While I am conflicted about how the purple inked female finger was utilized to uphold a conservative agenda in the Middle East and harness the rhetoric of feminism in the absence of actual, sustained, concern for women’s rights, I love this picture. I think it is a powerful testament to the strength and endurance of women who vote around the world despite the ongoing prejudices against women’s political participation. In the U.S. that took the form of misogyny against Hillary Clinton during the primaries (and no that does not negate racism, both existed) and the current racialized misogyny against Judge Sotomayor. In other countries, it includes the ban on female voters. This image is one important reflection of the struggle of women around the world for the franchise, representation, and equality. And for today, I will see the purple fingers in the light of women’s herstory rather than in terms of propaganda and I encourage you all to take joy in this image with me.
(AFP/ Atta Kenare)