Your Source for Feminist Discourse

BIC: Pens for Her

Did you know, that as a women, you should buy pens specifically for women? BIC now makes a specific brand of pens, just for women, because apparently women can’t handle using regular pens. Read more about my thoughts on how BIC furthers to gender objects and puts down women.

One of the first things I noticed about these pens are their colors. They’re mostly what society considers “feminine colors”. This idea to me that a color can give an object a gender is ridiculous! It’s awful, because the gendered colors of society are reinforced pretty much from when you’re born. If you’re female at birth, you’re assigned the color pink to your clothes, toys, etc. If you’re assigned male at birth, people associate the color blue with you as a kid. So right away, before you even begin much of your life, you start to associate colors with masculine and feminine. So, when they were marketing this “great idea” (just kidding, really sexist idea), of course they assigned the pens that are “designed for women” to have “female colors”.

Gendered colors can create a more nonconstructive society, if you don’t follow the gender rules of color that society has created. It used to be that when I was in middle school, if a boy were to wear anything pink, he would be made fun of relentlessly. It over time has become not as bad for clothing, and especially in teenagers and adults, but it is still prevalent in the youth of today. When toys are made for young kids, gendered colors are definitely present. There is an awesome music video on youtube of teens pretty much getting rid of the idea of gendered colors and  objects.

On the box of the pens, it talks about some of the “features” added to these pens. The one that really bothers me is the fact that it advertises a thinner barrel on the pen. In misogynistic viewpoints, men think they are stronger and better than women. To me, this is extremely offensive, it’s almost as if they are saying women can’t hold a regular pen strong enough, because they aren’t men. They make it seem as though, holding a pen is this hard thing to do, and in order for a women to do it, she needs a specialized pen, because she isn’t a man.

I found an amazing clip on youtube, where Ellen decides to talk about these pens. Apparently BIC asked her to advertise these pens, and I love what she does as a response to this. Ellen is an amazing spokeswoman for women, and really shows what it would have meant for her, had she advertised these pens. Here is the clip from her show where she talked about it:

All in all, it makes me so angry that BIC decided women needed specific pens, so they didn’t have to buy pens “suited for” men.

3 Responses to “BIC: Pens for Her”

  1. superhuman4

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. Have you seen this list of other pointlessly gendered products? http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinchack/pointlessly-gendered-products#.xeQROw51M

    It’s truly shocking how many companies use this gendering of goods to their advantage as it provides economic gain, yet it is accompanied by countless challenges for individuals in our culture. When individuals are surrounded by products like this throughout their entire life, they learn to notice the differences between genders rather than the similarities. Children are taught from day one that boys and girls are from two different planets! Also these type of goods emphasize the gender binary that exists in our culture, and fails to recognize the various exceptions to this binary.

    ps. LOVE this Ellen clip!

    Reply
    • thewanderingotter

      I have seen a different article with a lot of those other gendered objects, and it’s absolutely ridiculous, I’m giving so much side eye towards that. And yes, it makes me so angry about how much the gender binary is reinforced in our society, and it makes it so much hard for people that aren’t “male” or “female” to handle being in society without being forced into one of those 2 boxes.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: