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Ladies' Hammer

Ladies' Hammer
Ladies' Hammer
gift of Pete Marshall, June 2010

Reverse side of hammer

Rosie the Riveter called…she wants her arm back!

This is supposed to be a ladies’ hammer.  Certainly, judging by its heft, it probably could drive small nails.  But do women really need a hammer that’s different from what a man needs?  I have a regular hammer made by Stanley, because, let’s face it, you don’t see Home Depot selling “ladies’ nails,” do you?  You don’t look at a piece of wood, and think, “This is a piece of ladies’ wood.  I’d better go get my ladies’ hammer!”

So, why, you might ask, would anyone make a hammer specifically for ladies, especially one as bizarre as this?  In the mid-twentieth century, the main strategy for reaching out to women customers was to take a man’s product and shrink it, then offer it in “feminine” colors such as pink.  This became known as “shrink it and pink it” in marketing parlance.  Although serious marketing research eventually showed this to be an oversimplification, examples of marketing to women in this manner persist to this day.

This ladies’ hammer appears to be made of molded metal that has been painted to look like a woman’s arm.  The heart with an arrow through it tattoo is a special touch.  Veins bulging from the muscular form give the impression of strength.  The black patch on the fist is the actual peen of this hammer.   However, from an ergonomic point of view, it’s not that useful if you have a lot of nails to drive in…unless, I suppose, they are ladies’ nails.

Copyright © 2000-2010, Julie Mangin. All Rights Reserved. April 2, 2016