Is Pink Really a Girl Color?

I Google Imaged “pink” just to see what I’d get. The first picture?


I can’t say I’m disappointed. I am a huge fan of P!nk, but that wasn’t quite what I was going for.

So I switched over to just regular Google. The first two links were for Victoria Secret something-or-other, and then P!nk, the singer.

Then I Googled “color pink” and these are my results:
 
 

I was thinking about this because as I sat on my bed I noticed that there is a lot of pink on it. Pink bedspread complete with pictures of sparkling pink diamonds, a pink Hello Kitty sheet, and then a pink blanket on top. (Yes, I’m in college. The sheet and bedspread are from my little sister. Her bed was roughly the size of my dorm bed so we used these sheets, and my Grandma made the blanket.) I looked at it and thought to myself, What a girly bed. If a random person was to walk into my room, without knowing who lived there, the only reason they would think a girl lived there was from the pink bed. Everything else is Nightmare Before Christmas, Firefly, books, and pirates (Why hello, Johnny Depp. You’re looking quite well this evening). Well, maybe they could tell by how many bottles of shampoo I have. man alive, I have a few.

Now, why is pink a girl color? It just is, right? It’s only natural to see pink and think: girl! Why is that? Oh, right. I remember. It’s because when we’re born, girls are born in pink and boys are born in blue. No… wait. We wrap girls and pink, and boys in blue. Then maybe it’s because all girls like to play with pink toys, and all boys like to play with blue toys! No, no, that’s not right either. We make girl toys pink and boy toys blue. (And then we separate the toys into princess and superhero.)

Then how come pink? Well, I did a little bit of research trying to figure this out. Apparently, it’s been argued that way back in ancient times, when humans were hunters and gatherers, women were attracted to the red berries, and that sort of reddish tone became associated with women. Whereas men were associated with blue because they were always watching the sky for the weather; good weather, good hunt, or something like that. It’s also been suggested that women prefer pink because of the red tones, which women can see better because our sex chromosomes apparently affects our eyesight.

None of this is true. I already know why. It’s the market. Pink isn’t natural to girls just as blue isn’t natural to boys. We’ve just created it that way, and then we replicate it , over and over again buying pink dresses and hats for our little girls, because it seems “natural” to us. In fact, it’s not. In the early twentieth century, boys wore pink and red while girls were dressed in blue. (They thought that since pink was the stronger color, it was more suited for boys. And blue was a more delicate color, meant for girls.) And now for some reason they’ve switched.

Which is why I think it’s so hilarious when I get these “real men wear pink” things. As if a color could somehow negate your testosterone. This Real Men Wear Pink is a struggle not for manhood, not even from gender roles, but basically from the media and the market. The market has decided that pink is for girls, and we abide by this idea. We’re fighting ourselves. Ourselves, I say!

The market–Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Kohls–has a sort of control over our lives. It affects us. We can see it in the clothes we wear, in the goods we buy, in the things we use. Remember back at the beginning when I mentioned all my shampoo? Why is that a girl thing? Because women are expected to have nice hair. Shiny hair. Bouncy hair. It’s supposed to smell good and look great, and when we tie it in knots it should hold strong. How many shampoo or conditioner commercials do we see a day? How many of those hair commercials are for women? Most of them. I’ve seen a few for men, but only a few.

What needs to change is not the markets, however. Because the markets are dependent upon something: us. For the markets to change, our attitude has to change. Pink was for boys, so the market sold pink boy shirts. Then, pink was for girls, so the market changed. Now I’m seeing more and more guys wear pink, and the stores are selling more pink boy shirts once more. Gone are the days when pink was only, just for, and specifically for girls. To change the world, we much only change ourselves, and the world will follow.

Binders Full of Women for Everyone!

To those who don’t know what Romney said during the presidential debate, here is the video with his exact words just for you. It’s only two and a half minutes long: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX_AN4w3da8

When the woman asked what the president was going to do about inequality in the workplace, the continuing problem of Equal Pay for Equal Work, Obama gave a pretty decent answer in my opinion. Romney, however, well… we all know how that went down.

Problem number one: he didn’t answer the question. He used the entire time allotted to talk about how he was such a great guy and went around collecting binders full of women candidates for the job opening when he didn’t have to, when it was inconvenient for him. 

Thank you, Romney. You’re such a saint.

I completely support recognizing the gap between the sexes during promotion and hiring time. And if every business man was a gender-conscious as Romney claims himself to be, then people and businesses across America would profit greatly.

But the words he used made it sound as if he was single-handedly responsible for giving all these women the chance of their life. Oh, how socially-aware he is. How kind. How elevated.

The problem with Romney’s plan to increase equality in the workplace is that he has no plan. No plan at all. Romney’s exact words are:

“We’re going to have to have employers in the new economy, in the economy I’m going to bring into play, that are going to be so anxious to get good workers they’re going to be anxious to hire women.”

He’s going to increase business, and the business owners will be so happy and so busy that they’ll just magically hire women? Really? Because that happens all the time, right? Maybe we should all have binders full of women to carry around and be enlightened.

What’s more, he generalized women workers to be working mothers. Women need flexible schedules because they have young children. Because they need to be there when they come home. Because their husband/partner obviously can’t take on the traditional mother role and cook dinner for the entire family and she needs to be there. 

And while a lot of women do need flexible hours because the traditional role of mother still falls onto women to be there when the kids get home and to cook dinner, even if Romney’s magical business plan to boost the economy works (which it probably won’t because he thinks trickle down economics are a good idea), even if businesses suddenly boom and grow and need new workers, there’s no plan in place to stop discrimination against women/mothers in the workplace. There’s no plan in place to enforce Equal Pay for Equal Work. There’s no fire under anyone’s butt to make employers allow flexible hours for mothers who do need to be home when the kids come home from school. 

Mr. and Mrs. Family Values

A white, middle-class, southern boy, born into a single-parent family, raised by his mother alone, who grew up and divorced his first wife, has never paid alimony or child support, has no contact with his children, had an affair, and has a lesbian sister who is starting her own family. Who could such a model of diversity be? Why, it’s Newt Gingrich!

What about this one: A mother of five children, one a newborn with Down’s syndrome, leaves home to pursue a career as the CEO of a major organization. She has a taste for high fashion. Her husband, a union worker and part-time fisherman, goes along for the ride. Her unwed sixteen-year-old daughter is pregnant and the baby’s father is another sixteen-year-old whose MySpace profile says he is a “redneck” who loves dirt bikes, “loves to play hockey”, and does “not want kids.” Then his mother is arrested for selling illegal drugs.

Did you guess? That’s right, it’s Sarah Palin. Granted, this is from a few years ago, back when she had a great view of Russia. (I know, cheap shot.)

 

These families aren’t really the “traditional” families America is looking for, right? They’re not the husband and wife, 2.5 kids and a pet in a house with a picket fence that dominate our culture. Except this 2.5 kids thing isn’t exactly the norm anymore, and hasn’t been since around 1950 or so, if ever. Only one out of every ten families look like the “norm”. The rest looks like: wife breadwinners and stay at home dads, two working parents, single parents, divorced parents, second marriages, childless couples, adopted children, unmarried couples with and without children, blended families, gay and lesbian parents, etc., etc.

Surely, this is evidence that the family is crumbling; our beautiful, sacred marriages are being corrupted and destroyed. I mean, half of all marriages end in divorce! What other evidence could you ask for?

But it’s not. Americans clearly still believe in marriage. After they get divorced, they get remarried. And if that marriage fails, well then you’re on the prowl for until-death-do-us-part number three! Or in Larry King’s case, wife number eight.

Marriage and the family has been as resilient and diverse as the American people themselves. We’ve been debating for the last century whether or not the family is in crisis. People were sure that if women got the right to vote, the family would collapse. They knew if women were allowed into college, the increased blood flow to their brain would dry up their ovaries and the human species would die. They thought if women went to work, the household would fall into shambles and the children would grow up emotionally-wrecked felons.

Marriage and the family adapts and changes as we see fit, as everything must that is going to survive. And if marriage can survive the family collapsing, ovaries shriveling, human extinction, a generation of rampant child criminals, and the 21st century, I don’t know what we could do to kill it now.

That’s right, even you, Kim Cardassia–Oh! I’m sorry, Kardashian.

                                                                                                                                                                My mistake…

I am a Nerd, Thank You Very Much

I am socially awkward. I am introverted. Rather than going out with my friends, partying, or patrolling for cute guys, I like to stay in and read, or write, or watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Firefly, Narnia, Legend of the Seeker, X-Men, Primeval, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Portal, the list goes on. I am a nerd. A nerd I say!

However, my sister says I’m not a nerd. She says I’m not cool enough to be a nerd.

So in recent events, the “nerd” has grown in popularity. Except not really. Things that used to be looked down upon have suddenly sprung up as not only being socially acceptable, but endorsed. But these supposed “nerds” are not actually nerds. The popular people are still the popular people on the top of the food pyramid, and the socially awkward people are still on the bottom. As one of my favorite memes would say:

 Image

It took me a long time to accept my identity as a nerd. People made fun of me, called me weird, and teased me, hissing out nerd like Basilisk venom. I used to lie awake at bed at night wishing as hard as anyone ever could to be anyone else but myself, wishing not to be a nerd.

It took years, and the vlogbrothers, to accept that part of myself. But I did accept it. And not only that, I learned to love that part of myself. And now, all of the sudden, the same people who cursed me with the name have now stolen it from me. They’ve stolen it from us. They’ve stolen our identity.

Well, who am I now? Where the hell do I belong? I can’t be a nerd, I’m still not “popular”, so where does that leave me?

It leaves me in the desert on a horse with no name.

It leaves me standing on a beach with naught but a name and your word it’s the one I need.

And I don’t care if Shakespeare thinks that a name doesn’t matter, and that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Name does matter. And I have lost mine.

No. No I have not. I am not just going to sit idly by, blooming on the walls, while something so important to me is stripped away like hair on Michael Phelps. No can do. I reclaim my nerdom, clamping it close to my heart with white-knuckled fists. You cannot take away my name.

Dear people who think they can just put on a pair of glasses and call themselves a nerd, GTFO. This is my territory, and I intend to keep it. I plan to defend my title as vigorously as Dr. McCoy defends his. I intend to keep it like Smeagol keeps the Ring. I mean to fight for it like Peter does for Narnia. And for Aslan! And I shall treasure it like Snape does Lily. Always.

Best Wishes,

thenerdfightingfeminist