Monday, March 11, 2013

Lady Business

A few year ago, there was this great skit on SNL called, Lady Business. The bit, written by Tina Fey and staring the best female cast members of that year (actually, of any year) - Kristen Wiig, Amy Pohler, Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch- was a spoof of this Brook Shields vehicle that NBC was pushing heavily in their schedule. The Shields' show claimed to be a sexy, yet celebratory, insider look at women in the business world but was such a ludicrous, one dimensional view of women everywhere that it tanked after only a few episodes. That left it ripe for the picking and the SNL ladies nailed calling it by writing a skit that called it out in a way that only great comedians can do: by reducing it to a line that you can kick like a dead horse. Awesome.

Of course, ever after every time there was some weirdness that pertained to women, whether positive or negative, I chalked it up to "lady business". My daughter has a disagreement with a friend at school: Lady Business! The old man at Sobey's pats me on the derriere? Lady Business! A friend is sick and tired of doing laundry and shoots it all on the front lawn for her family to do for themselves? Lady Business! 

If you want to see Lady Business at its finest, however, you need to haul your ass over to the comments section of Amazon where a little product called,The Bic Pen for Her, is getting a heavy dose of action Lady Business-style. Have you heard about this product? The re-boot of the Bic Pen only this time, made entirely for Ladies? If it weren't real, it would make me cry. Instead, the snarkiest members of the internet have seized upon it as an opportunity to let the corporate world know how stupid and reductive the've been by bombarding it with sarcastic reviews from women and men alike. The aim, of course, is to undermine what some have called a sexist marketing endeavour and the comments on the most highly trafficked sites are genius. Comedy Gold of the Highest Order, seriously. Here are some examples:

        Finally! For years I've had to rely on pencils, or at worst, a twig and some drops of my feminine blood to write down recipes (the only thing a lady should be writing ever). I had despaired of ever being able to write down said recipes in a permanent matter, though my men-folk assured me that I "shouldn't worry yer pretty little head". But, AT LAST! Bic, the great liberator, has released a womanly pen that my gentle baby hands can use without fear of unlady-like calluses and bruises. Thank you, Bic!" - Breemeup

        "The normal black pen casings are just so hard on the eyes. It was like a breath of fresh air to see lady colored pens. For once, I don't have to grip a giant, man-sized pen just to sign receipts at Saks. And the ink just hits the paper so smoothly, not at all like the rough, gritty man ink in Bic's normal pens. My only complaint is that they are a bit finicky. When I was copying down recipes from my neighbour, it worked just fine, but as soon as I sat down with the bills, nothing. It wouldn't work! But that's okay, my woman brain gets all muddled trying to figure out finances anyway." - Virginia

Rather than piling on either five-star or one-star reviews, the BIC for Her also attracted dire warnings for anyone too manly to hold the pens deemed "essentially for women."

        "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."

Oh, Bic! You've just run into some Lady Business!