What’s the problem with pink?

What’s the problem with pink?

How can a colour be so controversial?

When pink is used to sell toys to little girls, people say it’s a tool of social conditioning. When pink is used to indicate female-friendliness, it’s accused of being patronizing (think of Labour’s cerise battle bus). And when pink is used to flag gay-friendliness – well, that just makes things REALLY complicated.

But does pink deserve its bad press? Can it be used to embolden women? Does it have to be seen as sexist and patronizing?

The tricky question is: is it OK to appeal to “girliness” if you’re doing it to boost women’s power and confidence? If a “pink” campaign got more women into science, would that be OK? Is there really a problem with pink? Or with our attitudes to pink? Should we keep our rose-tinted specs on, or chuck them in the Patriarchy Dumper?

Jo Elvin, editor of Glamour magazine, journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer and Alexander Fury, fashion editor of The Independent, join chairperson Ekow Eshun to debate the pros and cons of pink.

This talk took place on Thursday 21st May 2015, in the beautiful chapel at The House of St Barnabas, a charity that helps those affected by homelessness back into lasting employment. Participants are given work placements throughout the club, enabling them to gain valuable work experience and City & Guilds awards in Hospitality and Employability. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards this valuable work.

It was the 11th event in the ongoing series, 37 Things You Need To Know About Modern Britain, which is a partnership between BUG and The House of St Barnabas, forged from a mutual desire to affect positive social change by asking provocative, open-ended questions about life as we live it today.


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