[LMB] More attitudes to women in society

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 19 19:37:15 BST 2011

> I was on my way through the hardware store collecting a few 
> things and I happened to notice a tool kit. Good quality, all
> the things you expect in a tool kit. And it was purple. With
> flowers. Now I'm truly not sure if I should be offended that
> they think women have to have girly decorated hammers, or
> pleased that women are seen as a large enough market in the
> DIY field that toolmakers think it's worth marketing to them.

Given what I know about the marketing impulse that leads to this, I find it insulting.  The phrase in the marketing world is "Shrink it and pink it."  As if the only thing that needs to be done is make the thing just like men's (aka "standard") but reduced 10% and a different color.  Whether or not color makes the item better.

This isn't so bad in tools where the proportions stay about the same.  It backfired wildly for UnderArmor, which seemed to forget basic anatomy.  They took their skin-tight men's athletic shirts, shrunk them a bit, made them pink and were surprised when sales didn't take off.  Even if that macho culture wasn't very PC you'd think they'd notice la difference when it came to torso proportions.  (There was a benefit to this spectacular failure: most industries now realize that some application of brains is necessary to appeal to a new market segment.)

I also don't like it when color is touted as a reason that something is better for women.  Frex the Dolomite women's ski boots I bought in the early 1990s.  The literature listed a number of reasons they were better for women.  Most were quite reasonable, such as different arch placement and narrower widths, but the fact they came with a "pretty floral print inner liner" did not improve their functionality one bit.

The final reason I don't like different colors for women is that these items are usually a small fraction of the total market.  So if pink tools are for women and are 10% of the store, then the other 90% is supposed to be for men.  Definitely objectionable.

Far better if they market them as for smaller hands, or different colors to differentiate, or bright colors for visibility, etc.

Despite the length of this response, pink-for-women doesn't make me froth at the mouth.  But there is no liking in me for it.

Now if only it were easy to get power saws for the left-handed!  The industry standard ones are downright hazardous for me to use.  Either I'm ineptly using my right hand or I'm a whisker away from chopping off a body part.

- Harimad

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