Bic “For Her” Gel Ink Pens

4 05 2012

“Retractable jeweled plunger — Delicately designed floral barrel — Floral embossed nose cone — Pearlescent, contoured rubber grip” So sayeth the packaging.

GOOD NEWS, LADIES! Finally, after countless years spent unable to use pens (for they are men’s things, and our constitutions are weak), Bic has made a pen delicate enough that we may have it as our own (provided we have express permission from our husband, father, or other approved male chaperone).

The oppressive world of men’s pens we American women have been barred from. So much testosterone…I think I feel a mustache growing just looking at it…

Really, Bic? I mean, really? Were you having that hard of a time selling pens to half the human population that you felt the need to dig up your condescending 1950s time capsule? Why not bundle it with a recipe book and a dose of Valium? In two little words, you’ve managed to insult half the market, and tell the other half that they aren’t allowed to buy your stupid product. What inconceivably idiotic names did you come up with that “For Her” seemed like a good idea?

How to ruin your product as much as possible with as little effort as possible

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a stereotypically “girly” pen, something fun and cute that you think would appeal to women—BUT CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE. Call it Delicato, call it Moonlily, call it Midnight Rainbow Barnacle for all I care; call it something that doesn’t describe who you think should buy it. Because the message you’ve just sent here is “Women, all our other pens are not for you. This is the pen you’re allowed to buy,” and to men, it says that if you’re interested in this pen, then you’re violating the rigid gender roles of this society. I don’t need this *$!# in a pen! Would you make a pen and label it for a specific race explicitly in the model name? Would you really make a pen and call it “For Whites”? No?? Then don’t do it for gender!!

Marketing should not be this hard, you guys.

It’s sad, because ignoring the name, it’s actually a pretty keen design. The subtle raised embossing is something I haven’t seen before, and it’s an especially nice touch on the nose cone. The plunger, however, shouldn’t be color-coded unless the ink inside matches that color. It’s just common courtesy.

Not that I would expect you, Bic, to know anything about courtesy.

In handwriting this review on Clairefontaine paper using the pen in question, I’m forced to reconsider my initial assessment on the writing sample above. I’ve had several frustrating skip-outs while writing, the kind of ink disappearances I’ve come to expect from most Pilot G2 pens.

Did they think we wouldn’t notice a performance this crappy? NICE TRY, WISEGUYS. I’ve got more than one kind of paper to put a pen to.

With any luck, something/ANYTHING will fit this body, because the refill itself is undesirably shoddy. So far, Uni Signo RT and Zebra Sarasa Push Clip refills have been a no-go.

The Bic “For Her” in a nutshell: pretty but useless. Really hope you’re not trying to say something with that, Bic.

Let’s review. Things it is even vaguely almost acceptable to name “For Her”: hygiene products, various sundries one might encounter in an adult store, an apology for your oblivious misogyny. Things it is not okay to name “For Her”: pens, office supplies, basically anything else in existence. I hope we’ve all learned a valuable lesson.

But which lesson is more valuable: learning to make a pen with a decent refill, or learning to not give your products stupid names?

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23 responses

4 05 2012
Shangching CH (@bakanekosan)

I can’t stop giggling while reading your review, especially after working on my thesis that partly dealing with medieval conceptualization of female sexuality. I guess Bic might want to be “hip” but went overboard?
Thank you for an entertaining read :)

9 05 2012
No Pen Intended

Tried to be so far ahead of their time that they just cycled around and ended back up behind their time. Oops!

4 05 2012
Anne

Wow. Thanks Bic. Just today I was saying, “man, my writing is lacking something pastel and flowery in its presentation.”. Now I don’t have to be ashamed in being seen with a boy’s pen! Life is worth living again!
On a serious note, I’m tempted to buy these pens and leave them in very un-Girly locations. I hate being told what girls “should” do. Somebody get Bic’s Marketing folks on the line. We need to have a talk…

9 05 2012
No Pen Intended

Buy a box and donate them to the Boy Scouts :D

4 05 2012
PilotG2.38

To me they are just taking up shelf space that a “unisex” pen could be on. Maybe they could make a pen for tall people. Far too long I’ve suffered from having to use a short person’s pen.

4 05 2012
fousheezy

Maybe they’ll be a little more overt in their next iteration and attach a small broom to the opposite end of the pen so you can write while you do your daily household chores.

9 05 2012
No Pen Intended

Maybe the next iteration will be battery operated.

4 05 2012
Alli

Hehehe — your review is too hilarious!

9 05 2012
No Pen Intended

:) Thanks!

5 05 2012
Mark A. Mandel

Dollars to donuts it was decided on by a group of all men.

9 05 2012
No Pen Intended

I will give them credit, especially as men, for having good taste in shades of purple.

6 05 2012
trixieindixie

Oddly enough, until I read this particular post, I thought you were a guy.

9 05 2012
No Pen Intended

B) The illusion has been shattered.

7 05 2012
Barrett

Bic hasn’t had a clue of what to do with a company like Sheaffer (other than outsource its manufacturing…which convinces me the company is essentially a planet run by accountants), so this bassackwards marketing attempt doesn’t surprise me much. Then again, Shaeffer was the company to bring us, back in the heady Mad Men days, the curiously-named Pen for Men, thus proffering the notion that if a guy continued to write with a normal-sized fountain pen, it must mean he’s…no longer manly? Damn. Mo wonder Hemingway shot himself…

9 05 2012
No Pen Intended

Their strategy is perhaps to make sure that no ounce of quality from Sheaffer taints the purity of terribleness that is the Bic line of pens.

18 05 2012
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[...] No Pen Intended: Ohto Rook Fountain Pen & Pentel RSVP Ballpoint Pen & Bic “For Her” Gel Ink Pens [...]

3 06 2012
Friday Specials – Late « LE ARTISTE BOOTS

[...] Bic “For Her” Gel Ink Pens (nopenintended.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

10 06 2012
The Cracked Black Bic Pen « David Brunoehler's Blog

[...] Bic “For Her” Gel Ink Pens (nopenintended.wordpress.com) Like this:LikeOne blogger likes this post. [...]

12 07 2012
Matt

Hilarious reviews!

27 07 2012
No Pen Intended

Thanks!

4 08 2012
Zebra Airfit LT Ballpoint Pen with Push Grip – 0.7 mm – Pearl Green Body – Black Ink « No Pen Intended

[...] points to Zebra, for making a “feminine” version of an already gender-ambiguous pen, without offending the entire human race. Many thanks to JetPens for providing this sample! Before I froth and rave about its predecessor, [...]

28 08 2012
Ruth Morrisson

Kinda reminds me of a toilet paper ad campaign that showed women quilting. With *knitting needles”! That caused no end of furor at an old netnews group I used to read. Even when the morons who were marketing the product changed (after a number of irate complaint letters) it so that they were *really* quilting, people were offended by the concept that suggested that women’s creative endeavors were only good for wiping your ass….

19 10 2012
No Pen Intended

hahaha wow. Luckily, from what I see on the internet, I’m not sure a single human being on the planet except for Bic marketing thinks these things are a good idea

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