I’m still digging through boxes. Lots are cleared by now, but there are those yet to be unearthed. I recently found my old button collection, and it was indeed fun reading!
At one time (in my distant youth) I draped big cotton scarves on my wall, different colours overlapping, and onto these I pinned my collection of political and other buttons. At some point the scarves and the buttons came down, some of the buttons were stuck on a corkboard, but eventually most went into a bag in the cupboard, only to be dug out for the occasional demonstration. Some of my absolute favourites were lost, as I would pin them to my bags and eventually most of those would fall off in the shuffle of daily life. Took me a while to learn my lesson and stop doing that. (Even today, I don’t pin my knitting buttons on my knitting bag for the same reason.) Most of the 100+ buttons are political in nature, referring to various candidates or issues, or specific events, films or books that were controversial, etc. (Quite a few about Harvey Milk/Dan White and the fallout.) I’ll leave all those out of here for now, as well as some of the cruder examples. (Of course, if we subscribe to the belief that the personal is political, all the buttons are political…) Back in the days when I was actively protesting one thing or another and either marching in, leading, or monitoring a demonstration at least once a week, butting my head against one brick wall after another, the buttons were an easy way of emphasizing where I stand on an issue.
Of course, many – if not most – are feminist in nature.
As the LGBT movement grew, so did the collection of relevant buttons…
There were many versions of the “Don’t presume I’m…” (Fill in the blank with whatever mainstream characteristic you aren’t.) I started with a few,
etc, etc, etc…
but as the list seemed to be getting too long, I gave up and just went with
Lots of general and/or other causes and interests
(Gotta love that last one…)
One of the most common catchphrases was “Question Authority”, which I had on buttons, shirts, and I think a bumpersticker. As I – and my generation – got older, though, and our roles began to widen and change, I did switch to a slightly modified version:
Some speak strongly to me to this day
What would you have on your ideal button?
OK, OK, I know I said no political buttons here, but I just. can’t. resist…..
Whew. I feel better now.