»Uncategorized» Controversially Hers: Are Controversial New Products Aimed At Women Patronizing or Empowering?
Controversially Hers: Are Controversial New Products Aimed At Women Patronizing or Empowering?
Posted on Nov 29, 2012
It is empowering. It practically addresses the differences between men and women and it is a meaningful way of using effective marketing to reach a goal. Its pink… for a purpose.
The Honda Fit She Edition is a car with a difference – its pink, contains wrinkle preventing air-conditioning and at a mere $17,000 ‘even a housewife’ can afford it! Pair it with your new ‘Bic For Her’ pen that Ellen so powerfully endorsed and you could be well on your way to girly heaven! Of course, don’t forget your little girls too – Lego recently released its girly version entitled “Friends” – basically lego in pink!
Marketing to women is not a new phenomenon and any company would be economically suicidal to ignore us as a demographic given that we are responsible for a mere 85% (She-conomy) of all purchases in North America! I guess its statistically true… women love to shop.
On the other hand, this ‘shopping gene’ has, according to some, allowed us to settle for consumer choice rather than real choice. By suggesting that your choice of laundry detergent is as meaningful as, for example, your choice of career, feminists like Betty Freidan, claim that we have been seduced by ‘stuff’ rather than ‘rights’.
When we see ‘Bic for Her’ or the ‘She Car’ we can’t help but feel that marketing to women is patronizing and manipulative.
On the other hand, Reclaiming Pink’s philosophy stems from the concept of ‘different but equal’. I am NOT the same as a guy. I learn differently, think differently and live differently. I get sick differently. I work differently. Boy do I reproduce differently. While my radical feminist counterparts are out there advocating for 50/50 parenting, until my husband achieves the ability to, for example, lactate for at least 8 months, primary care is going to fall squarely on my shoulders – unless I am to bottlefeed, which is framed as perhaps the greatest sin in mommy land (something I also disagree with).
If this is the case then surely we should be celebrating the pinkness! After all, we are Reclaiming Pink?
Well, a fellow ReclaimingPinker just sent me this…
…and it blew me away.
This isn’t just a pink version of a toy. It addresses the differences between little boys and little girls. By focusing on our love of reading and following instructions it hopes to spark more interest in engineering for women. After all, 83% of all engineering graduates are men – we literally live, as Debbie puts it – in a world built by men!
The She Cars or Bic pens are pink just because then, they think, we will buy it. This toy is also pink but in this case, its empowering, practically addressing the differences between men and women and a meaningful way of using effective marketing to reach a goal. Its pink… for a purpose.