Bic should’ve seen the writing on the wall
HERE I was having trouble meeting my Free Press deadline and thinking I had writer’s block. It turns out I was just exhausted by having to drag a big, bulky man-sized pen across the page.
The Bic company recently unveiled its “For Her” line of pens, which are pretty, pastelcoloured and slim (to enable “better handling for women,” says the company’s product description). For years I’ve been buying 12-packs of standard black and blue Bic pens in the mistaken belief that they were gender-neutral. Now I understand that they were really made for rough, rugged, Hemingway-esque writing and the rapid cut and thrust of hyper-masculine thoughts.
What a relief, then, that I can buy with long manes: “Since I’ve begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approachable. 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.”
Another enthuses: “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.” Other writers, perhaps picking up on Bic’s bizarre promise that the For Her pen offers “all day comfort,” make a parallel to tampons (a product that is marketed to women for a legitimate reason). “I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga. It’s comfortable, leakproof, non-slip and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty!”
Well, there you are, Bic. If you make a pen “essentially for women,” you shouldn’t be surprised if they start writing you snarky notes.