#GrabYourWallet is the hashtag Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) introduced on Twitter after the emergence of an Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump discussing, in vulgar, mocking terms, his propensity toward sexual assaulting women. Many people, but women in particular, suddenly found that a simple thing like shopping for a blouse or pair of shoes could become a horrible experience, because the Trump name was suddenly in one’s face. For many women, that it was Ivanka Trump’s name just made it worse. She was a top campaign surrogate for Donald Trump, and as of this writing, the only woman on his transition team, a fellow woman who was using her voice to put in office a misogynistic self-avowed sexual predator. And she was promoting her brand at the same time.
Boycotting has a long history as a form of social protest, particularly resonant for Americans because of the great boycotts of racially segregated transportation organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, Shannon Coulter realized that the target of boycotts must be the retailers who sell Trump brands. Retailers need to see that carrying items with the Trump name harms their own brands and hits their own bottom lines. Equally important, women and men resisting the Trump era and administration need to realize their own agency, even in the face of an oppressive regime. The marketplace is somewhere we can immediately exercise our agency, choosing to shop at stores that respect us and our values and refusing to give our dollars to those that don’t. Every time we make choices to give business to stores that do not carry Trump brand merchandise or to withhold business from those that do, we are demonstrating our agency, flexing our autonomy, refusing the Trump era in a tangible way.
To participate, consult this public Google doc, with updated information on retailers carrying Trump brands and also suggested alternatives. Of course many alternative shopping venues are local small businesses or sellers on Etsy; the alternatives list cannot be comprehensive. But discovering Trump-brand-free stores, online and off, is part of doing #GrabYourWallet. Develop the habit of boycotting and you develop your own agency and autonomy, in a time when people committed to justice, equality, and civility are going to need those character traits more than ever.