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29 July 2011

Women Hate Pink

Because it's not the color of pink that women hate, according to the study, so much as the fact that pink is "a gender cue" that triggers a "defensive response" among women.

When women wrote an essay about gender, just 42% of them said they would donate to ovarian cancer research. When they wrote a gender-neutral essay, 77% did. And those who saw a pink ad about breast cancer were significantly less likely to say that they'd contract the disease than those who saw an ad with neutral colors."

News flash, ladies: if the real world was "gender-neutral," we wouldn't be talking about breast cancer in the first place, we'd just be talking about "chest cancer." Or, more likely, "testicular cancer." Jesus. You could have told us this before we wore that hideous ribbon!

Ok, so maybe I shouldn't expect much here, considering the source is Gawker. But the overuse of quotation marks, the inaccurate description of color as a means of women hating each other, and the comments focused solely on which ethnicity should actually attempt to wear colors such as pink and yellow, makes me just sad that the point of the entire study was ignored.

Women hate pink. As the interview by one of the researchers explains, it is more that the use of pink has been pushed over the last century as a gender marker of femininity, and the reason women rebel against it is that in the context of such a campaign as Breast Cancer Awareness, pink is a terrifying omen. Pink signifies that it isn't just a cancer that could happen to a faceless population, but that every woman out there has over a 10% chance of developing the disease. When faced with that, most people will do the obvious and run from it, not embrace it. It's a natural instinct to flee from something that you are scared of. And whether it be a noble idea, such as raising money for research or something as base and ridiculous as pink handguns aimed at women, the influx of such a now-generic color that is considered gender related is cause for a vast amount of women to despise it.

I'll be the first to admit that I do not like the color, and when faced with the exact same material about breast cancer in a neutral color I would be more likely to respond. Perhaps if we started a campaign for prostate cancer for men that was color coded in blue and let it run for decades, men would have the same disgust.