The 5 Most Pointlessly Women-Specific Products
Sometimes women need different versions of certain products, such as smaller clothes or sappier movies or bras with larger cups than men's bras. But most products don't need that split, which is why you don't see Wastebaskets for Women or Ladies' Bookshelves.
They wouldn't be used for books, of course.
That doesn't mean people haven't tried to make a "for the ladies" version of everything possible, with products such as:
I don't know about you, but time and time again I find myself taking out a hard drive or installing a curtain rod with a Phillips-head screwdriver and going, "Man! I feel so uncomfortable using what is obviously a man's screwdriver! I wish I had one that was pink, and maybe scented! I sure would be able to install this curtain rod much quicker."
Well, I guess tool manufacturers were listening, because you can get pink tools -- just for women!
I guess this would be a Phyllis-head screwdriver! Ha ha! Ha ha! Eh.
I won't be buying any because I don't see anything about lavender and chamomile scents, or maybe some inspiring quotes from Oprah inscribed on the handles -- and I just don't feel feminine enough without that.
I know a lot of these "women's tools" manufacturers go on about how, no really, women have smaller hands so they really need different tools with smaller handles.
Are you a drag queen with small hands? Then this hammer is for you!
First of all, I have hands so small they're basically child-sized, and a tool handle would have to be of rolling-pin girth for me to have any trouble gripping it. Secondly, if it's that important, why not just make and market small-sized tools as small-sized tools? Then they can be used by smaller men and kids as well, instead of forcing those groups to buy floral-print hammers.
It seems like manufacturers are afraid women won't buy tools because they're associated with "masculine" activities, so they try to appeal to women by making them pink and having them host, er ... "tool parties." You know, just like Tupperware parties, except with tools -- or maybe more like sex toy parties, except with literal tools.
"Pink-izing" tools for dainty women afraid of "man things" might seem pretty silly, but that's because you haven't seen the pink guns.
That's right -- pink guns. If you're a woman who's put off by the macho violence of guns, maybe you'd change your mind if they were pink.
This isn't a Photoshop.
I mean, I am really on the fence about whether I should purchase a gun for self-defense and recreation, or whether the safety hazards outweigh the benefits. But wait, pink you say? I'll take five! Look at how cute they are!
Is that really how gun makers think the mind of a woman works?
Well, I guess a lot of people think that. In a survey of gun-buying types, 50 percent of men and 40 percent of women thought that pink guns would sell well to women (not counting a special cause like a breast cancer awareness campaign). But only 20 percent of women said they'd actually buy one, and only 10 percent had actually done so. Half of the women actually said it was condescending.
Now why would anyone say that?
So yeah, I guess ladies that buy guns think all the other ladies that buy guns are girlier than they are. "I wouldn't buy that, but there's a lot of sissy ladies out there and I'm sure they would." You kind of see this "more macho than thou" attitude across a lot of "manly" sports. Only 16 percent of women who fish want pink fishing products and hardcore women cyclists who are tough enough to ride with men often feel like it's hard enough to demonstrate they belong there without flaming pink "women's specific" bike gear undermining their efforts.
In general, people seem to overestimate how much appeal pink has to women. One popular study made the headlines showing that women are "biologically wired" to prefer pink, but a look at the actual graphs show the distribution isn't as narrow as the headlines make it sound. The number of men and women who like blues and blue-greens are almost the same and both sexes' color preferences are actually pretty spread out in general:
Secondly, a sample of participants in China (where red is culturally ingrained as a lucky color) turned out much different:
Which makes you wonder how they came to this whole "biologically wired" conclusion to begin with.
Anyway, making a few small runs of novelty pink guns for the tiny demographic of women who like guns and must have everything in pink makes sense, but considering the actual numbers above, there are way too many of these things.
Suppose you are a girl that needs to stay awake to study for your -- I don't know -- fashion marketing final or midwife practical exam or whatever. Should you drink a Red Bull or something? Hell no! It's so manly! It might make you grow a penis! You'd rather fall asleep, fail your exam and go back to hairdressing or stripping, am I right?
But wait! Now there's Go Girl -- the pink energy drink just for women!
I am waiting for them to make a smoothie called Mmm-Hmm!
Now, they do give some money to breast cancer, and the drinks have less calories -- so I guess maybe those are things you could say women would care about. But wait, it also comes with an "herbal appetite suppressant." Ouch. Any person with common sense knows that going up to a woman and saying, "I made this especially for you! It has a diet pill dissolved in it!" is a good recipe for getting punched in the face.
Or kicked in the balls. It's a risky proposition, no doubt.
So why make a drink that says that?
OK, what else have we got? Let's see -- the marketing blurb closes with, "Plus, it comes in a cute pink can ;)."
I'll be throwing this on the ground.
You too, Rockstar Pink.
Online Computer Stores
Something that's also extremely difficult for women is shopping for computers online (I'm referring to women over 60 of course).
"How do I buy that pink bookshelf? Do I use the Twitter?"
Other women know damn well how to buy things online, or anywhere, as any unoriginal standup comic will tell you.
The marketing team at Dell, however, has never been educated by a detailed "women be shopping" monologue, and in 2009, created a special "Della" website where women could look at groups of girlfriends enjoying their colorful Dell computers.
After thinking really hard about what ladies want out of an online computer store, some brilliant idea man came up with ... diet tips! And recipes! Holy shit, why not a relationship advice column? I would just whip my wallet out from my pink rhinestone-studded purse and buy the hell out of your computers.
I'm just joking. That's my mall shopping purse. This is the purse for buying computers.
Only, I'd have a little trouble doing that because apparently the pricing info was buried deep in the site somewhere since numbers are scary to ladies. They remind women of math. And besides, they'd just take up valuable space on the front page that could be used for diet tips.
The Della site is long now gone, sadly, if you were a woman who wanted to start out shopping for a computer and then get distracted and start browsing recipes. You are now a neglected demographic, my friend.
However, you can still buy pink bejeweled Ethernet cables.
I hope that takes some of the pain away.
One of the most mind-boggling things that kept turning up in my searches for women-specific items were knees. Ladies' replacement knees are apparently a big issue in the medical community. I guess it makes sense: Ladies have the curvy hips and our leg bones tilt in or whatever, maybe we need special knees.
Because they have to support so many shopping bags, am I right?
It just boggles the mind that you would blow out your knee, go to the doctor, look at the X-rays, talk about your options, look at some models and then suddenly stop the doctor mid-sentence to say, "Oh yuck, no! That's a man's knee!"
Have you ever seen anything so butch?
But you never know with complicated medical things like knees, so they tried it out. Doctors gave 85 ladies a two-knee replacement -- men's on the right side and women's on the left or vice versa. Eighty-four percent said there was no difference, seven percent preferred the ladies' knee and nine percent preferred the manly man knee, proving this whole special ladies' knee project was probably a waste of time.
I don't think it was a fair test, though. I think they should paint the knees pink and try the experiment again.