In the Pink

My wife wrote a blog post about her fury at the insistance that kid’s learn to use cameras with “toy” cameras, and was further incensed that a pink camera was advertised as “good for girls” based solely on it’s color.

We’ve all seen it- Hello Kitty backpacks, pink heart coffee mugs, pink power drills, pink pepper-spray pistols, pink cowboy hats

The pinkification- the gender ghetto that we are forcing people into- is fucking horrifying.

At first I thought it was kind of cute- ah, take a power drill or a hunting shotgun (“manly” tools) and make ’em pink! Adorable!

Then I thought about it. Then I felt really guilty for falling into the gender-niche trap. I can guarantee you my little sister has spent more time with firearms than I ever will- would I ever suggest she get a pink firearm? I know three women off the top of my head who are more well-versed with power tools than I will ever be, should any of them carry a pink power drill?

If someone wants a bright color for something personal, I think it goes without saying- that it is fine– it is a choice, but the marketing of it is Not a Good thing, and as a penis-bearing American, I cannot weigh in beyond that.

If my son, or my daughter, wants a pink power tool (or video game controller, or hat, whatever) so be it- it is their call what color they like. But to market specifically “pink=female” is condescending.

And I have to say, we all need to agree that if she so chooses a Woman can choose to embrace the pink! It isn’t like a woman has to turn her back on a color she wants just because she is supposed to.

I have a dear friend who drives a very pink car. But she had to specifically special order that color- or get it done herself (I don’t remember)- she didn’t buy it BECAUSE it was pink and thusly advertised as appropriate for her Femininity.

Likewise- if a man wants to wear pink, as a culture it becomes a pink triangle- a sigil of “gayness”.

A year or so ago a work-friend of mine offered me a pink sweat-shirt with a company logo on it, much to big for my daughter but about the right size for my son. “For your little girl,” he said.

“Well, she likes earth colors, but her brother might go for it,” I said. I wasn’t really joking, Sam likes bright blue, yellow, orange. Grace does too- but like I said, the sweatshirt wouldn’t have fit her. My work-friend was horrified that I would suggest a pink article for my son.

Work-friend is a nice guy- a hell of a nice guy, he has done many favors for me and always been a pleasure to work with. He is a bit older than I am, certainly from a different background- he’s a Union man, a hard-working, salt-of-the-earth Coors Light and fishing trip kind of blue-collar joe. I like him, and I don’t hold his views against him personally.

I called him on it- “dude, it is just a color” and he looked sort of bashful, like he knows it shouldn’t mean anything, but it does- or that he couldn’t help it…

I don’t know.

Antiquated views, gender and racial bias- these are things we still live with on a daily basis. It might be getting better, but there is still a lot of unthinking behavior that needs to be addresed- and I really feel like that is the issue: Unthinking.

Unrelated, I know a very progressive, socially liberal gay man who dresses as a sexy Indian brave every Halloween. *facepalm*. This is Unthinking- “asian people can’t drive, lol!”, and apparently “girls are girly and like girlie things to girl with.”


One thought on “In the Pink

  1. Nice post 🙂

    It’s not exactly the same, but this came to mind because of the vast girl-things/boy-things divide. I had an awkward conversation with my partner’s 7(?)-year-old nephew yesterday. Watching Cars 2, he says, “Hahaha, he screams like a little girl!”

    Me: “What’s wrong with that?”

    Him: *utter confusion* “Um, he’s a boy?”

    On the plus side, I think the utter confusion indicated thinking about a thing he’d never previously thought about. Maybe?

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