There are some biological differences, in general, between men and women. That’s true on average, sure. But, those differences aren’t really that great. For the most part, we’re all human, and we can use human things in the same way. Men and women alike have two legs, opposable thumbs, all that good stuff.
That’s why things like what we’re seeing from Honda and Bic are so endlessly fascinating. Those companies have made a car for women and, bewilderingly, pens for women, respectively. Considering that there are no cars and pens “for men,” the implication is that everything to this point has been made for men. Until now. You can breathe a sigh of relief at your convenience.
The substance of the things themselves hardly matters. The time for campaigns like these passed a long time ago, acknowledging the fact that, strictly speaking, there never should have been a time for these campaigns. But, back then, men bought most everything in the household, women had to get permission to buy things, and gender roles were enforced heavily. It was a shameful time for human equality, but in terms of marketing shrewdness, yes, these campaigns probably would have made sense.
But, we like to think we’ve made a little progress on the equality front here in the 21st century. We’re more aware of the astoundingly obvious truth that men and women are capable of using the same products in the same way. That’s why pens and cars for women are so bizarre now. Before, when gender roles mattered more, they would have made business sense, however insulting they would have been. Now, it just seems like both companies are failing to realize the fact that women make up, you know, half the population. It’s always odd to see women treated as some kind of a niche demographic, in light of that.
That said, it looks like these companies aren’t totally lost (only mostly). Neither product – Bic for Her pens or the Honda Fit She’s – will be coming to the United States.
The Honda will only be available in Japan, which still suffers from much more pronounced gender inequality than the United States. Grudgingly, that makes the car make a little more sense, insulting as it may be. The Honda Fit She’s comes in pink with pink interior details, along with a windscreen that helps prevent wrinkles and an air conditioning system which is claimed to improve skin health. There’s virtually no way those last two are true in any meaningful sense, but hey, if it sells cars, I guess that’s all that matters for Honda.
Meanwhile, the Bic for Her pens, by far the more bizarre of the two products, are tagged as only being available in Europe. The pens are naturally in “girl colors” and are designed to fit the shape of a woman’s hand, which is probably the most asinine thing I have read all year. Throw in the fact that pens in pink and purple have been around for an awful long time before these things, and you get marketing towards women at its shallowest.
Sometimes, all you can do is shake your head.
Via The Daily Mail