Perhaps it is appropriate that pink is currently considered a feminine colour. I have examined the colour quite closely now, in my studies for this post, and I’ve determined that it is an exceedingly strong colour. Yes, pink is pastel red. Watered down red. Whitewashed red. But red is the strongest colour on the spectrum. Pastel red is like a secret. Pink is hiding in plain sight. Pink is a woman who paints on her face everyday in order to take on the patriarchy without being noticed. She will infiltrate slowly, and subtly, and then, when you least expect it she will pair that pink with black and fucking take over the world.
Black is infinitely powerful. Unflappable. Black is in charge and doesn’t care about your rules, and yet black follows the rules because black IS the rules. With black’s take charge attitude and pink’s flirtatious infiltration, they will tear a man down. Together, black and pink have truly run out of fucks to give.
Challenge pink and black if you dare. Go ahead and try. You see Pinky Pie up there, taking on Darth Vader? You think Vader will win because he has a light sabre. But you are a fool, because unless you’ve watched My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic you don’t realise that Pinky Pie is THE most powerful creature in all the universes. Just watch this long-ass video about Deadpool vs. Pinkie Pie if you’re unconvinced. Pinkie Pie will win this battle, except Darth Vader will win too, because Pinkie Pie won’t fight him, she will befriend him and he, and the entire Galactic Empire, will be helpless to resist. Pinkie Pie is THAT powerful. She will take all her pink splendour and combine it with Vader’s black bad-assery and they will dance off into the sunset singing songs about friendship. Take my word for it, black and pink will fuck you up.
I’ve already explored whether or not I’m a hater and concluded that I must be an asshole if people perceive me as such. So I’m certainly a bitch in the sense that people have called me a bitch, and many people think of me as a cold-hearted Wednesday Addams type.
But is it fair to refer to me as a bitch? What have I done that is so bitchy? What does bitch even mean? Literally, it means a female dog, and apparently, back in the 14th century, it meant a woman with high sexual desire, as in a “bitch in heat”. Today it tends to be used as an all-purpose insult for women. Any woman who is bossy, or uppity, or assertive, or daring to behave in ways that are traditionally considered masculine, is called a bitch. And those sexist connotations are why I take such issue with the word. Calling a woman a bitch means she’s acting like a man in a way that is unacceptable in mainstream society and calling a man a bitch is calling him a woman, which is, of course, the gravest of insults.
So I do bristle when I’m called a bitch, even if it’s usually meant jokingly, perhaps because it is meant jokingly. Why is it funny to call a woman a bitch? But there’s also a part of me that embraces the label, as many feminists do, in a “taking it back” kind of way, because a bitch is a woman in control of her life, and bitches get stuff done.
But there’s also the concern that people are calling me a bitch because they think I’m mean. As I’ve discussed, I often come across more negatively than I intend. But once again, I’m forced to wonder if a man behaving in similar ways would be judged so harshly for such behaviour. When a man acts dismissively, it’s the other person’s fault for wasting his time, but when I do it I’m not being open to other people’s opinions. When a man looks at his phone instead of chatting with people, he’s considered busy, but when I do it I’m unfriendly. Could I stand to be more empathetic to others? Sure. But so could most men who have swallowed our society’s programming on how to be successfully male. Why don’t we have a nasty word for men who are bossy, assertive, aggressive, dismissive, and unfriendly? I guess there’s the word “dick”, which is often used as an insult towards men. And that word is indeed problematic because it implies that penises are inherently bad. I take similar issue with the word “cunt” being used as an insult. And I’m especially annoyed by the word “pussy” being used to mean weak, while “balls” denote courage. How does that make sense? When men are kicked in the testicles they act as though the world has ended, while vaginas regularly excrete one’s uterine lining in a rather painful process, and women just get on with it. And yet women are the weak ones?
Now allow me to return to the word “bitch”, and its casual overuse. I especially hate the insult “son of a bitch” because it doesn’t insult the person it’s meant to be insulting. Instead, it insults his mother. I still, for reasons we won’t go into here, watch Supernatural, even though it is deeply problematic in its treatment of both women and men (I think largely due to poor writing resulting from ignorant sexism, rather than malevolent misogyny), but they throw around the term “son of a bitch” like it’s a meaningless adjective. But it’s a very loaded term. It implies that the person at fault is the mother of the villain, rather than the villain himself. It lets men off the hook entirely and places all blame on women. If you think I’m overreacting to a simple word, then you’ve probably used that word before, without fully considering how hurtful it can be. Or you knew exactly how hurtful it would be and your intention was to hurt, in which case you’re the
bitch big ol’ meany pants.
I went through a phase in adolescence where I refused to wear pink. I denounced the colour as anti-feminist because I considered it too girly. Eventually I had a revelation and realized that I could be a feminist and still dress in conventionally feminine attire and colours. When I was a child I loved doll-like fashion and as an adult I’ve returned to this appreciation for all things twee. Sometimes I still chastise myself for having a style that veers too juvenile but what can I say? It’s what I like. It’s who I am. My authentic style is ModCloth/Zooey Deschanelesque.
Don’t be afraid of pink. I rarely see women wearing it in office settings, probably because they want to be taken seriously and pink still carries that girly connotation, (though this wasn’t always the case) and of course, we still live in a society that considers all things feminine to be negative or at least inferior to masculine things. But perhaps embracing this colour can be a subversive act. We shouldn’t have to “act like men” (whatever that means) to be taken seriously. We should act like whoever we are, and if that means being “butch” then great, but if that means being “girly” then that’s great too. Being treated as equals isn’t just a matter of proving we can do whatever men are tradionally praised for, (although even when we do we get paid less, and when men enter professions that were traditionally thought of as female the perception of the field changes, not the perception of women) but also bringing esteem to things that are derided simply because they are associated with femininity.
My pinkspiration board includes the irrepressible Pinky Pie, a necklace I made on a whim, a painting of a cupcake, and the fabric of a dress I only wore once (to a wedding) and then never again because I thought it might be too twee even for me.
In this pink outfit I’m wearing something I would wear to work, though I only thought to pair all these pinks after putting together my pinkspiration board. Maybe I’ll wear this for realsies soon.
I love these hot pink shoes though they are slightly too small for me. I bought them anyway because the next half-size up were like boats on my feet. I only wear these shoes at the office, where I’m mostly sitting. If I need to wear pink shoes while walking for significant distances I just don’t. When I was in my late 20s, early 30s I used to regularly walk around town in heels but I’m over that now. As I age I get more concerned with my health so now when I walk, I WALK! I do it for efficiency and exercise, not just to get from point A to point B. So for my walk to the metro I’d wear this outfit with ankle boots that don’t really go but I’ve gotten to the point where I’d rather be comfortable than cute. I’ll never be that woman who is utterly on point all the time.