Purple has long been associated with the women’s movement and is frequently used in the colour schemes of organisations working to end violence against women or to support women who have been abused.
Purple was one of the three colours originally used by the women’s suffrage movement in the United Kingdom. In 1908 the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) adopted a colour scheme of purple, white, and green. Purple symbolised dignity, self-reverence and self-respect. White symbolised purity (also a symbol used by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union). Green was used as a sign of hope.
In the U.S. gold and yellow were the first colours used by the women’s suffrage movement, but they soon added purple and white into the mix (with gold signifying enlightenment). Purple, white, green and gold are now associated with the modern women’s movement, being seen most notably during the 1978 march in Washington, D.C. in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, in which women wore white with sashes of purple, green and gold. (For a concise history of the colours used by the women’s movement, see http://bit.ly/ddWIW0)
In addition to its historical association with women, purple is also considered to be calming and spiritual colour.
The Pixel Project ribbon incorporates both purple and white to signify men and women working together to end violence. The white ribbon came to symbolise men’s involvement when the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) was founded in Canada. WRC was created in response to the 1989 Montréal Massacre in which a man shot and killed 14 female engineering students because they were “a bunch of feminists.”
So, there, in a nutshell is why we are asking you to paint the Internet purple. Purple is a powerful colour with much significance to the goals of The Pixel Project and other women’s and men’s movements seeking to end gender-based violence.
For more information on our Paint It Purple campaign, visit our Paint It Purple Introduction page.