Sunday, June 26, 2016

If Rosie the Riverter Saw These! or Women Equality Say It With Tools

Is this a thing?
  *Disclaimer: I am not a big fan of pink. It’s okay in small doses.

Just before leaving the store, I spied an unexpected color. Way in the back, in one corner of the tool department, a wall of color, in the shade of pepto bismol pink. I had to see what was on this pink wall, a color so foreign to the typical tool department’s colors of gray and black with occasional accents of red.
I skidded to a stop and took it all in, a Barbie Dream Tool Shop, for grown ass women! A wave of pleasure and nausea hit me at the same time. I couldn't tell if I liked it or not? Talk about your mixed messages. What was this wall of pink tools trying to convey? Is this a thing?
Is this a great marketing ploy?
I can only imagine what was said in the boardroom, "Females are drawn to anything pink guys. They will be tickled pink (Yeah, I went there) and will appreciate tools specifically made just for "her" to enhance her pink, pink female world. But hey le't not get carried away here fellas.Let's hide it in the very back so its hard to see, or better off in a corner. Don't want to scare off our major demographic, "real men." Three steps behind me woman.
But then, Is this girl empowerment?
I believe in girl empowerment. That the roles for girls and boys are not fixed. And here was an example, speaking to that premise, a pink wall of pink tools. Girls can fix, maintain, and create using tools of all kinds, hand or power driven. Rosie the Riveter would love her some of these. You Go Girl!
We are talking about tools for grown women here? Who are they exactly trying to sell? Do they expect little girls to stray by and "want the pink tools too, Mommy," And if they want to attract women, why is the display in such an out of the way obscure spot? And why is pink still used as the cliche universal flag of femininity? Why do we need to get into the metaphorical pink box? Pepto Bismol pink at that. No wonder I felt nauseated, the Pepto must have triggered some unhappy memories. Pretty In Pink.
But then, Does it really reflect equality for women?
The reality is that in this world, pink stuff means girls stuff. So what's a company going to do? How can it get across that buying tools is a women's game too and thereby, increase sales. By promoting, albeit the quietest promotion every, using the color pink. Could I really blame them for using the obvious? The store is seemingly promoting and supporting the idea of tool equality for women. That's a good thing, right? Equal Rights for Women! Say it with Tools!
But then, What wafflers!
What cowards, hiding the pink tools way back there. The company is testing the waters. How will the pink wall of tools go over? Will the pink invasion annoy the dudes? Will women feel patronized? Will the pink be a winner? We will never know because it is hiding in a corner. Go Sit in the Corner Until I Tell You to Move.
But then - It did acually work?
Just as I was about to walk out of the store, I saw a wall of pink. It was unusual and out of place in this space. I am female. I became curious. I had to know what the hell all that pink was about. I headed toward it like a bee to honey. Was it good or was it going to be bad? Would I feel patronized or feel empowered. Aha! The pink wall. A fanciful wall of pink tools. Pink tools. Heavy duty macho pink tools. Sorta Awesome. I think. Almost.
P.S. But then later, My sister helped me feel better. One look and she said, “I like it. No one will borrow my tools if they're pink. I’ll always find them right where I left them." I was so proud that she owned her own tools. I was even prouder that all she saw was the practical use of pink, as a repellent, a way of marking her territory. Guys, Pink Tools Will Give You Girl Cooties.

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