Pink/blue scientific calculators

(79 Posts)
FairPhyllis Fri 18-Oct-13 13:15:59

I needed to buy a new scientific calculator today so I was looking on the Casio UK website and was flabbergasted to find that along with the bog standard grey/black ones you can also get ones in blue or pink (and in no other colours!). I then looked to see if they were available at WHSmith, to see if this a freak thing that isn't actually available at general retailers, and lo and behold WHSmith not only have them on their website, but actually do their own pink scientific calculator as well (but no blue).

Perhaps this is something you have encountered before if you are a parent but as I am not I was really shocked that it would occur to anyone to gender a scientific instrument.

And where does it stop? Pink instruments for science undergrads? Pink stethoscopes for medical doctors who are women? Do the women scientists at CERN go into a meltdown if things aren't coloured pink for them? (educated guess: I bet they fucking well don't)

Are girls and women now so utterly brainwashed by gender messages that the only way science can be made acceptable to them is by pinkwashing things? Or is it a sign of patriarchy's discomfort with women engaging with science that it feels it has to send them a message: 'we'll let you do this as long as you remember you're just a woman after all'?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 18-Oct-13 14:47:46

They're not gendered, they're coloured. I think by the age you need a scientific calculator you're well beyond pink is for girls and blue is for boys tbh.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 14:55:16

Ooh, look what comes up if you search for girls calculator' (take a scroll through the 'also viewed' too.

Whereas if I google 'boys calculator' the first page of hits are things like Tanner stage calculator.

hmm

FairPhyllis Fri 18-Oct-13 14:59:48

IT'S VAJAZZLED!

I see I can also get a pink dish drainer. That'll give me something to look at when I'm pregnant, barefoot and confined to the kitchen.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 18-Oct-13 15:02:20

If you search 'girls calculator' that's probably the sort of thing you want.

I searched 'boys calculator' and got an Everton FC one. What des that mean? Boys can only do football themed maths?

kim147 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:02:24

I've never seen a blue calculator. However one of my tutees has a pink scientific calculator.

I'm surprised they've not got removable backs to personalise them.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 15:04:47

I was a bit hmm to see the RSPB offering pink binoculars. Given that obsessive serious birders seem to think they need to dress in camo/sludge green the colour might of itself make the product inferior. (and its more expensive than the equivalent black)

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 15:23:18

Very useful, means I instantly know which is DD2's when it's left lying around.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 15:26:33

>Very useful, means I instantly know which is DD2's when it's left lying around.

But if you have anything other than one boy and one girl, it'd be much more useful to have a range of colours, wouldn't it. No reason at all why the 'alternative' should be pink (and for this particular calc, blue).

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 15:28:24

Sadly I didn't get a choice of blue, so DD1 and I still have identical grey ones.

Yes, in general I dislike pinkification, but it's massively easier only to get your head round one type of scientific calculator as a parent or a teacher.

Lots of different colours or a decent panel to write names, would of course, be better.

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 15:32:16

Enroll too true. I have two DDs and DD1 tends to get blue and DD2 pink, which isn't ideal. Especially as DD2 is more more socially adept, fashion conscious and girly girl.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Fri 18-Oct-13 15:40:50

How old are the student who need scientific calculators? Aren't they quite old for pink/blue confused

I don't need a pink calculator to remind me I have a vagina and my vagine doesn't make me like pink.

So why are pink blue the only colours ever available if it'sn't a gender thing?

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 15:46:13

It's easiest to start Y7 with the calculator your going to use all the way through, so thinking about it, wearing a feminist MN hat, too old for pink.

Wearing my mummy not wanting my children to grow up hat DD2's pink calculator is just a bit of fun.

It is very pink and that's no bad thing as she is very good at losing gadgets.

SoonToBeSix Fri 18-Oct-13 15:47:38

OP maybe you could spend your time pondering things that actually matter. Some people actually like the colour pink. I assume the calculators are not labelled "for females only" ?

kim147 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:52:08

Nothing wrong with a pink calculator. Or a blue one. Or a red one. green one, purple one, yellow one.

Except those other colours don't seem to exist nowadays. But pink and blue do.

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 15:53:12

Also there is a practical reason why girls would want the soppiest pinkest calculator, ruler, protractor and why my DDs like flowery paperchase pens, it stops the boys asking to borrow them.

I'm sure it's another sweeping stereotype, but many of the boys are totally hopeless at bring the right equipment to lessons.

This hasn't changed in 30 years, I still have rulers with my name etched deep with a compass because a certain boy 'borrowed' everything.

SinisterSal Fri 18-Oct-13 15:58:22

That's us told.

Thanks SoonToBeSix.

Or maybe you should read the thread before commenting, you'll see why people believe that it does matter.

TheDoctrineOfSpike Fri 18-Oct-13 16:00:32

<orders pink mass spectrometer and sparkly purple microscope>

FairPhyllis Fri 18-Oct-13 16:11:17

Funnily enough Soon I do think that as part of a wider picture it does matter, which is why I started a thread which you obviously haven't read.

If you don't think it matters that women are recognised as fully human and aren't boxed into a fairly narrow set of prescribed life roles which they are sent social signals about from birth (including but not confined to the labelling of objects as 'acceptable for women' by pinkwashing them) - then why bother commenting?

Oh yes and I work in a science field which is why I give a shit.

<hmm, I can't find a pink field ultrasound or palatograph anywhere, and my field recorder is a boring grey, but perhaps I can vajazzle it just to remind myself I'm a woman? Cos I might forget otherwise>

BuffytheAppleBobber Fri 18-Oct-13 16:11:26

Brains, actual wiggly brains are pink!

<ponders implication of this flash of insight>

kim147 Fri 18-Oct-13 16:14:58

I'm surprised the science equipment manufacturers haven't cottoned onto this yet. Same stuff but in a whole range of colours to jazz up a laboratory.

Because white is so last year.

SoonToBeSix Fri 18-Oct-13 16:32:42

I have read the thread, and like I said if the calculators were pink and labelled for girls/ women only then yes I would agree that is an issue. But the manufactures are not making pink calculators for females, they are making pink calculators. If female consumers choose to buy them that is their personal choice as it would be if a male customer bought one.

SinisterSal Fri 18-Oct-13 16:39:23

That's disingenous SoonToBeSix, we all know what the colour codes mean. Since day one when the visitors bring a pink or blue balloon into the maternity ward.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Fri 18-Oct-13 16:58:56

Soon to be six, are you really completely unaware that pink for girls is a thing? And blue for boys? really?

Because it's not worth talking to someone who hasn't even got a basic knowledge fo the culture they are having an opinion on.

FairPhyllis Fri 18-Oct-13 17:10:56

Yes, to say that pink and blue aren't meant to mean anything in a context when they are the only non-grey colours on offer is thoroughly disingenuous. Even though the calculators do the same thing, it's still dividing the world into 'objects for men' and 'objects for women'.

Human brains are super super good at categorisation - it's a very powerful process that underpins all kinds of cognitive activity from language to abstract reasoning to social behaviour. It's just wrong to say that our perceptions of things aren't affected when objects are presented as belonging to a particular category, even if it's an artificial category distinction or one which we don't think should be important. And we all know, if we have normal perception, categorisation and social skills that our society has established the categories 'male' and 'female' and associates certain colours with them. You'd have to actually live under a rock to not know that.

Soon's post is like the Kinder Egg thing where they made pink eggs with dolls in and blue eggs with cars then, then threw up their hands saying 'Gosh no we absolutely don't promote our products as being for one sex or the other!' To suggest this is to vastly insult the categorisation skills of the average human brain.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 17:26:25

>Also there is a practical reason why girls would want the soppiest pinkest calculator, ruler, protractor and why my DDs like flowery paperchase pens, it stops the boys asking to borrow them.

I must admit to having bought myself turquoise gel pens to ensure there was at least one in my pot that DH wouldn't nick.

I think that approaches likethis are well-intentioned but completely missing the point - like that stupid 'its a girl thing' video. The 'girliest' of girls are perfectly happy looking through a kickass steel-grey telescope, thank you very much, and entranced by proper chemistry sets (neither 'foam monsters' nor soap) .

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