Ending Pink’s Reign

Shiny Shiny brings us the latest in feminized gear: a pink heart-shaped guitar for Guitar Hero. Okay, I get that some folks like the color, but can I just say I’m so incredibly sick of products being marketed towards women simply by slapping some pink on them?
I mean, there’s pink laptops, tools, websites, iPods, pocket knives – even cigarettes! The pink madness has to end. In fact, I think one of my new year’s resolutions will be to avoid all things pink (with the exception of cotton candy Jelly Bellys – I love those things).
What’s your least favorite pink (or otherwise gendered) product?

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101 Comments

  1. Sothenna
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I’ve always been a big “unfan” of the sports hats that are pink instead of the teams colors. It just seems to me that they’re saying, “We understand that sports doesn’t work with your lady brain, and that’s why everything is your favorite color! Now it’ll totally match everything else you wear, you crazy girl!” I mean, it’s a baseball hat. It doesn’t have to match anything anyway, so why not keep the team colors? It kind of goes against the whole point of wearing “your team’s colors” since they all look the same anyway from more than a foot away.
    It just seems like it’s marketed toward women who couldn’t give a crap about sports but want to look like they’re interested to bag a man.

  2. kiboko
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I hate walking into toy stores & automatically knowing which aisles are the “girl” aisles from the pink blaze detected by my peripheral vision.
    As for 2008, my least favorite item has been the keyboard for blondes.
    https://www.keyboardforblondes.com/index.cfm
    My least favorite gendered toy of all times are the “baby” dolls that cry. I was given one when I was 3 or 4 for Christmas, was traumatized by its crying, and proceeded to scream and cry myself until the parents took the batteries out of it and put it away.

  3. bifemmefatale
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Pink tool sets. It’s just stupid and patronizing, and they’re invariably cheap and flimsy.
    Because using actual, well-made tools might be too butch, or what?

  4. kiboko
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    That’s a good one! Or the shirts/stickers/hats/pants for colleges that aren’t the school colors but pink or written in a “girly/cute” font.

  5. Bee
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    And the fact that the team/school name is plastered across the ASS on sweatpants.

  6. Violet Moore
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    When Targus came out with their Laptop Bags for Women, they were all pink. Nothing says serious businesswoman like having a girlie-bag!
    Fortunately, there are now some gray and black ones.

  7. rajashree
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Good one. Seems like pink versions of sports paraphernalia are a way for women to apologize for intruding on men’s territory and signal that they pose no threat.

  8. GOAM
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I’m with befemmefatale; the tools top the list for me. However, the knife is a close second.

  9. everybodyever
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Change.org’s completely purple women’s rights section!
    The purple’s the worst part, but I also hate the faux-handwritten cursive lettering of the heading. Every other cause listed on the site at least gets a blocky, professional, resume-worthy font.
    With such a lazy, stereotyping site design — and with lavender text boxes all over the place — I have trouble taking seriously the content.
    I really hope the transition team reconsiders.

  10. DeafBrownTrashPunk
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t see a well-respected female musician like JOAN JETT holding a tacky pink guitar like that.
    I’m going to go vomit.

  11. phyllisbarnaby
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Does anyone else think that pink heart guitar looks kind of like a penis?

  12. thordora
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I cannot stand the pink Jenga-not sure why it needs to be pink, or the bloody Fisher Price little people plane that is now pink. It’s a plane.
    Sadly, I do covet the new pink Scrabble, but that’s just because it’s pretty cool looking.

  13. Danyell
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Not just pink tools- any tool marketed as “for women” usually means it’s good for doing light work around the house like hanging a picture and that’s it.
    My mom bought me a hand drill that’s “good for women”, thinking that it was small and lightweight. But really it had no power, and we recently broke off a drill but because it was so weak. But for Xmas, I got a Dewalt :)

  14. Danyell
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    When it’s right side up-yes. Or the bottom looks like a butt. :p Not really very cute at all.

  15. Danyell
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Didn’t you hear? They passed a new law that men & women must fly in separate vehicles and all female conveyances will be pink to avoid confusion.
    Planes, trains and automobiles- all sex-color-coded for our benefit.
    Welcome to the future!!

  16. Alex H.
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I’ll step in and offer up a good example of a product marked to females: The MSI Wind netbook, Love Edition.
    http://tech2.in.com/media/images/2008/Aug/img_80571_msi-wind-love-edition.jpg
    The top of the laptop has a few drawings of hearts– not gaudy at all, just outlines. And they are NOT pink– thank god. They’re silver and gold.
    It’s a very cute laptop, and I love it. (It was a graduation present.)

  17. rajashree
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Remember the Ford Aspire, a compact car marketed to women? It came in pink and teal, with kicky lipstick stripes.
    Even the name “Aspire.” It’s not a serious car, although I guess it aspires to be one.

  18. a_page_turned
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I have a baby girl and I have made it my personal mission to buy non-pink, non-princess, non-frilly (especially the dreaded ruffle-on-the-butt) clothes for her. It’s harder than you might think. Even when I dress her in purple people think she’s a boy, which doesn’t bother me like it does some parents.

  19. everybodyever
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Oh, also: My mom gave me for Christmas this small fluffy cookbook – she must have gotten it really cheaply or something – called The Little Black Book of Hors D’Oeuvres.
    On the back flap were lists of other titles. Under the other Black Books of things like beer, wine, cocktails, coffee, poker, party games, sushi, barbecue, party games, style, sex, Disney World, holiday cheer and various cities.
    Another list contained just two titles: The Little Pink Book of Etiquette and The Little Pink Book of Etiquette. Amazon tells me there are also pink ones on weddings, baby names, frozen drinks (not cocktails, like its black book counterpart) and entertaining, among others. All were published in the last few years.
    After I noticed that, I asked my mom to return the book.
    The depressing thing is, I would never have thought all the black book topics remotely gendered. Doesn’t everybody like poker, barbecue, sushi and wine? What’s next for the pink book list — PTA?

  20. Mama Mia
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  21. everybodyever
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Probably not your intention, but this comment made me think of a remake of Planes, Trains and Automobiles replacing the male leads with women. That one homophobia-tinged scene with the leads accidentally cuddling might be mercifully hard to replicate…

  22. rajashree
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    A girly gun, or perhaps a Pepto Bismol gun for the dyspeptic.

  23. Pencils
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I hate pink tool sets. Although I did see a hammer, etc., in a William Morris print that I loved, but then I love Morris prints.
    I have a bright pink iPod Nano that my husband got me. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I would have preferred the blue. Although pink would have been my second choice. I do like pink, I just hate having it thrust down my throat because I’m a “girl.” If I got one of the current Nanos, I’d get the bright orange one!

  24. Kate
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I really hope the transition team reconsiders.
    While I totally agree that that is obnoxious, FYI the transition team is at change.gov – change.org is unaffiliated with Obama/Biden.

  25. coreanna
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I think along the same lines as the pink sports wear is the ever dreadful pink camo . Ugh. First of all camo on a civilian just looks dumb, in my opinion, and pink camo, seriously? Please, that defeats the whole purpose of camouflage! I love this post, it’s so true, pink’s not a bad color I just can’t stand how it seems like women are expected to own every pink item imaginable.

  26. Shae
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Not pink but “otherwised gendered”:
    While I was attending Purdue for a computer science degree, the department came out with a series of “computer science classes for women”. Because, I can only assume — math is hard?
    I never found out what these entailed — pink textbooks? Lighter math? Business skills a’la “Hardball for Women”?
    All I know is that I can’t imagine anything appropriate. When I’m on the job search, I want to have computer science skills — not “women’s” computer science skills.

  27. rajashree
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Also, not long ago I saw a pink Hummer. It was a Mary Kay person.

  28. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    And the fact that all the athletic gear for little girls is pink. Because even though they’re allowed to play Tball with the boys now, we have to keep reminding them that they’re different.

  29. DeafBrownTrashPunk
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    what?? they had computer science classes for WOMEN???
    WTF?

  30. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Seriously! We try to dress our girls as gender-neutral as possible, which often involves shopping in the boys section since almost everything for girls is pink or says something offensive like “hotty” on the ass. Then for the 4 y/o it’s nothing but Hannah Montana shit that shows their belly button or looks like something a striper would wear. Puke. Our friends and family often give them girly clothes, even though we’ve made our preferences known, so we keep some of them and exchange the rest without an ounce of guilt.
    But it is really funny how freaked out other people are when they mistake a baby girl for a baby boy because she’s dressed in gender-neutral clothes. It’s like they’re really scared they’ve offended us or hurt our feelings. Why would I care whether you know the gender of my child?

  31. everybodyever
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh! Boy, do I feel dumb now. I knew about Change.gov, but ever since somebody posted about the women’s rights discussion page on here, I figured the .org was a social activism wing extended from the campaign and never bothered to check. Thanks so much for letting me know.

  32. lizriz
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    HP makes some fuggly pink DVDs. I bought them on sale and seriously, cannot even use them for my directing reel they are so heinous.

  33. cheebles
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    As a kid my favorite color was purple (not lavender). I hated the obligatory pink everywhere and still avoid it.
    True story: I’m in the check out line at the store. In front of me is a dad and little boy. The boy points to some kids toys by the check out and asks, “Why are the girl’s pink and boy’s blue?” The dad replies, “Because girls are pink and boys are blue.” No lie!
    The poor kids just stood there looking totally bewildered because obviously even at his young age he knew girls weren’t pink and he wasn’t blue.

  34. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    My partner ordered the armband case for his iPod on eBay, and they sent him the pink one, and he wears it all the time. It’s really funny to see the looks he gets, because he’s all muscular with a shaved head and thick beard, and people are all whispering to each other about whether he’s gay or not. Then when I forget my lunch he comes walking across campus to my office carrying my Wonder Woman lunchbox and wearing his pink iPod case. I love it. Maybe we should start a campaign of men reclaiming pink. It’s probably the only way to make the marketers let go of this crazy women-love-pink-and-only-pink obsession.

  35. Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Well (and not that this excuses it by any means) – this isn’t targeted at Joan Jett fans. It’s branded “Aly and AJ,” which IIRC is one of those Disney-owned tweenybopper groups.

  36. Meep
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    My least favorite gendered things are “girl’s” video games. I like video games, and I’d like to be able to have a female character option – or better yet, no male player character for once – on a game that’s just a “video game,” instead of “a video game for girls.” (Games with male player characters are (almost?) never “for boys” but games with girl player characters (and no boy/girl option) are “for girls.”)
    (I know there’s Tomb Raider but it’s hard to concentrate on anything when all I can think about is how bad her boobs must hurt.)
    On the flip-side, Pokémon Crystal (the first Pokémon game with a “girl” option) was awesome because the game play, “plot,” and even dialogue were all the same as if you picked the “boy” option except for some “him”s changed to “her”s and of course the little pixel thing was supposedly female but still looked more like a blob with a face than anything.

  37. kylljoi
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I was so PUMPED about Fable II.
    You can be a girl right off the bat, that grows up to be a really bad ass (or big bad) woman.

  38. kylljoi
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I was so PUMPED about Fable II.
    You can be a girl right off the bat, that grows up to be a really bad ass (or big bad) woman.

  39. Pencils
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    The blogger at Making it Lovely has a mostly pink living room that’s actually quite neutral: http://makingitlovely.com/2008/06/01/living_room_rug/ It’s made me think I might like to do our bedroom in a similarly neutral pink, because I don’t think my husband would object.

  40. Salad
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    That fake guitar looks a lot like this real guitar from daisy rock (guitars for girls!):
    http://www.shopatron.com/product/part_number=14-6103/545.0
    granted, these are discontinued models and their new line up looks less whimsical.
    These guitars were targeted mainly at young girls and were scaled down for small hands.

  41. Meep
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to have to look into this.

  42. Julie
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I hate pink razors for women. Do they have special abilities because they’re pink?
    Also, I have a friend is from South Korea who says that pink and purple are actually traditionally “men’s colors”. And yet people still actually believe that women naturally are drawn to pink and men are naturally drawn to blue.

  43. Karmakaze
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I was frustrated this year while I was looking to buy some building blocks for my nephews. I don’t much care for the prefab sets, so I went to buy a bucket of blocks. My choices at Lego were little-boy-blue and little-girl-pink – and they’d even replaced half the colors of the pink bucket with shades of pink. I finally located a “50th anniversary set” in a cardboard box with a boy and a girl on it. I still don’t understand why their replica of a toy marketed in the 1960s is somehow less sexist than anything else made by the brand now. Aren’t we supposed to have made progress in the last fifty years?

  44. Karmakaze
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I was frustrated this year while I was looking to buy some building blocks for my nephews. I don’t much care for the prefab sets, so I went to buy a bucket of blocks. My choices at Lego were little-boy-blue and little-girl-pink – and they’d even replaced half the colors of the pink bucket with shades of pink. I finally located a “50th anniversary set” in a cardboard box with a boy and a girl on it. I still don’t understand why their replica of a toy marketed in the 1960s is somehow less sexist than anything else made by the brand now. Aren’t we supposed to have made progress in the last fifty years?

  45. Marib Aum
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    My least favourite pinkifications:
    Pink lego bricks; well the whole bloody pastel line, in fact. Should girls only construct ironing boards and dishwashers with them? Pink kettlebells, made even worse when they’re promoted as a pair. I can daintily lift my pinkies as I swing these around, maybe even rack the pair. Check them out at http://www.kettlebellforthecure.com/
    The ever-dreaded pink tattoo…I’ve seen too many of these, even in my small part of the world!

  46. Mary
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    On one hand, I dislike that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” is still such a stigma. From the beginning I have tried to limit my daughter’s acquisition of “girl” toys. Yes, for Christmas she got a doll and a stroller, but she also got a dump truck, a ride-on front loader, and a set of cars and trucks (it helps that my mother is a staunch feminist, lol).
    At the same time, I think that guitar is freakin’ kickass and if I had the money I would buy it in a second. I am OBSESSED with pink, but moreso with anything that is pink with skulls on it. (My cell phone, my wallet, etc).
    So I don’t know what to say about this. I’m not going to stop liking pink just because some old, male toy exec or whatever thinks that slapping pink on anything will make it marketable to women.
    They aren’t taking pink from me!!!

  47. VGC
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I’d say it’s the Western influence that is getting modern South Koreans believing this crap about pink being for girls and blue for boys.

  48. Mary
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    That’s insane, because most of the women I’ve known through my life (including my sister and best friend)LOVE the color blue. And my OTHER sister loves green.

  49. VGC
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I’d say it’s the Western influence that is getting modern South Koreans believing this crap about pink being for girls and blue for boys.

  50. Pencils
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I believe that historically, the opposite used to be true in Western society, that pink was for boys and blue was for girls. It’s all very silly.
    If you have a baby these days nearly all baby gear seems to have a pink option. I chose a tan carseat with a tan, orange and blue print cushion for my baby daughter (it’s very cute), and if I go out with her in her ivory bunting with her favorite beige blanket over it, people assume she’s a boy because neither the cushion, bunting or blanket are pink. Swings, bouncy seats, play gyms, pack & plays, even exersaucers come in pink tones for girls. It’s ridiculous, to the point that I felt guilty in liking some of the pink options better (we have a pink swing and bouncy seat.) Lots of toys come in pink, too, not just dolls, but rattles and things a long those lines have a girly option. Sigh.

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