A pink mixer is just a pink mixer
Good morning, America! What are we offended by today?
I’ll just go ahead and tell you: pink kitchen appliances.
You read that correctly.
Appliance brand KitchenAid is under fire over an advertisement on its website featuring pink products designed to raise awareness of breast cancer. According to the brand’s website, pink appliances are part of KitchenAid’s “Cook for the Cure” initiative, which raises funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation.
The ad has since been removed from the website, but internet-surfing social justice warriors say it included the words “KitchenAid For Women.”
America was not OK with this.
Apparently selling pink appliances suggests the antiquated idea that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. It implies that pink is a feminine color, and that only women like pink. Moreover, men cannot or should not participate in household chores or what are considered traditionally “girly” endeavors.
All that from a stand mixer. Would this be a bad time to reference the stereotype that women read too far into things?
I am all for equality. I believe men and women have the same inalienable rights.
I also want to point out that KitchenAid sells stand mixers in every color.
Nevertheless, I will stop just short of saying we have taken this sort of thing too far. I think it’s great when parents encourage their children to explore and play with all kinds of toys, not just “boy toys” or “girl toys.” I love visiting classrooms where boys are excited about culinary arts or girls are studying engineering.
Oversimplified gender assignments are old news. But for the love of homemade baked goods, can we leave politics out of our stand mixers? That is one of few cupcaked-laced safe zones we have left.
“KitchenAid For Women” isn’t a sexist social statement. The color pink has been used for decades to bring awareness to breast cancer prevention and treatment, just like yellow is a traditional symbol of support for the armed forces and black is a sign of mourning. Pink has become widely known for its association with breast cancer — which affects both men and women — just as red, white and blue are recognized for their association with our nation.
It seems sensible enough that pink products are sold to raise money for this particular cause. Sure, the statement “for women” may have been a bit short-sighted. Breast cancer affects men, too. However, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, less than one percent of all cases develop in men, meaning that as far as gender association is concerned, breast cancer is statistically most likely to affect women. It is not a stretch to say that proceeds from the sale are a charitable effort “for women.”
I shouldn’t have to explain those points, though. No one should have to justify the color of their kitchen appliances.
If anything, the advertising department at KitchenAid should have been more astute. This isn’t the first time the internet has taken a good thing and turned it into a social feud.
Yes, it’s time we shatter gender stereotypes and move forward. But maybe the first step is accepting that some people might like a pink stand mixer. As long as it makes good cookies, it’s fine by me.
Julianne Cahill is the education and religion editor for The Sentinel. She can be reached at