Reasoning behind hunter pink defective, dated, derogatory

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls, right?

We thought this kind of thinking went out decades ago, but apparently that’s not the case.

A memo recently submitted to the Michigan House Natural Resources Committee in support of pink hunting attire seems to suggest pink still is the feminine choice of color.

The reasons stated in the memo behind the “blaze pink” affirmation is nothing less than jaw-dropping.

Here are a few:

“Using pink makes women feel more welcome and included in a sport that’s always been male-dominated.”

“Women prefer to always look and feel attractive (even while hunting), having pink as an option can help with any insecurities over what they are wearing.”

“When a woman walks into a hunting apparel retailer and can see a section of pink, she can immediately identify that that section of the store is specifically for her.”

“Pink is a color that can immediately identify a female, women don’t want to be mistaken for a man, even from a distance in the woods.”

The memo was written by Drew Born, who runs the Outdoors website Born Outdoors.

The Michigan Legislature in 2016 passed a bill allowing hunter pink apparel if a Natural Resources Commission study determined it would be easily seen. The NRC ruled in September that at least half of a hunter’s attire must be blaze orange.

Hunter pink, however, still has life. Republican Rep. Steven Johnson of Wayland Township recently reintroduced the hunter pink bill, the purpose of which is mainly safety, said state Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch, who was quoted in an Associated Press story.

Howell, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, pointed out many red, orange and yellow leaves could blend into orange, noting in the AP article that he “could care less” about who looks attractive in whatever color they’re wearing.

We understand that point. When a woman goes deer hunting, what is her main concern? Is it harvesting an animal, or looking “pretty in pink” while she hunts? For that matter, do men worry about being on the cover of GQ while they look for a buck?

We suspect women are more concerned about getting a deer. Besides, there probably aren’t too many pageant judges lurking in the woods dissecting her appearance.

Although certainly there were no apparent ill intentions, the memo is very derogatory toward women in several ways, not the least of which is saying women could find their proper hunting apparel in a retailer more easily were pink the dominant color.

We don’t recall helpless women everywhere having too much of a problem finding traditional hunting attire.

The current blaze orange law seems just fine to us, and even if it weren’t, making presumptions about women’s so-called preference for the color pink and their obsession with feeling attractive is offensive.

— The Mining Journal (Marquette)