Stationery company Bic has copped the sarcastic wrath of online product reviewers over its new Bic for Her range of ball-point pens.
With an “elegant”, sleek design, “diamond-shaped engravings” in the barrel, then pen is ”designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand”, and features an “attractive barrel design available in pink and purple.”
The pens’ UK Amazon page has been flooded with hundreds of reviews, many rating the pens one star, many rating them five stars, with not many giving a mid-range rating. A few of the reviews have straight-forwardly called Bic out for “sexist marketing”, but many more have apparently decided to fight the ridiculous with ridiculous, such as a user by the name of Sparklepony, who gave the ‘Bic for Her’ pen one star:
When I saw these I just had to have them, so I asked my Husband to buy them for me. He refused, as he said that owning a pen might make me Think, and then have Ideas Of My Own. Then I might start to Write, which would take time away from my wifely duties such as Cooking, Cleaning, and Bearing Children. Of course he was Absolutely Right, none of these tasks require a pen, and so I have to give these one star.
Jonny, 5 stars:
This pen is great. I bought it for all my female friends and relatives. It enabled them, finally, to write things (although they may not yet know to do so on paper; but you can only expect so much, really). I thought they were just a bit slow.
My mother, a hard-working woman who raised twelve kids single-handedly whilst doing all the ironing (as nature intended), was furtively abashed by her illiteracy. Long would she gaze upon her husband and sons’ scrawlings and would dedicate five minutes a day (which she really should have spent making sandwiches) to pray that one day she would be granted the ability to create such scribbles of her own. She’s still a little slow on the uptake, but this product has definitely helped start the ball rolling. We tried to give her men’s pens but she used to rip the cartridges out and drink the ink. Typical woman.
Anyway, it’s good that Bic are finally doing something to aid the plight of women. Hopefully a range of ‘for her’ paperclips is on the horizon – my wife has an awful time keeping her recipes together.
Butch McCassidy, 5 stars:
Oh. My. God. I’ve been doing it all wrong. There was me thinking I didn’t need to worry about whether my writing implement sufficiently reflected my gender. Thank you so much Bic for showing me the error of my ways. Perhaps Bic will also bring out a new range of pink (or purple) feminine spanners, screwdrivers, electric drills and angle grinders so that I can carry out my job as a bicycle mechanic without further embarrassing myself? Luckily my male colleagues have managed to keep their disapproval of my use of their masculine tools to themselves. I’m so ashamed. And re-educated as to my place in society. Thanks again Bic!
Mr Spluffypants, 1 star:
I tried these on a whim, and I have to say I wasn’t very impressed. The applicator mechanism is far too fiddly, and the plastic tampon inside far too thin (not to mention uncomfortable and non-absorbant) – I’m sure there must be a knack to using them, but I couldn’t find it. They also stained my knickers blue for some reason. I really wanted to like these, but it’s back to pads for me.
Daveyclayton, 1 star:
I bought this pen (in error, evidently) to write my reports of each day’s tree felling activities in my job as a lumberjack. It is no good. It slips from between my calloused, gnarly fingers like a gossamer thread gently descending to earth between two giant redwood trunks.
Audrey, 1 star:
You would think the marketing experts at Bic could do better than this. You call this a female-friendly pen? Look at the blatant phallocentric design! This is just the same old patriarchal tool as before. It may be packaged with deceptively delicate colours, but inside it’s filled with your typical man-centred ink.
Your customers expect more from you, BIC. I think I speak for all women when I say it’s high time we had a chance to buy a vulva-shaped pen that represents US!
And Amazon’s US users are also helpfully providing feedback.
Tracy Hamilton, 5 stars
Someone has answered my gentle prayers and FINALLY designed a pen that I can use all month long! I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga. It’s comfortable, leak-proof, non-slip and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty! 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. My drawings of kittens and ponies have improved, and now that I’m writing my last name hyphenated with Robert Pattinson’s last name, I really believe he may some day marry me! I’m positively giddy. Those smart men in marketing have come up with a pen that my lady parts can really identify with. Where has this pen been all my life???
Maria, 1 star:
I must say I’m really disappointed that we gave women the power to write. Lately they’ve been thinking they can do things like vote, get jobs, and speak their minds! As if their opinions are worth as much as their husbands’ or something. Quite frankly, I miss the days when the women were at home knitting and cooking and raising the children – not writing. This pen is only aggravating a harmful situation that we ourselves brought upon our society.
Ariel, 1 star:
Bic, you’ve failed me again. Here I am thinking that I’ve finally found the perfect pen and then I discover the ink is black. Black? It might as well be BLUE. Everyone knows women only want to write in shimmering pink or glittering purple. I mean, writing in black ink would be like going to work in flats, or leaving the house without makeup on or, god forbid, not wearing matching bra and panties. If I were to write in black ink someone might look past the beautiful curvature of my handwriting and actually consider the words I had written and really, we all know women never make it on brains alone. Sigh, I guess my treaties on the Joys of being the Second Sex will just have to go unwritten…
Wait, you say they have the ink I’m looking for? You say it is called fashion ink? Well, I’d better start writing… once I’ve done my nails, and my hair, oh and I need to go shopping. Maybe the treaties will have to wait anyhow.
Ray Couch, 1 star:
I didn’t even have my illicit writing implements for an hour before they were discovered and confiscated by my husband.