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feminist symbol
Purple has historically represented feminism.

Purplewashing is a compound word modeled on the term whitewash. The prefix "purple" is associated with the belief of Feminism while the verb "wash" is used to denounce the co-opting strategies that use minority rights to maintain or enhance structural forms of discrimination.[1]

In the context of feminism, it is used to describe a variety of political and marketing strategies aimed at promoting countries, people, companies and other organizations through an appeal to gender equality.[2][3] This marketing tactic has also been called, "Femvertising", which was most discussed in Gillette Razor's #MeToo commercial aimed towards toxic masculinity.[4]

The term is commonly used to denounce the use of feminism to justify what is perceived as xenophobic or Islamophobic policies.[5][6][7]

The word is also used to criticize how Western countries that have not achieved complete gender equality justify this by pointing out that other countries (often majority Muslim) or cultures still have a worse quality of life for women.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moscoso, Melania; Platero, R. Lucas (16 February 2017). "Cripwashing: the abortion debates at the crossroads of gender and disability in the Spanish media". Continuum. 31 (3): 470–481. doi:10.1080/10304312.2016.1275158. hdl:10261/187602.
  2. ^ "Del pornoburka al purplewashing, los trucos más sucios contra el feminismo". El Confidencial (in Spanish).
  3. ^ "Gender and Military Culture" (PDF). Centre Delás.
  4. ^ Hinman, Pip (2019-01-23). "Gillette, gender and the struggle". Green Left. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  5. ^ "Parliament Moves France Closer to a Ban on Facial Veils". the New York Times.
  6. ^ "Burkas en el ojo ajeno: el feminismo como exclusión". Pikara Magazine (in Spanish).
  7. ^ "'Purple washing' o acordarse del feminismo cuando interesa". eldiario (in Spanish).
  8. ^ "Australian Labor Party spins Israel's occupation as feminist". Electronic Intfada.