Dear Mr. Fishing Store Clerk,

I know you were just trying to be helpful. You saw me and my two X chromosomes walk into your shop on this beautiful day, you heard me say I was looking for a fishing rod and you dutifully ushered me to the new section in your 100-year-old family-run business where various models of pink fishing rods now live. I’m touched by your acknowledgment of my femininity and your concern that I might step out into the great outdoors without a sporting item that advertises and affirms my gender.

Here’s the thing, though: I am not interested in the pinkification of my sporting equipment. But thank you!

Oh, I see the perplexed look on your face. I did not realize this would be so confusing to you. Perhaps I should explain. Here are ten reasons why I do not plan to buy the product you suggested for me.

1. I have dignity.

2. I am secure in my gender identity and do not need it color-coded for me. (But other women can use whatever color rod they like!)

3. I do not appreciate being belittled. Show me where the serious gear is.

4. Fishing is a gender-neutral activity. Please do not throw me into the same pink pond that awaits me everywhere else.

5. The fish don’t care what color my rod is. Only the marketers do.

6. I would not use a pink tennis racket, a pink golf club or a pink basketball either, so I’ll take one of the primary-colored fishing rods, please.

7. Colors are for everyone. I did not see you direct any men to the Barbie poles. I also noticed you do not have a special section of baby-blue colored fishing rods just for the guys.

8. The flashing lights in the pink reel do not attract fish. They might or might not attract men, but that is not why I fish.

9. These rods are made by many companies and are sold purely for profit. They are not affiliated with Susan Komen, and that organization does not own the color pink.

10. No, I do not want the pink tackle box or the pink hip waders either, but they’re mighty cute.

So hopefully we understand each other now. Yes? Awesome!

Lori Day

About The Author

Lori Day is an educational psychologist, consultant and parenting coach with Lori Day Consulting in Newburyport, MA. She is the author of Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More, and speaks on the topic of raising confident girls in a disempowering marketing and media culture. You can connect with Lori on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.