5 Jane Anger remembers her boss being awarded a Pink Pig
It did get a bit hairy later on in the year that The British Council was nominated for a Pink Pig Award for its sexism in excluding women from its publications. I may have been instrumental in that nomination [laughs] being made. Well, I was. ‘Cos I took it as an example, you know, here’s a major institution, putting together publications. There’s no women artists, and in this anthology of great British writers, in this series, that they published, of writers, there were almost no women.
So that was an industry issue then at that point. And I took it as a member of the industry to Women in Publishing. So they were put up for a Pink Pig Award and at the annual Press thing my boss’s boss did come along and receive the Pink Pig Award and attempt to defend it and made a speech and he thought he was a pretty liberal kind of chap but he misjudged it. (laughs)
So, I didn’t get any personal repercussions. To give them credit, nobody tried to sack me. Nobody tried to do anything. I got no pressure. But it was an important point to make, you know, and actually, there were women in the Council who felt that that was an important point to make.
A point that you couldn’t make directly?
Exactly. I could make it as part of an industry and that’s one of the useful things about getting together in something like WiP, is that you can make it as part of an industry. That was a decision made by other people as well in the trade that this was not an acceptable publication to put out there as a representation of English literature.
And that was the power of WiP to do that, to speak as a collective voice. The power of the collective
And did you bump into him, when he picked up his award? Did you talk to him?
I was there in the room. I mean, I think I kept out of the way (laughs)
What can you do?