The History of Our Pink Gloves


The pink glove, a much-beloved symbol of the Women's and Gender Studies program at Saint Mary's College, was first introduced as an ironic political statement by graduates of the 1998 class. In March of that year, a coalition of student activists from Women's Studies, campus media, and the Student Senate had organized a campus-wide protest march against the President of the College and his administration to address major issues on campus - among them, concerns over sexual assault, harassment, and the College's lack of compliance with Title IX and the Clery Act. Four Women's Studies graduating seniors organized and led the march after a series of speak-outs on campus, adding a Women's Resource Center to the list of student demands. They asked that the College institute the Center, with trained staff and programming, to directly address the urgent campus need for education and awareness around issues related to gender and sexuality.

The march was a big success, drawing 300+ students, faculty, and staff. Student demands were heard and many of them granted, most importantly, the hoped-for Center. In celebration, the graduating seniors decided they wanted to wear something flashy to Commencement, something that would signal their political achievement but also their pride and elation over the results of all their hard work. They created banners for their gowns that said "Hear Me Roar." And, in a gesture of defiance at having to shake the President's hand, they found another political symbol at a local bridal shop: shocking-pink gloves. Pink - a color for girls and ladies: on gloved fists raised high in triumph, resilience, and power.

That was the beginning of a long tradition, with the pink gloves now being presented to all graduating Women's and Gender Studies seniors by alums who share the joy, celebration, and vision of a legacy committed to gender equality at Saint Mary's. Year after year, that community grows in purpose and intent, representing WaGS and its life at the heart of the College, its goals and triumphs. Power to the Pink!