Thursday, November 10, 2016

Clinton Color Symbolism

There are differing theories about why Hillary Clinton wore a black pantsuit with purple lapels yesterday to give her concession speech and why Bill Clinton wore a purple tie with his black suit and Anne Holton wore a long purple vest over her black costume. 

Photo: Reuters|Carlos Barria
Some have pointed out that black and purple are the colors of mourning, or that purple is the color of royalty and black is the color of mourning. Others have noted that purple combines Democratic blue with Republican red and is hence the color of unity and bipartisanship. 

There is yet another theory. Purple and black are the colors of anarcha-feminism. Wikipedia traces the history of anarcha-feminism from its origins in the 1890s until the beginning of this century, when anarcha-feminists coined the term manarchist to describe "male anarchists who are dismissive of feminist concerns, who are overtly antifeminist, or who behave in ways regarded as patriarchal and misogynistic."

Photo: LWV Media Library
Considering how conscious of symbolism the Clinton campaign has been--Hillary Clinton wore white, the color associated with suffragists, to accept the Democratic nomination, at the third presidential debate, and on election night; her supporters were encouraged to wear white on election day; the Javits Center, with its glass ceiling, was chosen as the place to await election results--the idea that purple and black were chosen because of the association with anarcha-feminism and its opposition to traditional concepts of gender roles seems most persuasive.

Gratitude to Susan Rubin for bringing this to our attention

1 comment:

  1. When Melania wore white at the RNC, critics immediately pointed out that it symbolized white suprematism. At the time, Clinton's color symbolism was already a topic of public discussion.

    "Hmm," I wondered, "is there a double standard going on here?" I merely saw a frequently unclothed woman in the act of plagiarizing a speech while wearing Seinfeld's puffy shirt.

    Transfixed on the white dress, Bill Clinton mumbled something about a cigar being just a cigar, sometimes. At once I deferred to his greater experience.