More pink toolkits

// 9 June 2008

If you’re going to have pink tool kits, this one at least doesn’t actually state that it’s being marketed at women.

Of course, it relies on the pink=women encoding we’re all too familiar with, but at least the website doesn’t specifically mention it.

But reader allyson points us to a discussion of the kit over at ‘hotukdeals’.

User ibiza is amused – not by the patronising and quite silly attitude that a bit of pink plastic makes anything and everything appealling to women – but by the idea that women might want or need a tool kit:

Its been well over 30 years since the introduction of the sex discrimination act, and was over half a century ago the UK signed up for article 19 of the Treaty of Rome. So although we love doing it – its really both illegal and discriminatory for men to be the only ones who service the car and do all the heavy maintenance about the home.

To address this – Maplin have cleverly introduced the following superlative of products – filling an as yet unidentified market niche – to tempt your loved one away from the dishes, dusting and hoovering, thereby enabling her compliance with the expectations of the aforementioned legislation.

And then:

Quidco and Maplin vouchers (that you subscribe to on their site) are available, and Superdrug, Boots, and Lloyds the chemist sell the first aid equipment you may need upon her opening it.

Another witty user posted this photoshopped image:

Whether this is more annoying or patronising than the real thing is for you to judge.

Comments From You

Lindsey // Posted 9 June 2008 at 2:20 pm

And again you have the added incentive/guilt trip if you avoid buying them of a small portion of the profit going to a breast cancer charity. If they cared surely they would have a donation from all their products going to charity.

It feels like an added accusation hanging over potential purchasers that they will be betraying their gender to the point of wishing ‘death on boobies’ if they don’t go for the pink version.

Lew // Posted 9 June 2008 at 2:51 pm

I took a look at the last link you posted, Jess, and found a comment which illustrates a similar thing to the post about a pink phone a while ago.

That being- making the product pink is an example to stick another $20 on it.

The comment in full-

“Great tool set! If you can accept blue handles instead of pink that you’ll save yourself over $20 buying it at True Value Hardware stores all November long for $8.88.”

Sarah // Posted 9 June 2008 at 3:47 pm

My question would be whether these tools are any different from the ‘normal’ ones other than being pink. Because it would be quite useful for me to have, for example, pliers or secateurs that fit smaller hands (not that all women have little hands, but some of us do!). I have a fantastic lightweight spade for the garden with a slightly shorter than normal handle (no it isn’t pink) which fits me very well. There are also things that don’t work, like not being able to reach the the switch on my power-drill or mini-vac without using my other hand, whereas my partner can use these easily. I can reach the switch on my hairdryer fine, so obviously it is possible to make such things work! And there are things I find uncomfortably heavy to use, being a small woman and not having massive arm strength. So I would be happy about more tools and appliances being not always tailored to fit the average man. Though I can’t imagine why a screwdriver would need to be gender or size-specific.

Leigh // Posted 9 June 2008 at 4:25 pm

well the comments might have been awful, but surely Maplin deserve kudos for not selling their products ‘to women’ in the patronising manner we have seen else where. It’s pretty damn brave of them not to, IMHO.

Aimee // Posted 9 June 2008 at 4:31 pm

All this pink business is really beginning to piss me off. It’s interesting that ‘men’s things’ aren’t marketed as ‘blue’. ‘Men’s things’ come in a variety of colours. What this is saying is that women are the exception; the ‘other’. Things aimed specifically at women are an afterthought. A lazy afterthought at that. These things are a novelty, not serious, good quality tools for a woman who needs to do some DIY or enjoys building things, as I do, which implies that women entertaining these kind of ‘manly’ endeavours are a novelty. We’re just silly, stupid women trying copy some big strong men, so of course we’ll need some silly, stupid woman tools for the job. I’m surprised they’re not glittery and covered with kittens. ‘Cos we know all women love glittery kittens. Excuse me whilst I vomit.

Feminist Avatar // Posted 9 June 2008 at 5:50 pm

What I find amusing about the knife and high heel tool kit is that, coming from a family of builders, it is always the men who are too lazy to find their screwdrivers and instead break the tips of the good kitchen knifes. Grr.

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