Wednesday, February 11


After reading about the topic in various posts and articles on various sites, I really start to wonder: Is it just me? Is it my country? Is it the town I live in?

When I read about women being basically harassed on a daily basis while walking down the street or waiting for a bus and compare this to my own daily experience, I realize I seem to be quite lucky. It might be the fact that I’m not exactly attractive, but I’ve never been treated that way by men. It might also be the fact that I live in a rather small town (about 40,000 inhabitants overall). It might be the fact that I live in Germany, too.

I’d personally opt for a combination between my less than good looks and the place I live. It surely is different in big cities. And I’m quite sure it’s different for a very attractive women. Still, in Germany you’d rather find young men acting that rude, catcalling after you or bluntly asking you personal question (or just “Baby, wanna fuck?”). Older men might think it - or try it on a woman they work with, after a certain time -, but they would never outright act like that in public. And, as a woman of above thirty, I’d ignore some young idiot anyway.

But what can you do, if it happens? Well, the moment someone tries to force you to do something (like trying to pull you into a car), you’re justified to act in self-defence, even if it means giving him a bloodied nose for it. I wouldn’t just hit someone for saying something rude, I’d probably ignore that person. But the moment I get attacked - physically or just verbally - I’d fight back.

Then, on the other hand, I’m not a typical woman, maybe that’s one more reason why people don’t try such stuff on me. I’ve read once that there’s a certain air to people who are insecure or easy to frighten. If you exclude that air, men might think it easy to intimidate you. If you don’t exclude that air, they might go look for someone else to intimidate.

What would I answer to someone saying “Baby, wanna fuck”?

Well, probably “In your dreams, if ever”.

I’m also good at pointedly ignoring people who try to provoke me. A man sitting opposite to me in the train, for example, and basically juggling his own balls (if you get my drift) would be ignored. A man trying to strike a conversation with me and acting as if I were some kind of slut would also find himself speaking in monologue. It might not be the most efficient way of acting, but it usually works. And if they try something really physical, they’ll find out I’m not that preoccupied at all...

But usually ignoring works best. It might even be the most painful reaction of a woman: not taking any notice of your antics at all. (But then, my mother only got one sexually harassing call in her life. She answered the phone, a man moaned into it and she just said “you asshole” and hung up. That guy never called again...)

Self-confidence seems to be the real key. If you’re self-confident, but not provoke actions yourself, people tend not to mess with you. It’s kind of a ‘I won’t hurt you if you don’t hurt me’-deal.


Well, pink is great, if it’s written “P!nk” and connected to the singer with that name. Otherwise pink is a colour I can’t really get my mind around.

Pink is just one of a large number of colours mankind has given a name to. There’s red, yellow and blue first, the primary colours, those which you can’t get from any other colour. In fact, if you’re working with a colour printer, pink is always there, but it’s called ‘Magenta’ (like the maid in the “Rocky Horror Show”), replacing a deeper red.

At the same time, pink is all around you wherever stuff for women is sold. Barbie dolls are pink (dress, makeup, package, if not anything else). Baby girl’s first clothes are pink (mine weren’t, but I had a pink and white coloured teddy). From then onwards it’s an endless row of pink products from clothes to school stuff to the first computer or first car.

Now, I’m not a fan of grey computers, either (mine does have some blue lighting). I’d appreciate it if there were a larger variety of colours to choose from. I do currently own a white and lime-green cell phone (the special edition of the Ericsson K660i) and like the colour combination very much. I find it pleasing to the eyes. I also owned a silver, a black and a turquoise cell phone before.

On the whole, I tend towards so-called ‘cold’ colours, mainly blues and greens. And if something’s supposed to be red, I prefer a deep red, like crimson. Pink was never my favourite colour, deep blue always was. My parents accepted that.

At the same time everyone has the freedom to choose the colours he or she likes best. That does include pink. But pink has gotten a notation, a deeper meaning, I can’t really live with. It’s the colour of femininity. If you want to sell something to women, make it pink. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a hair dryer, a cell phone, a computer, a car or a lady-shave (what’s so bad about a simple black razor like the one I bought cheaply and use for ‘appropriate’ hair-trimming on my body?). If you want to find a game that has been produced for girls only, simply aim for a pink package. That is not acceptable.

Yes, women usually accessorize more than men (even I do it and I’m anything but an average woman). They pay more attention to details of their clothes and the other things they carry around. They may appreciate, therefore, a laptop which fits well with their favourite colours (which they’ll tend to wear more often). But that’s back to the topic of ‘make computers in other colours than just black and grey’.

But why the hell should women buy something just because it’s pink? Because that’s what they’re taught from early age, because today all things for girls are pink. It’s a never-ending story, like this. You produce stuff for girls in various shades of pink and their mothers will but it. The girls grow up learning ‘pink is for me’ and then they go out and buy the stuff for their girls, too, by choosing pink things. We need to teach woman they can choose from the whole array of colours available. That includes producing stuff in more than two or three colours (‘technical’ grey or ‘manly’ black for men and ‘pink’ for women). I’m pretty sure not all women who own an iPod own the pink one. They can choose from a variety of nice colours and they will do so. Produce laptops or other technical things in various coloured casing (my USB-stick, for example, is turquoise). Stop packaging games for children in only two varieties (dark packages for boys, pink for girls). Bring back the colours to life.

If we really want all people to be treated equally, we must teach them from early on that there’s no such thing as ‘for girls only’ or ‘for boys only’. That goes for physical stuff (like toys) as well as for careers. And it all starts with turning pink into a normal colour again.