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Jeff of the blog Feminist Allies has a very specific suggestion for how men can do a bit of feminist work: embrace pink phones.

Here at The F Word, we’ve moaned about the tendency of tech and gadget companies to try and sell stuff to women by bringing out a pink version, a trend which I find patronising. But this seems like a good use of all that coral chrome.

From time to time, I like to express my disdain for the strictness of traditional gender roles. At times that feels silly–like having a pink phone says anything to anybody about the rigidity of what ‘being a man’ means. It feels trite and pointless sometimes.

And yet: I’ve had lots of good conversations with people about gender norms that began with an offhand comment about that phone. These days, I usually respond to people who say “Nice pink phone” with “Thanks. Do you like pink too?” or some such. And then, I try to follow it up with simple questions about why pink ought to signify ‘feminine’ at all, why I can’t have some traditionally ‘feminine’ likes and dislikes without it being a judgment on my worth, etc. And this is a little thing. And yet, conversations being had that wouldn’t be had without this little thing make me think that, even if it’s just a little thing, it’s not nothing. Even if it is teaspoons emptying the ocean, it’s better than no teaspoon at all.

Photo by mdumlao98, shared under a Creative Commons license