The party has important things to say to female voters, there's no need to wrap them up in girlie coloursby Serena Kutchinsky / February 11, 2015 / Leave a comment
Do you like pink? I certainly don’t—not a single item of my wardrobe is pink. It’s not that I’m making a feminist fashion statement every time I get dressed, it’s just that pink has certain girlish connotations which I would rather avoid.
So, it’s with amusement that I spied the Twitter backlash triggered by Harriet Harman’s bright pink battle van—dubbed the “Barbie Bus” by some—which will tour the country in the run-up to the election trying to win the women’s vote for Labour. Harman who is being mercilessly mocked online for choosing such an obviously gendered colour, defiantly declared in an interview with the Huffington Post that it wouldn’t be perceived as patronising because “It doesn’t have big eyelashes on the front.”
Debate is also raging about the van’s true colour. Harman says it’s technically magenta. The Shadow Women’s Minister Gloria de Piero, who will accompany her her on this election road trip, claims it’s “cherise.” Another reportedly contentious issue is whether or not a man should be permitted to drive the bus (the driver is provided by Labour’s biggest union funder, Unite.) For someone who has dedicated much of her career to fighting for gender equality, Harman appears strangely out of touch with female taste. “It’s a very nice-looking bus,” she blustered.