Pens For Women

Alright, I don’t know if I should actually call it casual sexism. Or sexism at all. But the truth is, as a woman, I was quite offended. Pissed off, in fact.

It happened a few hours ago, whilst we (me and Mother Boyd) were grocery shopping for the weekend. Now, I have the major horn for office supplies. To the extent that just a few days ago, I got a story accepted for an anthology of office supplies related erotica.

I was browsing notebooks and contemplating agendas when I stumbled upon a section of pens from the same brand. Not just any pens, mind. Pens For Women. It actually said so on the pack.

These pens were brightly colored with a better grip, designed for the female hand.

So, let me get this straight. Women need special pens to be able to write?

Slightly fuming, I stalked to the book section. Now, this book section is notorious for not stacking anything that I want to read (eg. everything related to sex) and having oodles and oodles of books on “mindfulness”.

Between these books, I stumbled upon one in particular. Now, I know this is a spoof book. I’ve heard the writer say so herself. But I can’t help feeling askew at the sight of the busty blonde woman (the author, well known in Belgium) on the cover of The Manual For Blondes.

Moving on towards an area with coffee table books, I stumbled upon a book simply called Bimbos. Curious, I opened the book and read about famous women who were considered bimbos because of their looks. I believe Lorelei Lee was one of the blondes featured….

These are just minor things, but they made me feel icky.

“Bimbo”, I find offensive. The guide for blondes, I find stupid. And fuck me, PENS FOR WOMEN?

Excuse me, but I needed to vent.

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4 Comments

  1. Gosh, what a loaded subject… don’t get me started!

    Oooops, too late…

    In my 20s I was told by men that I was not capable of doing my job as well as a man, and in fact would never be so. What a load of bunk!I ended up number two in Australia (which was number 1 female) and there were no others knocking at my door – not even close.

    In those days I abhorred what I saw as derogatory comments, the demeaning of women by objectification and that marketing of special items (ergo ‘blonde’ culture and women’s pens). I read Germaine Greer and nodded my head with a modicum of solidarity. I agreed with the principles of feminism and staunchly believed in equality; successfully negotiating a salary package that turned the hierarchy above me green with envy.

    But in all of that I never lost sight of the fact that I was a woman. And I *used it*. I used my generous bust and killer curves against the men I demanded respect from. I used my ‘assets’ to my advantage. Success in the work I chose was metred in heads served up to police on a platter so there was none of that ‘sleeping with the boss’ to get where I was going; just hard work and pure skill. I dealt with $millions and went about smashing glass ceilings on the way up. But I never allowed my femininity to go astray. It worked for me. I could do the very male-centric job but adding my own feminine aspect which was advantageous – and something NO MAN could ever harness for himself.

    Now, I am not one for being objectified; in fact with my current work if a client begins suggesting I wear leather or latex or heels I have to be satisfied that he has the corresponding fetish around which the session is centred. If not, I suggest he find another ProDomme who is prepared to dress to his request. But albeit the ‘Barbie doll’ dominatrix will never be my style, I do not think less of ProDommes who choose to session as objectified by clients.

    So behind all this convolution is my fast-held belief in the right of women to enjoy objectification; to enjoy being or playing the bimbo; enjoy having their own pens; enjoy being dressed up or dressed down.

    Feminism began with wonderful intentions.

    Feminism has lost its way.

    Girls are taught gender equality from caregivers and schools and peers. My opinion? It is a double-edged sword. The equality I want is the one that allows me to choose objectification or not. If I want to dye my hair blonde, be a man’s toy, use Pens for Women then I don’t need an outdated societal dictum to tell me I’m selling out. MY equality is to do as pleases ME.

    Where your view sees bimbos and these pens as offensive, I find them a legitimate choice for women who want to adopt the image and feel good about their stationery choice.

    Yes, I disagree with certain marketing forms such as the ‘waif look’, and given my argument above it would take a lot more than half a dozen paragraphs to defend my position, but my point is this; there is a lot more to consider than the gut reaction to a guide for blondes. That book is an expression of someone’s freedom. I am writing an ebook at this time which might be called A Guide for Dommes. Is that title more palatable simply because it promotes power to women?

    Jilly, thank you for this piece.

    With respect and encouragement to continue writing about your sense of icky

    xxxCatherine

    Reply
    • Thanks for replying, Catherine! Appreciate your comment, and most definitely appreciate your opinions.

      This might be an awful excuse, but I’m not that versed as a feminist as you seem to be. It was definitely a gut reaction, a bit of old hurt about just being judged on your looks came playing up.

      I think you’re actually right about all of it. This post did stem from just being pissed at it and being pissed at the whole pens for women thing. I don’t like being pushed into a corner. I want to be able to write with those pens without it being for the reason that it’s a “pen for women”. Just for liking the color of the way it writes.

      The guide for blondes was actually written by a very shrewd business woman, I found out. So *facepalm* 🙂

      The bimbo book was all about stereotyping and I hate that.

      Thanks again for replying! I could learn a lot from you 🙂
      xx

      Reply
  2. The beauty about writing is gaining opportunities to examine your own feelings and thoughts. In writing the blog and your reply YOU looked at YOURS, just as I was reminded of MY evolution in reading and responding to it. It is lovely reading your opinions. I learn in doing so – don’t ever forget that.

    As for learning about feminism, my advice would be to treat it as an historical movement. Despite her detractors, Germaine is a thought-provoking read and I recommend “The Female Eunuch” and “The Whole Woman”. I enjoyed both, and the former was fascinating as it was written when feminism was young. I go so far today as to suggest feminism has approached its used-by date. Not to say it’s not useful, however.

    I would like to see your generation and those after you taught to look inside themselves to form their OWN sense of value, instead of adopting the ones presented by schools and media, foe example.

    If you WANT to use the pens then do it! But do it because you have made a conscious decision outside of gender stereotypes (be they bimbo-ism or feminism). Fancy letting a stereotype or brand-name get in the way of comfort, aesthetic pleasure and ergonomics!

    Be your own person, Jilly; whether that be a bimbo, blogging siren or purveyor of fine office supplies!

    xxCatherine
    (who, as much as she hates being objectified, LOVES to remove a tailored suit in front of her Master to reveal the laciest sexy girly black underwear known to man!!!)

    Reply
  3. Yeah that one is pretty discriminating, never encountered that in any stores here but I’m sure there’s more stuff like that out there.
    As for the Bimbo book, granted there are people out there that like bimbo’s but not my kind of people. I prefer people with personality anyway!

    Reply

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