Ladies, I have a question. When you’re out on the town and a madman comes at you, what do you do?
It’s a tricky question so I’ll give you some options:
a. Analyze the situation and either put up a fight or run.
b. Call for help
c. Both a and b
d. Take out your pink pepper spray and your pink taser and make sure you look feminine whilst you’re fighting off the madmen.
I’d normally choose ‘c’. But the new craze in hot pink defense products is making me think that ‘d’ might just be the right answer. After all, nothing says “get back” like a cute hot pink can of pepper spray. Yes, you read that right. A hot pink can of pepper spray. You can buy it to match your hot pink stun gun. Isn’t it just what you’ve always dreamed of?
I can barely remember life before capitalism and sexism had a baby and self-defense products became a fashion statement – you know the time, when a women’s only weapon to ward off attackers was freshly baked cupcakes. I mean, what else could she possibly use? Regular colored things? Like boys do? Like, ew, gross!
But don’t fret, not only are these new self defense products feminine in color, they’re also smaller so they can fit into our teeny tiny baby hands. Yup, that’s right, who needs weapons that actually work when you can get ones that are cute and pretty!?
I’m so sick of this infantilizing bullshit.
This seem likes an appropriate time to send a big ‘what the actual f**k?!’ to the makers of these products. Self-defense isn’t a game. It’s not a fashion statement. Releasing pink and ‘special edition’ self-defense products is demeaning women and their reasons for buying these products in the first place. Carrying weapons should make women feel safer and empowered, not dumbed down, weak and commodified. Applying these arbitrary aesthetic standards to products whose only function is to save and protect women’s lives is so fundamentally insulting it makes anger consume every cell in my body.
There is zero chance that women are genetically predisposed to wanting everything to be pink. Has anyone ever stopped to think why girls are bombarded with everything pink whilst boys are blue? Girls don’t have to be constricted to this pastel world. I’m sure, if we tried, we could survive in a world that wasn’t feminized and pinkified for us. The marketing world just needs to stop imposing their heteronormative gender roles on everyone. If we stopped selling ‘pink girly’ garbage to women, women would stop buying it and in turn stop looking like incompetent superficial fools.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like pretty things as much as the next person. But I like being taken seriously more. And by constantly prioritizing aesthetics over quality we’re only doing damage to ourselves. Personally, I’d like to know that my pepper spray provider was more concerned with providing pepper that sprays than with selling a stylish canister that suits both my day and night outfits.
If you’re buying pepper spray because of the way it looks, you’re buying it for the wrong reason. You’re also insulting millions of women in the world that legitimately need it for protection. And to top it off, you’re really not doing the sisterhood any favors.