We're having a bit of a discussion here
and yesterday on twitter about the question of pink and fairies and little girls and breaking of gender roles and well, I guess, feminism.
I bought pink fairy Barbies for xmas presents for children in Tasmania. Both parents apologised profusely with "it's not me, I did my best to discourage the pink!" and I'm sure they did. But what can you do? If you are also encouraging the individualism and the right to choose, then if a kid wants to love pink, don't they get the right to love pink?
It's like pink is the banned colour - if you're a boy and you love pink, it makes adults uncomfortable. If you're a girl and you love pink, people being to wonder if you are gonna want to be an individual or a ditsy blonde bimbo, jumping when the big buff man tells you how high.
designed the Twelfth Planet Press logo for me, she did me several in different colours - pink, orange, blue and black. I looked at the pink one and thought "I can't have a pink logo in specfic! Noone will buy my books if the logo is pink!!" which promptly made me select the pink one and use it in such high rotation that when vodkandlime
came to design the Roadkill/Siren Beat
covers, she naturally did so in "your TPP colours".
Actually purple is my favourite colour. But I picked up the pink for TPP because of my kneejerk reaction that most readers in the field are male and therefore wouldn't buy a book with pink on it (and really since then, I guess I would argue that it's most readers only in science fiction, and that it would be most reviewers and critics are men, rather than most readers in specfic, the collective genre). It's sort of been my subversive reaction, in a way, to that thought. I'm a female editor and publisher, a lot of the team who help me produce the books are female, including layout, proofing and so on. It's an indie press owned and run by women. It's an indie press with editors who do not have a default white male viewpoint in the world and is a press actively looking to publish fiction that is not-of-the-norm. So branding our books with pink is consistent with that.
And of course, no one I know has even suggested in jest that they wouldn't buy my books because of the pink. The men who read and write for and support this press are not that kind of man. Which probably means the branding is still consistent.
We will have an ad in the Aurealis Awards booklet and it is almost all completely hot pink. When cassiphone
saw it, she said to me, "I like it, it's girlie jones". I never really thought about what "girlie jones" was and whether that was what "I" am. I mean, I do wear pink sometimes, but I mostly don't. I don't have much pink in my life and I don't think it really is a colour I would associate with myself. But what I didn't like was the idea that in order for women to become equal and be "taken seriously" in the world or run presses or be leading and well known and loved authors, we had to drop the pink, or drop the girly, or drop the things that make us different from manly men.
My stance is that there is nothing wrong with pink and I am taking it back, redefining and owning it for the grrlpower girly girl colour that it is!
ETA: I just realised that when I was about 10 or 12, my parents redecorated our end of the house, and they did it major girly wallpaper - flowers, lots of pink and painted our cupboards pink and the floors were done in pink/purple lino. When I went through puberty and hit my angry feminist phase at about aged 15, I hated it. I reckon it's probably taken a good 10 years to get over that much pink. And now, I had totally forgotten how much I hated all that pink in my space (we weren't asked, either).