Debate Magazine

Tickled Pink

Posted on the 29 January 2012 by Starofdavida
Tickled PinkI love the color pink. I alwayshave loved pink, and don’t anticipate that I’ll ever stop loving pink. As amatter of fact, I’m wearing pink as I write this. It’s just a bright, happycolor. My favorite color is purple (as you can probably infer based on the blogcolor scheme), but pink is certainly a very close second. My friends have always thought it was a little weird that I'm so into pink, since I just don't seem the type, but I really love the color. So sue me.
I volunteer at the children’sservice at my synagogue on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Every week, the kidswalk around with kid-sized Torahs, some of which are stuffed toys. There’s onlyone pink one. I feel like I should mention that this pink Torah is about twice my age, very faded, a little corroded looking, and has been sewed more times than I can remember to keep the stuffing from falling out. The other stuffed Torahs (that only come in red, yellow, blue, and purple) were bought in the past few years, so they all look new and are in pretty good condition. Despite the clear quality disparity, all hell breaks loose every Shabbat when thelittle girls come running to grab the pink Torah before anyone else can catch up.And yes, innumerable tears have been shed and many fights have ensued over thisissue.
The obsession over the pink Torahhas been going on for a while now, and it’s really been bothering me. I knowit’s not the girls’ fault that they love pink, since they’re being flooded bypink pink pink on a daily basis by the media. Like, a while ago, I was at afriend’s house, and we were watching the Disney movie Princess ProtectionProgram with her youngest sister. As I stated previously, I love pink, but the movie’s insistence thatprincesses have to have lots and lots of pink things was getting me nauseated.I know that my own love of pink is because society has conditioned me, apossessor of ovaries, to like the color. It’s nobody’s fault but the media, andsociety for allowing it.
Is it really a big deal, though?If girls love pink, does it matter so much? I think it does, not so muchbecause of the specifics of the matter, but because of the concept. When onegender is conditioned to prefer one thing to another, it becomes the propertyof that gender, not to be enjoyed by the other. Pink is liked by girls, whichmakes it girly; if it’s girly, boys who like it are considered effeminate. Boyslike cars, so that’s really boyish; if it’s boyish, girls who like it aretomboys. It separates the genders, making a dichotomy between the two.
(And I’d like to point out that girlydoesn’t have any real male equivalent. I used boyish in the aboveparagraph for lack of a better word, but it doesn’t have the rightconnotation.)
When the girls at my synagoguefight over the pink Torah, they create their own little world, excluding theboys. If a boy naturally likes pink, it’s too bad for them - it’s girly.
One Shabbat quite a while ago,a boy actually asked for the pink Torah. It had already been snapped up by oneof the girls, but it really made me happy that society and his parents hadn’tyet conditioned him not to like pink. While he hasn’t asked for the pink Torah again,I hope he still wants it.

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