Editors’ Note: During the second presidential debate, some commenters noted that Melania Trump’s shocking pink, high-necked blouse was a style well known to fashion historians as the “pussy bow.” In fact, as Jezebel pointed out, the $1,100 Gucci top Melania wore was “literally marketed” as a pussy bow shirt. The Internet was abuzz: what could it mean? Was it, as feminist artist and pussy-bow entrepreneur Christen Clifford—whose own PussyBow scarves are printed with an image taken from inside her own vagina—tweeted, a sign that Melania is a feminist “double agent” planning to vote for Hillary? New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd entertained the possibility in yesterday’s column, but ultimately appeared to dismiss it. The Internet relaxed.
This morning, however, everything changed. The WEIRD SISTER editors were awakened from our innocent slumber by aggressive knocking on our clubhouse door. By the time we had crawled out of our sleeping bags, peeled off the cucumber face masks and slices of cold pizza that get stuck to us at the end of every sleepover party, emptied our matching menstrual cups into the toilet, and staggered to the door, there was no one there. Under our doormat, we discovered a flash drive containing incontrovertible evidence of the very Vast Feminist Conspiracy that Clifford had described—and Clifford herself was part of it! Our journalistic integrity prevents us from revealing our sources, so the world may never know if the documents excerpted below are State Department emails liberated by Slovenian hackers or some steamy slash fiction dreamed up by a genius high-school junior during civics class. But now that we have this information, how can we possibly keep it from our readers? Feast your eyes, then, on the most shocking (pink) October surprise of all:
50 SHADES OF PUSSYBOW: EXCERPTS FROM THE SECRET ARCHIVES OF A VAST FEMINIST CONSPIRACY
1. Report by Christen Clifford, 10/8/16, 1:17PM
Melania calls me on her burner. “I only have a few minutes, I’m in the walk-in.”
“The walk-in refrigerator?” Weird. I didn’t think she set foot in the kitchen.
“No, the closet!” she huffs.
I don’t want to make her huff again.
“So, Melania, it’s on.”
“Tomorrow at 2. After yoga and before he goes into the cryovac. Your stylist will arrive with two choices . . . ”
“But how will I know!”
She’s getting a little whiny. I take a deep breath; breathe out through my mouth like Melania taught me. We have to be very careful.
You see, we’re about to pull off one of the biggest heists of the 21st century. Bigger than those Las Vegas movies where the guys drink drinks with big ice cubes in them. Bigger than that movie with that weird ugly hot old black-and-white movie guy and that Eagle Statue. Bigger than my post-maternal pussy.
We’re going send a message to our vast feminist conspiracy network through an actual network. A TELEVISION network.
It will be an apology to Michelle Obama and all women of color everywhere, and a promise that Melania will make him pay. A signal to Cory Booker that she has a secret account of money stashed away to help in his Presidential run of 2024. A signal to Marybeth Glenn that we support her.
Our web of conspiracy is so big, even I don’t know everyone involved. But Scottie Nell Hughes wore bright pink while defending Trump on Don Lemon’s Show on CNN and I think she’s IN. Michelle’s been in since 2009.
Another deep breath. I whisper, even though no one’s going to hear me in my apartment in Queens.
“Your stylist will arrive with two bags,” I begin again. I can hear her light a cigarette. How can she smoke at a time like this? When her husband could be out there abusing someone?! No time to ponder the mysteries of the Slovenes.
Oh, the mysteries of the Slovenes. Gojc, my lover from Ljubljana who called me his little Ljubezen. His penis thrusting in me in the magical forest near Lake Bled. NO TIME FOR THAT!
“In bag number one will be a very sexy but tasteful black gown, off the shoulder, by an American designer with a hyphenated identity and an unpronounceable last name.”
“But why? How do I say it?”
“Come off it, Melania, he’s not there! Stop playing the Barbie!”
She exhales, and her voice deepens. “Sorry, I forgot.”
“The dress is by an Asian-American designer named Phillip Lim.”
“Oh, he’ll hate that! He might be able to pronounce the name, though.”
“No, he won’t! He will love the dress on you. Make sure to put it on and rub yourself against him, make sure you get your scent on him.”
She giggles. Her giggle is one of the purest sounds I have ever heard. After all this, the money, the deceit, the treachery–it still gets me me that her laugh is as pure as the water in Lake Bled . . .
“You’ll be all luscious skin and cleavage and he will have to say no. Or at least Scott Baio will have to suggest considering the other outfit. And you will open the other bag.”
She hangs up without even saying goodbye.
2. From Melania’s Secret Internet Diary. Entry for 10/9/16, 2:30PM EST
I hope he doesn’t see through me. He will jail me or Putin me or sic Billy Bush on me and I couldn’t take it.
His cheetoface barks, “It’s too sexy! I told you NOT TOO SEXY! WHERE ARE MY TIC TACS!!!!!”
“Let me see what’s in the other bag, sweetie darling giant hands YUGE penis man of all men….”
I open the bag and see a Pepto Bismol explosion. I shake my pussy to torment him and exit through the gold doorway which I recently figured out was spray-painted Styrofoam.
Yes! It feels so good, this fabric, the pussy fabric, it’s so soft, like silk, oh it is silk, it’s not actual pussy, but I want it to be pussy, soft velvet pussy, feminist pussy, women’s power forever, oh Hillary I want your luscious poontang, slap me with your warm gash, let me put your estrogen pill in the mouth of your arousal, I want your pink pearl in my mouth, oh Hillary, please make me yours, I’ve wanted you since we locked eyes at my wedding, I’ll be your bitch, I’ll be your feminist slut forever, oh my honeypot, my essence will all be yours, along with my vote, my vote, my vooooooooottttte, soon, I will be free from cheetoface and his cheetodick and in the land of pink pussy forever, vulvas, large labias, brown and speckled and red and purple, all perfume, soon, I will be free, yes, I said, yes, I’m with Her, I will, Yes!
My hair is perfectly curled. My ass is perfectly shaped in the perfectly fitting wool and silk pants. But it is the blouse that is so, so, so perfect. Long-sleeved, high-necked, with two long floppy scarves attached that tie in a bow. He’ll love it. It’s so demurely fuckable, just a teeny bit of nip, like a sexy secretary. Or one of his daughters. Ugh.
“I LOVE IT IT’S THE BEST ISIS ISIS ISIS Where’s it made? Iddaly? They make great stuff there, great stuff. Your ass looks YUGE! HAHAHAHAHAHA. Come here let me grab that pussy.”
I have never wanted a vagina dentata more than at this moment. His stubby cheetofingers would just get crunched right off.
3. From Melania’s Secret Internet Diary. Entry for 10/9/16, 9:55PM CT
“It wasn’t intentional! I had no idea! I know what they are saying but I had no idea! You must forgive me! I mean believe me! How could a blouse be called a pussyb–Clothes don’t have names! There’s no such thing as a PussyBow!”
I cry. I go into the women’s dressing room at Washington University. The water in St. Louis is fresh and cold. It was worth it. I would do anything for the Movement. I hope I didn’t trigger anyone too much.
By the time I come back, he is off celebrating with Baio and Guiliani and Burnett. I give Tiffany an extra hug, and kiss Ivanka. “Thank you, I will never forget this,” I whisper through tears.
I grab a pack of Marlboros, three Veuve Clicquot mini bottles with straws, and a bottle of Xanax, and head to my dressing room. I fish a fresh burner out of the bag full of Swarovski crystals, cut it open with the clamshell package opener I always keep in my purse, and dial.
“We did it, Hillary! My sexy astronaut, we did it.” Together, we recite the last line of the Feminist Prayer: “… for the pantsuit is capacious and sturdy enough for all.” And our laughter rings feminist bells forevermore.
4. Report by Christen Clifford, 10/11/16, 2:48PM
Maureen Dowd wasn’t supposed to write about us in The New York Times! She betrayed the Movement. And bringing Andre Leon Talley into it–he has already proved his allegiance is with the fashion world. When will Feminism and Fashion merge into the Feminist Economic Movement I know it can be? I’ll have to read some Laurie Penny so I can get to sleep.
“The pantsuit is capacious and sturdy enough for all.” YES. The October Surprise will be ours. Everyone will finally know the breadth of the Feminist Infiltration. We are EVERYWHERE. These PussyBows were not cries for help, not small slapbacks for laughing at forced intimacy, his sexual assault, but more like furling scarves of anger—bright hot burning clean anger, anger that will save us all.
Christen Clifford is a feminist performance artist, writer, mother, curator at Dixon Place and teacher at The New School. Her latest art project is the Pussy Bow. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @cd_clifford