7 December 2019 10:14 AM

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RASHMI OBEROI | 29 NOVEMBER, 2019

Pink Scooters for Women Cops - Really!!

PINKism


I recall, someone once told me that I always looked at life through rose-coloured glasses… I agree I am an optimist and cheerfully see the positive things of life but through my rosy tint – the sight of women cops zipping around on pink was just too much to handle. A burst of Fuchsia or is it Taffy Pink is enough to blind anyone!

Just when I think, we Indians are getting a little more mature…a tad less sexist…there comes another ‘Pink Punch’ reeking of stereotyping, typically against women on the basis of gender. Why Pink I say? Why not Blue? Oops sorry, Blue is for ‘Men’… This is where prejudice sets in, naturally as the colour has an association.

I think deploying women police personnel for patrolling is a fine step. It would certainly help girls and women feel safer having them around to ensure safety. Yes, women cops patrolling on two-wheelers is great – But on pink scooters? Seriously? But why… Why this segregation… Why this typecasting?

I think women cops are a force to reckon with and really don’t need to blend into the pinkness of things to be more affable and acceptable. Blue, black, yellow two-wheelers with women are equally vigilant without the gender tag of pink being associated with it. A comprehensive security scheme can be as lethal without the gender bias showing through.

The aim of the women cops is to help women and girls in distress and that’s possible without the colour-coding going on. I like Blue… Blue is nice… I hate Pink as do many… No offence to all those who like pink. But a scorned voice says, “How is that possible?” Everyone thinks, women must be all about pink…and that is really sexist in a way.

The whole concept of gender-specific colours are botched. The entire concept of pink and purple being 'feminine' colours and blue and orange being 'masculine colours’ are botched and the entire concept of gender-specific colours are irrelevant in the 21st century.

Blue being better is just an opinion, pink could be better to someone else. If you choose, you can create a sign where men are pink and women are blue. It's up to the person who makes the design to choose what colours to represent men and women. He could choose pink for women... But he could also choose blue. It's up to him to choose what colour each gender is and for you it's up to you too. There's really nothing that says pink is for women and blue is for men. Just about all colours I can think of are gender-neutral actually.

And I'm not just furious that these distinctions exist but that these distinctions are forced upon boys and girls from the moment they are born. It's also these distinctions that tell girls they are wrong to enjoy science, for example, while boys are wrong to enjoy ballet. I'm not alone in my mortification either.

The reason blue and pink are the colours representing males and females is that it has been the norm for nearly a century, but why must it continue? It all boils down to society. If a male wears a pink tie or pink shirt, people assume he is prone to favouring feminism or that he is too effeminate.

It is just a colour and a personal choice – so just let it be. I think in general, the younger generation simply don't have some of the prejudices about certain colours that perhaps the earlier generations did, who were raised with that idea that pink is only for little girls or a boy should never wear pink.

But our decision makers and policy makers have always belonged to another era…ideologies that are stifled by prejudice. We haven't yet reached the point where pink is just a colour for men and women alike, but I am hopeful this can change and colours can be without feminine connotations.

How pink will we go from here? The appropriate expressions of masculinity and femininity, like the characteristics they signify, are not clear-cut, and this ambiguity helps drive change. Thus even today's most progressive trends will probably seem outmoded, if not backward, to some generation yet unborn.

Let us all become the first line of defence against 21st century sexism and stereotyping… The fight must go on…even while whizzing around on two-wheelers sans a colour coding!
 

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