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battyden

Den's Journal

Stories by a short, fat bastard

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When two sisters launched an "anti-pink" campaign two years ago to liberate girls from a toy industry dedicated to churning out pretty princesses for girls, they had no idea of the fuss it would cause.

"We got hate mail from all over the world," says Emma Moore, one half of Pinkstinks, the group she runs with her twin sister, Abi. "They said things like 'you must be lesbians, you're ugly'. The reaction was so extreme you'd think we'd tried to cancel Christmas."


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it's not just little girls. i've seen a "Women's Toolkit" for sale; the idea is for a woman to be able to have her own tools, so she can fix a leaky tap, or hammer in a nail to hang a picture on, or generally do anything one does with tools, and feel empowered by knowing what tool to use and how to use it. the tools were specially designed to be easily used by someone with smaller hands, which is a very good idea. but what makes steam come out of my ears is that the toolbox itself, and all the handles, are PINK! supposedly this is to make a woman feel less uncomfortable about the possibly unfamiliar world of mechanical devices. somebody ought to market an army-green sewing machine for men, i suppose...

i've had a toolkit of my own for forty years; it was a gift from my father when i moved out on my own. the box is grey-enameled steel, and the tools have standard handles that are generally black or yellow. some of them are a bit hard for me to grip, but not all of them - i've replaced a few, and added others that i chose for how they fit my grip.



I had that problem when I went looking for a toolkit as well. And what I got was a plain yellow and black one, because no way in hell was a pink toolkit crossing my threshold.

the toolbox my father gave me was basically a clone of his own, or at least of the core tools. back then, there was no such thing as a pink toolkit; "girls" were considered congenitally unable to use tools other than improvising with a nail file or bobby pin, nor to operate any machinery more complicated than a hair dryer or electric mixer. fortunately, my father was a man far ahead of his time in some ways. he saw that i had inherited his mechanical skills and interests, and he knew that i'd pursue those things in spite of society's limitations, so he decided he'd better teach me how to do things right - i.e., in the safest and most efficient ways. (fortunately, my mother didn't interfere, except to occasionally complain that i wasn't sufficiently "ladylike".)


The one advantage to "girly"-colored tools* is that nobody will walk off with them.

*My preference is lime green and fluorescent orange; I imagine pink is even more effective.

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Years ago, for my RPG hobby, I got a batch of d6s that were bright pink with purple dots.

I figured that nobody would walk off with the ugliest, most garish, most embarrassingly-colored dice ever.

I have one left.

Somebody painted the handles of all the tools in the workshop here with pink nail polish. She put a big "W" on each handle so people knew it came from the workshop. That didn't stop people from borrowing the tools and forgetting to return them.

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I sprayed all the workshop tools with surveyor's ground marking paint. It's fluorescent pink. People stopped stealing them.

Perhaps the marketing department needs to hear some stories about people not stealing pink tools. So instead of marketing pink tools for women, they could market them to small businesses instead.

"Our new tools come in anti-theft pink so gaudy no macho man would be caught dead with them!"

ROFLOL!! Now there's reverse psychology working for you. :)

i've never seen tools with purple handles. but most of mine now have a stripe of purple tape wrapped around them. this has had the effect of making my son stop "borrowing" my tools; now he uses his wife's.


Saw those, too. Gagged a little. Now, admittedly, I would occasionally like tools with smaller HANDLES--I've got hands like an eight-year-old--but in basic black and steel, thank you very much.

my hands aren't quite that small - probably about average for an adult woman in my age cohort, albeit somewhat short-fingered and definitely pudgy. in fact, i've known a couple of men whose hands were no bigger than mine... and both of them were heavily instrumental in my post-adolescent technical training.

i do wish there were tools to fit my size and strength, though. the one time i tried blacksmithing, i could just barely swing the smallest hammer they had :-(



My dad gave me a cobbled-together toolkit, basically of stuff that he had extra (he's a contractor). Shockingly, none of it is pink.

as i described in another comment, my father gave me a sturdy steel box with a good basic set of tools. he wasn't in construction or anything - he was just a life-long tinkerer, and knew how to fix or build just about anything. he taught me all that, and then when i grew up and moved out, he gave me my own set of tools. this was forty years ago, though, and tools didn't come in pink :-)


I've seen pink tool kits here on the West Coast - and advertised for women. I saw them in a hardware store. One set of screwdrivers even had flower patterns on the handles. Pink flower patterns at that!

*runs screaming into the workshop*


actually... I'd kinda LIKE a camo sewing machine...

because it wouldn't threaten your masculinity? :-)


Probably, 'tho that requires too much analysis for a tired old (well-educated) redneck. Just that anything I own seems to be green or brown anyway, part of my I'm Just Here to Fix the Elevator vibe that makes me invisible at gatherings. (sighs and is bored with self)

One would hope that a sewing machine for men would have special anti-fumble mechanisms to allow me to make something other than huge balls of thread. I'm very good at making huge balls of thread.

i've heard of, but never used or seen, a "self-threading" sewing machine. OTOH, i've never made a huge ball of thread either, except when the bobbin mechanism came undone and made a huge ball of thread inside the bobbin case.

(and everything i own is some shade of purple. well, my sewing machine is beige, but it didn't come in any other colors.)



The tools in the pink "women's toolkits" tend to be crap, too. They're not made for use, but for "oh look, tools for women, isn't that funny, ahahaha" purposes.

apparently some "women's tools" are reasonably well made, but others are just pink.


Go, anti-pinkers! Rock it!

Although I will admit that I bought a bright pink DS so that none of the boys in the house would dream of walking off with it.

If you run facebook with your gender set as female without blocking ads, just about everything will say "for women" and be washed with pink (or lavender.)

I used to have it set as male to screw with them, but then my mother wanted to list me as her daughter :P

It's amazing how personally threatened some people get, when even those most meaningless of their preconceptions are threatened.

It really bothers me how aggressively, pervasively, and young, we start hammering these 'you should like this, don't like that' ideas into children... right along with the 'this is normal, everything else is wrong.'

I've decided that my granddaughters will from this season forward be receiving educational and useful gifts, rather than pink hqiz from China.

What really bugs me isn't the 'pink' tool set ...I inheritated several of my grandfather's tools and my Dad has stocked up what I lacked. I can replace a sink or tub or toilet, repair them as well. I can install walls, insulation and dryboard. I can paint, lay tile, wood and to an extent carpet. I'm lucky that I don't need small handled tools, given the work I tend to do^^
However what REALLY gets me angry is the PINK. GUNS. that are occasionally for sale. Apparently all women are afraid of guns and by making the guns pink the women will not be afraid of them and will be able to use them. *looks at her Grandfather's WWII pistol (the glock, rifle and shotgun were stolen by the same thief who made off with the china and my rare toys and collectibles). Yeah. I am so scared. Boo hoo. Boo Hoo. Someone make them pink so I won't be scared. Boo Hoo. *rolls eyes* Granted it will then look like a TOY which is actually more dangerous if you A: ever have kids over or B: need to use it for self defense. I guess you could say 'no one would want to steal it' but... yyyyyeeeeeeeeeeah.

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