The Best Thing You Will Read Today (via Jill Filipovic)

So apparently Bic has come out with new pens especially for women! At last! Now with pens made especially for me in soft pastel colors to indicate my gender, I don’t ever have to worry about being mistaken for male and–God forbid–taken seriously! After all, colors like blue and black were far too strong for my gentle feminine nature, and I could hardly finish a sentence without bursting into tears. Really, it was like I was on my period ALL THE TIME. But now–!

Or, as Amazon reviewer Tracy Hamilton writes, FINALLY!

Someone has answered my gentle prayers and FINALLY designed a pen that I can use all month long! I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga. It’s comfortable, leak-proof, non-slip and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty! Since I’ve begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approchable. It has given me soft skin and manageable hair and it has really given me the self-esteem I needed to start a book club and flirt with the bag-boy at my local market. My drawings of kittens and ponies have improved, and now that I’m writing my last name hyphenated with the Robert Pattinson’s last name, I really believe he may some day marry me! I’m positively giddy. Those smart men in marketing have come up with a pen that my lady parts can really identify with.

Where has this pen been all my life???

But the pens weren’t met with every woman’s enthusiasm, especially not every REAL woman. Sensitive, ladylike reviewer Better Draper is not so thrilled. “Please stop trying to get women into the workplace!” she wisely implores.

Dear Mr. Bic,

My husband just informed me that I am appalled by this new line of pens you are offering. I am not sure what that means, but I don’t think it’s nice, because his face turned all red, and he sounded very angry. He then told me that I had better not start getting any ideas about going to work. How awful that what was once a respectable company would come out with an office supply line for women. A real lady would never work. I am convinced that you have lesbian feminists on staff. Those bra burners are to be feared, dear men. Please beware. I will let you know, that I will not be buying your product, and I will not be using these pens to balance my cheque book. (As my husband provides me with a weekly allowance in cash.) I sure do hope you poor souls are not devoured by the mean ugly women you work with.


Better Draper,
in a fictional world based in 1950, where your product belongs.

Indeed, Better Draper’s husband is not the only man concerned about the scary implications in this step toward women’s liberation. E. Skaggs from Ohio, a middle class white male, expresses alarm at this feminine intrusion upon masculinity,

I’m a middle class white married male. This pen is just another example of how I’m seeing my power slowly being taken away from me. It started right after the honeymoon when my commemorative Elvis beer steins disappeared. Now I’m sure my wife of over 20 years will start buying these “lady pens” and throw away all of my crayons while I’m off working at the quarry.
No doubt I’ll be eating Caesar salads and going to wine tasting seminars next.
Thanks, but no thanks, bic.

A chorus of male agreement! But A. Mack, a ball-busting feminist and dominatrix, relentlessly praises this incredible advancement,

Kudos to you, BIC! I can honestly say that this product uplifts and serves ALL women. As a domme and Mistress, I have never felt so empowered as when I pulled out one of My new BIC Cristal For Her pens when signing My contract with My new slave. His eyes widened and immediately averted, for he knew that he was in the presence of a True Woman and, indeed, a new world – a world where he is not even worthy enough to touch the pen I write My name with unless I deign to allow it. He saw My firm grip, My unwavering script, and he immediately understood how the harsh black lines echoed the treat I had in store for him that night, as I wielded the pen with the same confidence and skill with which I wield My flogger. You just can’t encompass that kind of subtlety and mind-play with any old pen. I was so pleased that I retired My favorite gold-plated fountain pen and resolved to only use BIC Cristal For Her from now on!

Even better, this doesn’t mean you have to leave the kitchen ladies! breemeup demonstrates as she pens a review from hers,

Finally! For years I’ve had to rely on pencils, or at worst, a twig and some drops of my feminine blood to write down recipes (the only thing a lady should be writing ever). I had despaired of ever being able to write down said recipes in a permanent manner, though my men-folk assured me that I “shouldn’t worry yer pretty little head”. But, AT LAST! Bic, the great liberator, has released a womanly pen that my gentle baby hands can use without fear of unlady-like callouses and bruises. Thank you, Bic!

But all these five-star reviews are misleading, complains bicGirl, whose beauty regime has been rudely interrupted.

I don’t understand all the 5 star reviews- this is the WORST eyeliner I have ever used! I can’t get it off for the life of me.

I am so excited, everyone! I was wondering how on earth I would ever make it as a writer if I’m forced to use colors people can actually read. But now every time I see the page I can smile at my work and remember that I am a woman writer, and pretty colors are the MOST important thing I have to offer!

7 thoughts on “The Best Thing You Will Read Today (via Jill Filipovic)

  1. Sometimes I cringe at the state of the entire planet. Every time someone complains that Islam forces women into gendered stereotypes, I want to take them to ToysRus where everything is gendered pink for girls, or shoot-em-up kill toys for boys. Pink baseball bats, pink baking sets, pink tea sets, pink HUNGRY HIPPO (!), pink SCRABBLE (!!), pink bikes, etc. If you want to buy a doctor’s kit, mad scientist experiments, or anything relating to engineering, you have to go to the “boys” section.

    And now pens? Even LEGO has a girl’s LEGO line. Horrific.

    I love the comments though. They give me hope that all is not lost.


  2. Hehe…. ah yes. I too have been baffled by the “pink and purple” section of the toy stores… I used to play with primary colored tinkertoys, but now, there is a “girls” version that comes in pastels, so I must have had the boy set? Oh yeah… back then there wasn’t a boy set :P We are really regressing. But it’s only with online shopping that I can see what I’ve really been missing in the world of female accessories! The pens reminded me of another product I ran into on amazon recently… I can’t decide if these reviews are more or less funny because… they seem to be serious: (available in both pink and lavender).


  3. According to Amazon these pens are specially designed to be comfortable in a woman’s hand, which I find even more baffling than the pastel colours (which, sadly, don’t shock me anymore, though they certainly irritate me). Does that mean they’re meant for smaller hands? See, I’ve got tiny hands and I’ve been managing just fine with normal pens for nearly twenty years – since I was a young child with much smaller hands than the average adult woman. Surely, if these pens work for young children, then it’s the large-built men with hands the size of my feet who need speciality pens, but that can’t be right, because men are standard and women are deviations from the norm.

    Thank God for Amazon reviews.



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