ll be yours.”
But apparently that’s not the entire story.
Safety pins are now a statement, a symbol for tolerance to tell the world that for those who feel threatened in our society that wearers of safety pins are “safe” and supportive. The movement began after Brexit. Without a word a safety pin is supposed to communicate the message that the wearer is not a xenophobe, a racist or a sexist.
I had no idea.