Pens Envy

Pens Envy August 29, 2012

So it turns out that BIC pens, in a spasm of over-the-top niche marketing, now offers a line of ballpoint pens “For Her”.  You know, modern pens for a modern woman in today’s world.  Totally different from those phallocentric ballpoint pens that only men could use.  The review page for this product over at is one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages. Here’s a taste:

650 of 650 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My life has been changed!,20 Aug 2012
M Holloway (UK) – See all my reviews (REAL NAME)
This review is from: BIC For Her Amber Medium Ballpoint Pen (Box of 12) – Black (Office Product)

I never did very well at school. I wanted to learn and it felt like all the words I needed were right there in my head, but I just couldn’t get them onto the paper in front of me. If I really pushed myself, I could sometimes manage to draw pretty flowers in the margins but this didn’t please Sir and I was soon in all the bottom sets. What really confused me is that I had no problems in cookery or textiles. At the time I didn’t understand why I could grip and use a wooden spoon or sewing needle but couldn’t properly hold my black-coloured pen for more than 45 seconds without dropping it on the floor and weeping.Things were a bit better when I left school to go and work sweeping up hair at the local salon – yet again, the broom seemed to just fit into my grip as if it was meant to be there – and I saved up to buy a pink laptop. I still had trouble writing for a long time because, although the case was pink, the keys weren’t designed for female eyes which, as we all know, struggle to discern between shades of black and grey. I could write for about 4 minutes at a time, though, and that’s how I found out about these wonderful pens for girls like me.As soon as they arrived, I was soothed by the pink packaging – I’d been feeling stressed after driving back from work because my hands just won’t stay on the black, leather-effect steering wheel in my cute mini. Anyway, I quickly found a piece of notepaper with pictures of kittens round the edges and had a go at writing my name. It was amazing! The pen just stayed in place between my fingers, just like it always had for the boys in my class at school. Well, in no time I’d filled a whole notepad and had to go and get another one!Now I’ve gone back to night school and hope to realise my ambition of enrolling on a childcare course next year. I’m also halfway through writing an erotic novel set in Victorian times – but with vampires!My only criticism of these wonderful pens is that I get a bit bored with all 12 looking the same. I get around this my customising each pack. At the moment, the pen I have in use is covered in stripes of glitter and I glued a pink pompom and one of those diamanté charms you get on mobile phones (I couldn’t fit any more on my phone) onto the top. I think BIC should start adding pens like this to their range because some women find it difficult to hold tubes of superglue properly – I asked the 6 year old boy who lives next door to help me.

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152 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saved My Marriage,27 Aug 2012
This review is from: BIC For Her Amber Medium Ballpoint Pen (Box of 12) – Black (Office Product)

I allowed my wife to write the grocery list with one of my pens. Shortly thereafter she went out and bought a bunch of flannel shirts, cut the sleeves off and grew a mullet. While she was writing her feminist manifesto, I secretly switched out the man pen with a BiC For Her. She’s now back to baking apple pies, vacuuming in heels, and popping bennies in order to keep her girlish figure… like a proper American gal.

Thank you BiC!

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  • Also, there’s this one:

    One-star review: No good for man hands
    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.

  • It looks to me like both men and women were having an equally good time writing the satirical reviews of the condescending product. Great British humor (or, if you will, humour).

  • This is hilarious! Loved reading them.

  • deiseach

    Oh, if only I had had a special BIC biro for girls, then I would have learned to write at a much earlier age.

    Oh, hang on, my Victorian-educated granny taught me to write at the age of four. Well, still – I would have been a prodigy, a prodigy, I tell you, had this product only been available back then!


  • SecretAgentMan

    I didn’t read ’em all, they’re all too funny. I hope there’s one about how these pens were made by taking a part from one of Bic’s other pens.

  • deiseach

    Out of the nine pages of reviews that I read (there are 31 by now!), I think this is my favourite:

    31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Gender Pender, 28 Aug 2012
    By Whiskey Fan (Yorkshire, UK) – See all my reviews
    This review is from: BIC For Her Amber Medium Ballpoint Pen (Box of 12) – Black (Office Product)

    As both man and writer, I perpetually struggle with the expression of dichotomous self – dialogue, in particular, is difficult to resolve fruitfully. Masculinity comes easily, as all male characters can be drawn with a few broad strokes about contact sports, engine capacity and drinking; femininity has always been problematic, however. How does one portray the fickle, vacuous hypersensitivities of the feebler sex?

    Now I need look no further. Since beginning to use these pens for scripting my female protagonists, I have found their words to be endlessly forthcoming. They flow from the pretty little nib like so much glutinous compound, and I shall never worry about having nothing to say again. In fact, I shall buy the entire remaining stock so other male writers will be destined to churn out inferior work, and I shall be adored by women the world over for my empathy.

    EDIT: Oh god, they’re taking over – the pens – listen! LISTEN! IT DOESN’T STOP! – they’re talking to each other, and making lists all over my pages! I have ink all over my face and genitals. I AM LOST. I AM LOST… WARN YOUR FRIENDS BEFORE IT’S TOO LA-

    Second favourite has to be the one where a man balanced out using the ‘lady pen’ by holding a ‘man pen’ in his other hand, and now has baby pens 🙂

    • Andy, Bad Person

      What about pens that just feel like they were born in the wrong casing? Will we soon have trangender pens?

  • Tim Jones

    Next, look for NASA to introduce a new taco-shaped launch vehicle.

  • Sharon

    In the same vein:

    Be sure to read the comments.

    • enness

      Yes, it reminded me of that.

  • enness

    Heh, yes, this has been making the rounds. I don’t think there was a single dull review in there, which is pretty impressive. As my dad would say, “Who has more fun than people?”