Category Archives: FluffAndInclusionPolice

Life, indeed, doesn’t come with trigger warnings, but…

[cn/tw: discussion of trigger warnings; mention of issues which may warrant trigger warnings, such as sexual violence; descriptions of being triggered]

Someone who is, loosely speaking, a colleague (an academic in the humanities) wrote yesterday in the Guardian that¬†life doesn’t come with trigger warnings, and therefore books shouldn’t either.

I see this debate rehashed in various contexts (fandom, academia, school teaching) roughly once a week. We can’t coddle students; this element of the work I’m teaching has to be a surprise to the audience or it won’t work; go to therapy instead of class if you’re so upset; I can’t possibly warn for everything that might upset someone. Aside from the fact that therapy isn’t available to the vast majority of trauma survivors (and particularly to women who’ve experienced sexual violence), let me tell you why, if you’re so reluctant to use trigger warnings in an educational context, you’re a poor educator.

As an educator, your primary goal should be to facilitate students’ learning. Now here’s what happens every time one of your students encounters triggering content unprepared in one of your classes or assigned readings. I’m basing this on my own experiences which, frankly, are fairly mild. The first thing I experience are intrusive thoughts: memories of my abuse experience, not so bad that I can’t tell where I am or think that it’s happening to me again, but bad enough that I need to pay attention to those thoughts, and relive part of the experience. I then tend to try to redirect and refocus these thoughts: often to regret, sometimes to anger, as much as possible to some kind of rationalisation – either of why this happened to me or why I’m being triggered at this moment. If I’m lucky, that’s about it, I can then move on and away from these thoughts. In the occasional instances where I’m not so lucky, I experience physical reactions: feeling cold, shaking, unable to warm up for hours; involuntary sounds; on a couple of occasions curling up in a ball, sobbing, crying, heart racing, struggling to breathe.

Guess what I’m not doing while all of this is going on. I am not paying attention to anything you might be saying in class, or any ongoing discussion, or anything that’s happening in the film you’re showing. I’m not engaging with the work or with you or with any content. This might be for 30 seconds, or five minutes, but in a few extreme cases it may take me the rest of the day to process these feelings and recover. This does not facilitate my learning.

If, on the other hand, I am prepared for potentially triggering content, I am much better at putting myself in a frame of mind that allows me to engage with said content in the ways you want me to: rationally, critically, and even emotionally. I can pay attention, I can learn the things you’re trying to teach me, I can think about it and reach my own conclusions. If your top priority as an educator is to facilitate students’ learning, then using trigger warnings allows you to do exactly that.

Now, you may argue that it’s only a tiny minority of students that are affected in this way. The stats say otherwise. Nearly one in two women in the UK has experienced sexual assault, domestic abuse, or stalking. That’s not even counting the people who may be affected by other kinds of trauma: eating disorders, drug use, depression, suicidal thoughts, self harm, racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia. As a working estimate, you may be letting down somewhere between a quarter and a third of your class by not providing trigger warnings.

And yes, of course it’s difficult to predict what people will be triggered by. My own triggers are often subtle and not obvious: a particular quality of lighting, certain turns of phrase, as much as outright depictions of sexual violence or abuse. But eliminating the obvious ones (there are plenty of lists on the internet if you’re struggling for ideas) would go a long way towards creating safer spaces for learning – which is what you as an educator should be aiming at.

I research sexual consent, so every time I talk about my research, at conferences and in lectures, I give trigger warnings. I’ve had a couple of people walk out when the warning was given. I’d much rather they did that and ensured they were safe, than them ending up triggered and having this affect the rest of their day or week. In that state of mind they’re highly unlikely to engage with what I have to say anyway, and for good reason. But apart from those couple of cases, the vast majority of people stay, and engage, and I would hope that they’re able to learn something. Which is ultimately what I, as an educator, want.

Je ne suis pas Charlie

[Content note: white, Christian-heritage person discussing racism and Islamophobia. It’s not the job of Muslims or people of colour to educate me, but if you do want to call me out on something I’ve got wrong, I would welcome that.]

I’ve lost respect for a lot of people and organisations over the last week. Apparently we are all now Charlie, and also incapable of recognising irony or nuance, or understanding power.
Because this apparently needs saying, let me start with it: I support everyone’s right to free speech. This includes racist speech, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic speech, anti-immigrant speech, misogynistic speech. I believe you should have the right to say those things and to not be persecuted for them by the state. Frankly, I believe this largely for selfish reasons: because it is way too easy to ban radical left speech under the guise of banning radical right speech, and I find it easier to deal with individuals’ free speech than with a state apparatus aimed at silencing. I also believe in people’s right to life, and by extension that no one deserves to die as a consequence of their free speech.

Now, having stated the obvious, let’s move on to irony, and nuance, and power which have so eluded us over the last week. I’ll start with the irony, because that’s the easy one. “Let’s fight for free speech with more surveillance!” said the leaders of nations which routinely jail or assault journalists, send their secret services to destroy hard drives, or have blasphemy laws on the books. If you don’t see the irony in that, I’m not sure I can help you. But I promised nuance too, so let me ask you this: when the security services use Charlie Hebdo as a pretext to get their current wishlist of additional surveillance powers, whose free speech do you think will suffer most from that? Is it the Johns and Pauls and Marys of this world that they will go after, or the Ahmeds and Mohammeds and A’ishahs?

Heck, even if we somehow manage to stop new surveillance powers, the free speech impact on Muslims is already there: because every time a Muslim wants to raise issues of racism and Islamophobia, they have to go through a three-paragraph spiel about how Islam is the religion of peace and how they condemn any violence committed by any Muslim ever.
Dear fellow white people of Christian heritage: try that for a day. Try having to start every conversation with “I apologise for and condemn the crusades, and colonialism, and the homophobia and transphobia we exported to the rest of the world, and the fact that my religious heritage regards women as second-class citizens incapable making decisions about basic health care, and slavery, and genocide, and every war we’ve started in the last 300 years, and the fact that we continue to do these things today, with impunity.” Try that, and see how far you get with your free speech.

Here’s a bit more nuance for you: I can support your right to free speech, however obnoxious it is, but that doesn’t mean I have to give it a platform. Regardless of whether you buy into the terrorism story or are at least aware that, had these two young men been white, we would be talking of “confused and troubled individuals”, republishing the cartoons, marching on the streets and using #JeSuisCharlie all create a discourse that normalises the terrorism narrative as well as offending a lot of people and making them feel unsafe. Free speech has consequences, and when it is exercised by the powerful against the powerless, in the vast majority of cases it is not the speakers who suffer. With every republished Islamophobic cartoon you are causing pain. With every #JeSuisCharlie you are sending out a signal to Muslim people that they are not safe around you. And every individual joining a march is making someone wonder whether it’ll be their mosque shot up next. Exercising your free speech in a way that has these consequences, frankly, makes you a dick.

All of which rather neatly brings us to power. Charlie Hebdo is not racist or Islamophobic, we are told – those few of us who dare question it. You just don’t understand the French context. It is written for a French audience, we are told, where this kind of thing is not racist. Analysis about as incisive as “Actually, it’s about ethics in games journalism.”
Everyone – including Charlie Hebdo – operates in an existing context of power relations. Sometimes this context is so naturalised and normalised that we are not aware of it, no matter how good our intentions. If you’re telling me that a publication which routinely and deliberately publishes cartoons intended to mock Islam and offend Muslims is not racist or Islamophobic to a French audience, you are restating and reproducing those power relations. You are using your authority and power to define what a French audience looks like; and the French audience you’re describing – regardless of the number of caveats you include – is white and non-Muslim. If Charlie Hebdo is the best the radical left in France has to offer to Muslims and people of colour, and if the rest of white, Christian-heritage Europe gets behind that, our problems are a lot bigger than we thought.

By all means, defend free speech. Defend it from the state, and from private corporations, and from confused and misguided angry young men with guns. But defend it in a way that challenges and overthrows existing power structures, that makes people feel valued and safe, that reaches out rather than pushing away.

[Guest post] How we tried to prevent incidents at a hacker camp, why we expected not to succeed, and how we failed.

Creating safe and inclusive spaces within geek and hacker culture is something I struggle with fairly frequently. See, for instance, this from last June. I believe those of us involved in similar endeavours need to talk about it openly and frequently: to each other to share best practice, to event organisers to ask them for support, and to our geek and hacker communities in general to achieve a cultural shift. The !!Con team reflected powerfully on their experiences and failings. Below is an equally powerful piece from my friend Drcable around similar themes. I would like to thank Drcable for sharing their thoughts and ask all of you to continue this conversation.

(Drcable is a cyborg who just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately, society sucks and is the most interesting problem to solve, so they ended up a designer and activist)

Over the last summer, I volunteered with the safer spaces team of a European hacker camp, trying to prevent and deal with any incidents that could arise from putting approximately 1000 mostly white, mostly men in a field.

We expected incidents. We tried to prevent them. Broadly, we were successful. There was one incident which I would class as preventable without the need for a massive cultural shift, and several other incidents which, while absolutely not acceptable, would have been unpreventable given current society, without significantly changing the nature of the event.

Most of my experiences of safer spaces work involve more radical, explicitly feminist events, at which the norms of behavior are significantly different to those of the broader patriarchal, racist, and generally oppressive, society. Hacker camps are not – for all their talk of “disruption” and “freedom” – like this. They are a place for white dudes to fly quadcopters and shout about text editors over 8-bit live coded music.

The camp had a safer spaces policy that is pretty typical for the tech world- cribbed off and credited to the geek feminism wiki, worded to not cause a fuss but still be useful. The camp did not have centrally organized areas, meetings, or workshops for oppressed groups. It did not have a policy of banning people from the camp who had caused disruption at other events.
Any place which does not explicitly filter for feminist engagement, or by experience of oppression, is going to reproduce patriarchal biases. Sometimes this filtering happens by self selection- advertise yourself as a feminist event, among a feminist social circle, and you’re going to get people engaged with feminism attending. Sometimes it is explicit: put up a “no cis people” sign, and you’re going to dramatically reduce, if not remove, the number of transphobic incidents.

Of course, filtering, of either type, is never enough. “Engaged with feminism” can easily fill your event with racists, homophobes and transphobes. “No cis people” is well documented to produce racist and indeed transmisogynist spaces.

Filtering will produce awareness of certain biases among your attendees. However, it is impossible to produce awareness and full understanding of all biases, because it is impossible to experience every form of oppression. People have unique experiences and can be blinkered to others’ experience of the same oppression.

Hacker camps do not filter, because unless you want there to be twenty people rather than a thousand camped in your field, then there’s little point. Hacker camps, when they provide the slightest nod to people other than white men, use safer spaces policies.

Safer spaces policies are there not to prevent the reproduction of all patriarchal biases, but to prevent their manifestation in violence- verbal, mental or physical. They’re there to lower the cost of participation for people from oppressed groups from “I’m going to get slurs shouted at me all day” to “I’m going to feel slightly out of place”.

Of course, they also have a second purpose – they are a form of fliter, a message saying “we’re not actively violent towards oppressed groups and if you are then you’re not welcome”. How effective this is depends on how well the policy is publicised. If it’s on the front page, impossible to miss when you buy your ticket, then it’s a more effective filter.

Safer spaces policies are not going to be 100% effective at removing acts of violence. Because your selection of society inevitably reproduces some of society’s oppressive biases, given enough opportunities for an incident, there is going to be one.

That is my take on most of the incidents that were reported to us, post event[1] . These incidents where casual misogyny of the kind that is usual under patriarchal societies. They would have been impossible to predict, and without significantly more filtering, were likely to happen. This does not mean that they should have happened, or that we should not learn from them or use them to educate people about what can happen in future. These were not “minor” issues. They are not an acceptable cost of doing business, but they are an expected one.
There was one incident that was preventable. Vinay Gupta had proposed a talk, and it was accepted, and made it past light vetting by the organizers.

Vinay is known, at least among women and other oppressed groups in technology and political circles for his misogyny, transphobia and racism. However he had never, to the organizers’ knowledge, done this from the stage. So obviously it was a great idea to give him this opportunity.

The safer spaces team was convened very close to the event (approximately one month prior) and had not been involved in talk selection.

We discovered he had been involved because I was going through the program, and noticed his name. It was a 100% fluke, outside any protocol. After much debate, we decided that there was less chance of an incident occurring if we chose to let his talk continue, though we were clear that he should not have been invited in the first place. While this decision may seem counter-intuitive, and with hindsight was incorrect, the main factor influencing this was the fact that he is known for taking call outs badly and loudly, often responding with slurs and (verbal and/or mental) violence.

This decision, along with the recommendation that someone from the safer spaces team attend the talk and be ready to deal with any incident, was passed on to the organizing team and they accepted it, and the criticism that he should not have been invited.

Before the talk, I identified myself to the stage crew, warned them that he had a reputation, and said that we might need to deal with an incident from stage. The stage crew were aware of parts of his reputation, but had not been briefed by the organizing team[2] . We agreed to be ready to cut his mic if things went bad.

[cn next paragraph: descriptions of rape apologism and anti-semitism/nazi and fascist references]

During the talk, he made references to a “nerd reich” or “nuclear powered american reich”, along with describing being charged a lot of money by your plumber as “being raped by your plumber”.

The decision was made by me (as a member of the safer spaces team) not to ask for his mic to be cut – a disturbance on this scale would have done more damage than good. My call, if you were there then feel free to disagree with it, and discuss it with me if you really want to.
I requested, coming up on the end of his talk, that an apology be made from the stage team. This was instantly accepted by the team and the moment he left the stage, someone went up and issued an apology for “inappropriate language”.

Were I giving the apology, it would specifically have called out his rape apologism and anti-semitism. Later on, at a meeting with the organising team, it was made clear that he will not speak at the same event again. Overall, the response to the incident was satisfactory.
It is however clear to me that we should not have allowed him on stage. He had a history and we made a bad call, partially in the hope that it would all go away. We should have dealt with it before he had the chance to do damage.

However, the reaction of the camp to not allowing a well known speaker and activist on stage would not have been pretty. The camp was not a feminist event, and decisions like that would have triggered days of mailing list outrage, twitter rants, and on-site tension.

The culture of the camp was not in a place where such a decision would have been considered normal, and we allowed that culture to affect the process. The system we’re operating within will always affect our decisions, however we didn’t make sure that there was a sufficient separation between the culture of the camp and the conduct of the organizers. This did damage to vulnerable attendees.

This separation is precisely the reason we have formal policies and separate teams. There are complex reasons why this separation fails, from lack of support from the organising team to activists not having the energy or mental health to deal with the demands (self care and the pressures of safer spaces are another post, and a long one).

At the end of the day, we must always consider our vulnerable attendees first and any other concerns, those of the team and of optics, for example, must be held back for a later date.

I must end this section with a warning: Vinay Gupta is not a person who can be trusted to speak at your event. He is a well known misogynist, anti-semite, transphobe and rape apologist. By giving him a platform you are exposing vulnerable members of your audience to possible violence and sending a message that you do not care about us. You cannot do this and claim to be a safe space.

There were other failures in the safer spaces team. We were all white(passing). Our disabilities were few, and mild (we were also tasked with dealing with access). We were small, and did not have resources to dedicate to education of the attendees, which may have prevented some of the other incidents. These are, to my mind, problems of hacker culture. A safer spaces team is never going to be as well resourced as it will at a comparable feminist event, and even feminist events muck up, as wiscon showed us.

A safer spaces team will never succeed 100%. There will always be failures as long as the current societal norms are oppressive. Whether it’s the white guy with dreads who you just can’t get the org team to kick out, or the transphobe who shoots a nasty look at your friend, you’re never going to eradicate oppression in a weekend within one person, let alone a thousand.

Broadly, I think that the team did a good job. We can learn from our mistakes and you can learn from them.

[1] We had no reported incidents during the event, several were reported later, and dealt with.
[2] We had not requested this, through the organizing team had flagged him as a possible incident on their own during vetting.

Some free advice on workplace harassment

It won’t have escaped people’s attention that I am a queer, foreign woman. It sort of goes with the territory that occasionally, I will be exposed to microaggressions, or outright instances of harassment – on the street, in media, from friends and acquaintances, and sometimes in the workplace. Frankly, I am mouthy enough that most people who know me know to behave around me and when they slip up it’s genuinely that – an honest mistake – and not intentional harassment. But over the years, with various employers, I have accumulated my fair share of “colourful workplace experiences” – from my boss making blow job jokes, to strategy deployment videos containing jokes about violence against women, to people casually informing me that something is “so gay” (and no, the fact that they rephrased it to “camp” and then “awful” did not help their case).
I want to give you an insight into what goes on in my head when I’m cheerfully going about my business and I’m suddenly blindsided by one of these things. Perhaps because in most workplaces I’ve worked at these instances have been mercifully few and far between, my first reaction is always one of disbelief and surprise. The workplace culture is such that it is clear these things are unacceptable, and so when someone does slip up, I tend to do a double-take and think, “Did they really just say that?” At which point my brain enters “fight or flight” mode.
That may sound slightly dramatic, but I literally have two choices here. I can say nothing and live with the knowledge that I to an extent sanctioned and enabled the behaviour in question. More likely than not, the person doesn’t even realise what they said or did and that it was wrong; or if they do, they think they got away with it. Either way, they are likely to do it again – to me or to other people. Again, I am mouthy, I’ve been in workplaces for 15 years, I have some experience with these things and broadly speaking can look after myself. But there are people around me who either witnessed the incident or who may be exposed to similar future incidents who aren’t as mouthy, haven’t been around as long, or who for other reasons are more vulnerable than me. In many cases, I simply cannot let it go because I have an obligation to other people. By not challenging the bahaviour I am setting a tone where it becomes acceptable, and that’s not a culture I want others to work in. Over the years, I have let a few things go – and I still remember, and regret, every single one of them.
My second choice therefore is to call out the behaviour. There are different ways to do this, and depending on the situation one may be more appropriate than another. Over the years, I have done everything from casually asking people to rephrase their comment to taking formal complaints to HR, and all of these have generally yielded good results for their respective situations. I have got company policies and promotional materials changed, I’ve got people to change their language and understand why something they said was inappropriate. Whatever I do though, chances are it will leave me a bit shaken (and often physically shaking), emotionally drained, and unable to focus on my work for at least a couple of hours as my brain processes the conflict.
I want to make it clear that this is what goes on in my head. But one thing I can guarantee you: that fight or flight choice is something everyone who experiences or witnesses workplace microaggressions or harassment is faced with. And there isn’t a right or wrong choice here. All sorts of factors play a role in whether we choose to challenge the behaviour or not: concerns for our safety, how much the issue in question affects us personally, whether we feel the structures around us are such that our action would lead to genuine change. Neither choice is wrong. You are not wrong for “making a fuss”, and neither are you wrong for “standing by”. What is wrong is that we are having to make the choice in the first place – that we’ve been put in a situation by someone else where we are forced to pick the lesser evil out of two pretty horrible options.
Here are a few things that employers can learn from this. Firstly, if your workplace is an environment where microaggressions and harassment – on whatever grounds – thrive, your company is losing out because a significant proportion of your employees is spending time and energy either being upset by the harassment and trying to dodge it, or trying to call it our and change things. All the time and energy spent on dealing with harassment is time and energy not spent being productive. This is a lose-lose scenario – don’t let it happen.
The way not to let this happen is to create a workplace culture in which harassment and microaggressions are clearly unacceptable. It’s not enough to just have an HR policy gathering dust in a filing cabinet that says “Don’t harass people.” Start with the identity of your organisation – think about what it is that you want to stand for, and how that relates to the experiences of your employees, customers and other stakeholders. Make sure everyone knows this. Then move on to policy. Make it clear in your policies what harassment looks like – be specific, give as many different examples as you can think of, but also keep it open so people can relate their own lived experience to your policy. A clear statement in a policy that the situation I am experiencing definitely counts as harassment will give me confidence to report it. A clear statement that this is not an exhaustive list will also give me confidence to report things that fall outside it. Use your people: make sure that senior leaders are role models and set the right tone; enable people managers to set that tone in their own teams and to challenge inappropriate behaviour when they see it; train everyone on diversity and inclusion – and not just on the “legal” bits but also on the awesome bits, on why having a diverse organisation is valuable and exciting. Ensure that your values and your policies permeate every level of the organisation.
Finally, recognise that people will occasionally get things wrong – and have strong processes in place for dealing with it. The one thing that has consistently enabled me to call out inappropriate behaviour has been the certainty that it will be addressed appropriately by management and HR. The first time, that confidence comes from the company values, and policies, and training – and that’s great. However if someone is encouraged by all of these to make a report, and it gets mishandled, all that credibility and confidence you’d built up vanishes in an instant. So make sure that managers and HR know how to handle issues, that they do so quickly, effectively and sensitively, and that feedback about the outcome is always given to the individual. This way, you enable everyone in your organisation to create a harassment-free workplace, and you end up with people who are motivated and focused on their work rather than on distractions.

When is it appropriate to gender things?

Our society genders things. It starts with pink hats and blue hats when we’re babies, continues with LEGO and LEGO Friends when we’re kids and culminates in power tools and handbags when we’re adults. It doesn’t matter how feminist we are, how aware of popular culture and its more problematic elements, it is sometimes difficult to escape internalising some of this social gendering of random objects and concepts. I rarely do a double-take when products I have no interest in (e.g. beer) are marketed in a way specifically aimed at men. I do grumble when items I am interested in are marketed this way, or when, in order to target women, manufacturers think they should make their products pink.
Occasionally, however, someone decides to gender something I never even thought of as gendered in any way before and that serves as a nice reminder of quite how ridiculous the whole concept is. Until last week the Firebox catalog landed on my desk, for instance, I had no idea that I was no longer allowed coffee and related items (filed under “Mens Gifts” – sic) due to my gender identity; also magical fixing putty Sugru; and RFID wallets, possibly because Firebox haven’t worked out that they also come in pink.
20131202_142902p
I asked whoever was on Twitter some time after midnight last Tuesday if they could think of examples of things that genuinely should be gendered. Here are some of the responses I got: French grammar, sex toys, babies’ nappies, “feminine hygiene products”, “female hormonal contraception”, safe spaces of some kinds. Let’s group these into a few categories and look at them in more detail.
French grammar: languages
Tom Scott has dealt with this beautifully. Enough said.

Sex toys, nappies, tampons, hormonal contraception: objects
More specifically, these are objects designed for specific parts of anatomy: primary and secondary sexual characteristics, body chemistry and organs associated with sex. Let’s at this point remind ourselves of some basic definitions. I’ll go with a slightly modified version of the World Health Organisation definition:

“Sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics (…) “Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for (different genders).

The important bit here is that sex and gender are not the same, and that when we say certain objects are only for men or only for women, we are making a statement about socially constructed roles, behaviours or activities, i.e. about gender, not biological sex. Your gender is not defined by your biological sex. If you’re lucky in our cisheteronormative society, your gender identity may match the set of physical characteristics you have, or the gender you were assigned at birth, but there are many people for whom that’s not the case, or whose physical characteristics don’t neatly fit into a binary model.
Looking therefore at things like tampons, sanitary towels and hormonal contraception, there are plenty of men out there who have use for these things. There are also agender or non-binary people who need these products. Likewise sex toys designed to stimulate a particular configuration of genitalia can still be used by people of any gender.
Therefore, stating that a product, even one specifically designed with a particular set of anatomical features in mind, is “for men” or “for women” is extremely problematic. A better approach would be to make direct reference to the anatomical features in question. Something might be for people who have a penis, or a uterus, or breasts. Let’s face it, getting less uptight about discussing bodies can only be a good thing, and shedding oppressive gender norms in the process is a nice bonus.
Safe spaces
Given the global epidemic of gender-based violence, it is understandable that many women in particular feel the need for some gender-segregated safe spaces. Refuges and meeting spaces are good examples here. Having said that, a binary approach to gender can create a whole new set of problems when it comes to safe spaces. Trans women, for instance, are often excluded from refuges or find that they have to meet certain criteria for their gender identity to be accepted. Similarly, agender and non-binary people can be excluded from some safe spaces, even if they are not the threat we need safety from or if they are also affected by the same threat. Queer people who experience domestic abuse can also find it difficult to access safe spaces because our model of domestic abuse is so gendered.
I do accept the need for some safe spaces, but I also believe we need a more nuanced approach to them. I don’t necessarily have a good solution here – and I don’t actually believe there is a one-size-fits-all solution – but here are some of the things I would consider. We need to understand what the threat model is that we are seeking safety from and define our safe spaces as much as possible based on that, rather than on proxies like sex. We particularly need to ensure that in seeking safety we are not policing others’ identities or worse, endangering others.
“But what about pink RFID wallets?” you ask.
Here’s the thing. Pink (okay, magenta) is an awesome colour. It’s bright. It’s cheerful. It goes fantastically well with purple; and black; and all sorts of other colours. If you want a pink RFID wallet, get one. But don’t do it because you’re a woman. And don’t not do it because you’re a man. If you happen to be a marketing exec stop gendering things that have no business being gendered. If your product is designed for particular anatomical features, say so, don’t use gender as a proxy. And if you’re trying to create a safe space, put some thought into it to ensure it is both safe and inclusive.
This post has been brought to you by the Fluff and Inclusion Police.