The next right thing? Pink.

If the first post of the day was on the theme of “doing the next right thing”, the second deals with a small practical tip from Jeff at Feminist Allies: What Men Can Do: Resist Gender Essentialism (with Accessories!) Jeff was inspired by Melissa’s remark, regarding the seemingly never-ending struggle for gender justice: All I ever do is try to empty the sea with this teaspoon; all I can do is keep trying to empty the sea with this teaspoon.

One of Jeff’s “teaspoons” is his phone:

And it got me to thinking about one of the themes of feminism for me:Small Daily Acts of Feminism. I tend to think that (1)The ‘little’ things are often only seemingly little and (2)Lots of (seemingly) little things add up. Take, for instance, my little pink phone.

Jeff has a picture of his little pink phone.

I’m with Jeff wholeheartedly here. No, Jeff’s pink phone isn’t going to save the world. But as he does point out, it does start a lot of conversations where good can happen. I don’t have a pink phone, but as anyone who looks through my Flickr or Facebook albums can attest, I wear a lot of pink shirts. And I wince when I hear people say things like “Real Men Wear Pink”; I prefer “pink is for everyone”. A willingness to subvert common assumptions about gender is always helpful, especially when that subversion is simple and elegant.

Hurrah for pink on all of us. It’s one of my favorite colors (along with yellow, which I can’t wear), and it has been a staple of my wardrobe for a long time. My fondness for pink isn’t evidence of virtue — but if it inspires any reflection in anyone at all about gender essentialism, then it’s one more teaspoonful.

18 thoughts on “The next right thing? Pink.

  1. I had a pink phone for one glorious summer. I like (the other) Jeff’s rationale very much.

    On a marginally related note, here in the UK pink shirts on men is a sign of upper class-ishness; when I’ve worn a pink shirt I’ve heard remarks both from folks who think I’m being snooty and from folks who (as I also heard when I was living in the States) assumed that a pink shirt was an affected attempt at ‘showing my sensitive side’ – it is the old attack on feminist men, namely that they are only in it to pick up women.

  2. Along similar lines: try calling your shoulder bag your “purse”. It’s the same dang thing, and if you’re like me and carry a bag everywhere it serves the same purpose.

  3. I have a co-worker who is a big, gruff guy. He happens to like pink oxford shirts, and probably wears one at least once a week. We work in a library. He was chastised by a colleague that “guys don’t wear pink”. Pete said “I do”, and went out that evening and bought three more for work. I love that about him.

  4. A (female) friend of mine threw a pink shirt party where all the men were specifically requested to wear pink. It was kind of a pink intervention. We had a very young male friend who had just been brainwashed by peers for the first time to the point that he was refusing to use his scissors, which happened to be pink. He was the guest of honor. The party was a grand success on all counts!

  5. Pink shirts were considered a prep school look when I was younger. The stereotypical “preppy” outfit was an oxford cloth button-down pink shirt, khaki chinos, and penny loafers.


    No, ma’am. You get the Camoflage one that says “Women want me – Deer FEAR me.”

  7. I wear a lot of camouflage stuff, does that mean I’m working on the other end?

    And btw, I would LOVE a camo phone. :)

  8. The only thing I don’t like about pink is the association it has with breast cancer. a) The breast cancer fight has become a corporate scheme to profit on people’s desire to help one another and b) breast cancer isn’t just a women’s issue since men can get it too.

  9. That’s a very good post; thanks for directing me to it.

    yellow, which I can’t wear

    This seems quite odd. Who or what is stopping you?

  10. Elaine, I agree with you on the breast cancer thing.

    DJW, yellow looks awful on me. And I care enough about my color palette to not violate some basic rules…

  11. Katie,

    I bought my granddaugher pink camo. Maybe you could try this and cover both ends!

  12. Thanks for the thought, but actually … I prefer blue over pink. Although with my camo, I prefer the woodland.

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