Well, It Is Has”bro”

Over at BitchPhD, M. LeBlanc is talking about the new pink Ouija board.  For girls!  And I have nothing to add to her supreme takedown of this whole nonsense, especially when she points out that Ouija boards were already for girls, Hasbro, you dumbasses.

Also, the funny thing about the Product Description, “now it’s just for you, girl,” is that the Ouija board has always been for girls. Not that there’s anything wrong with boys using it, I just didn’t know any who were into that kinda weird, slightly creepy, occult, navel-gazing crap when we were kids.

I don’t know, gentlemen, if you can ever quite get a sense of how annoying it is, first of all, to have everything someone thinks you might find even remotely interesting packaged for you in pink.  Or baby colors.  (Take a look at the tampon boxes and see how many of them are packaged in nursery colors.  And yet, periods are the opposite of babies, pretty damn much.  Not that I think tampons have to be packaged in black boxes with red and yellow flames on the sides, but damn, that would be pretty awesome to see just once.  Something other than the soothing colors and flowers.)  As if things for women need to be marked as such so that we know to use them and men know not to.

But it is especially annoying when you have something that is used by women (though not necessarily marketed to us), like Ouija boards and, oh, Dell computers (for another recent example), or power tools, that seems gender neutral, like, here’s something you can use and be competent at and your gender is not an issue.  And then some marketer gets a sense that women are using these products so they could be marketed to women.  But how to reach these strange creatures (who, keep in mind, are already being reached)?

We’ll make it pink and dumb it down.  Now you don’t use the Ouija board to try to contact demons.  You use it to find out what boy likes you.  Now you don’t use a Dell computer to be able to work on your company’s budget from home.  You use it to help track your calorie intake and plan meals.  Now you don’t use a screwdriver to frame up a tree house for your kids.  You use it to make a spice rack.

It’s like, they take the very thing you might find cool about it–that it makes you feel powerful and competent and like your gender is not an issue–and strip that out and replace it with this idea that you should not be afraid of these toys; they’re just new ways for you to address the same old girly needs.

It’s just so fucking tiresome.  And I’d like to buy every pink Ouija board in existance and drive them in a dumptruck to Hasbro and dump them on the car of whatever idiot came up with this.

But you know, they’d just take that as a sign that there was a market for pink dump trucks.

20 thoughts on “Well, It Is Has”bro”

  1. Girls can still by the regular board if they want to right? Now you’ve got a choice.

    I have no data to support it, but I’d assume most of these boards are sold to 13 y/o girls…they might like the pink.

  2. Love the pink crap. They just end up having to mark it down and then I can buy it cheap. It is a really weird thing to do though.

  3. I did buy a box of black pads in London once. They also had glo in the dark colors. : D

    But any girl worth her salt knows a ouija board is the most powerful when she makes it herself, even with pencil and notepaper.

  4. It’s like, they take the very thing you might find cool about it–that it makes you feel powerful and competent and like your gender is not an issue–and strip that out and replace it with this idea that you should not be afraid of these toys; they’re just new ways for you to address the same old girly needs.

    THIS. YES.

    For the record, I hate the color pink. I have hated it since I was a little girl, and the fact that everything marketed for little girls has pink in it only made me tell my mother to buy stuff that was either gender-neutral or strictly for boys.

    By the way, Dell and Parker Brothers, my reaction to the incredibly annoying and patronizing color coding (“we have to mark THIS in pink so that you’ll know it’s for girls! We wouldn’t want you to use something that wasn’t being marketed in a completely sexist way, would we?”) has not changed in thirty-odd years. I don’t see that a pink Ouija board is an improvement over a regular one. And when I buy a computer, I’m really more concerned with things like memory, software, graphics and affordability than I am with whether or not the computer is a sweetly feminine pastel.

    If anyone wants to try marketing overnight sanitary napkins in black bags/boxes with flame logos…hell, I’d consider it. (And if they were cheaper than the existing brands, I’d buy them.)

  5. Justin, I hadn’t thought about what a great way that would be to pick up some good tools for cheap. Just wait for that pink jackhammer to go on clearance and… voila!

    You know, as opposed to the bright yellow my pads come in now (in their little individual wrappers), some dark colors like black or dark blue would make them much less annoying to have in my luggage or purse.

    We need to get Proctor and Gamble on this today!

  6. Hey, I heard pink is the new black! Seriously, my daughter (who is 29) loves Hello Kitty so my house is inundated with a pink hair dyer, waffle maker, clock, alarm clock, lava lamp, microwave, socks, nighties, sweats, hairbows… need I go on. So some girls like the pink, girly stuff. I do remember hearing my daughter say that she wasn’t going to buy something just because it was pink and they slapped a hello kitty sticker on it. Of course, that doesn’t explain why she has so many pink appliances, including a pink Kitchenaide Mixer. And I think she would absolutely hate a pink Ouija board because it makes no sense. What would be next, Malibu Barbie Tarot Cards?

  7. I’d totally buy that, Dolphin. Granted, I don’t use tampons (hooray for hormonally induced amenorrhea!), but I’d buy it just to have in my medicine cabinet.

  8. DH and I were at Fleet Farm the other day, looking at wheelbarrows, and we passed an end cap with a display of tools (hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, etc) that were pink with flowers on them. DH asked if I wanted a set. He got punched and told I have tools already that are the same as his (when we got married, he had to find room for my drill, jigsaw, and trays of drill bits……lol). He also got told that I’m not now, never have been, and probably never will be a “girly” girl (after all, I know how to replace brakes, exhaust systems, radiators, overhaul engines, etc) and that those flowers would wear off with as much use as my tools get, so what was the point?

  9. Dolphin! That is beautiful! If I saw that, I would totally buy it. I mean, to me, that kind of captures the essence of menstruation, right there. If I saw that on the shelf, I would know that was a company who understood periods.

    Vesta, is a Fleet Farm like a Farm & Fleet, do you know? It sounds like it might be.

  10. Australia has a couple of brands of pads and tampons with black and grey packaging. I use cloth pads these days, and mine have FLAMING SKULLS on them.

  11. What?! I have officially died of jealousy. Your pads have flaming skulls on them? And we Americans think we’re so great. I wonder if we can kidnap Keith Urban and hold him hostage in exchange for some non-wimpy feminine products. Or maybe y’all aren’t that worried about getting him back.

    But what about Hugh Jackman? Y’all are going to want him back at some point, surely, and we will return him in exchange for some tampon boxes with flames on the sides and pads with flaming skulls!

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  13. I’m still laughing at the black tampon box with flames on the side. That is gold. Also, I was in the San Francisco airport last week and they had an installation from this Korean artist called “Studies in Pink and Blue” or something like that. She had taken portraits of little girls in their bedrooms surrounded by all their pink stuff and little boys in their rooms surrounded by all their blue stuff. It was quite striking. Really drove home the point you’re making here about marketing and gender.

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