I saw a commercial for “Bic for her “ pens, designed specifically for women. Ellen DeGeneres criticizes these pens on her show.
Ellen makes a mock commercial, in which a girl says that she can’t handle “man pens,” and instead needs a “bic for her pen.” “Even a woman” can use these, Ellen says, because they are easy to use. She states that if her daughter has an opinion, she can “write it down and crumple it up,” implying that women’s opinions have no meaning or worth. The pen can only be used to transcribe recipes to “feed the man.” Ellen uses the “bic for her” pen to paint a dramatic picture of how individuals view women as inferior to men, and this is how I define “discrimination.” She mentions how we are paid less and given fewer opportunities than men. Historically, the rights of men have always came before those of women. The real “bic for her” commercial assumes that young women need pink and purple pens, and must reject black/blue ones. The “Bic Man” who hands her the pink pen receives a kiss on the cheek from the girl. This depicts women as sexual objects who take what is given to them from men, and provide sexual favors in return. As Kilbourne explains in her article, “Buy this 24 year old…,” advertising constantly targets groups of individuals, and controls the way they think and act in response to the ad. As she discusses in her film, “Killing Us Softly 4,” the female shown in the media is being obectified, whereas the pen is being sexualized. The pen represents the price the “Bic Man” has to pay in order to receive a sexual favor from the girl. According to this commercial, the only worth that exists in women is their ability to sexually please dominant men, and this message is a discriminatory one.