The South African arm of biro pen specialists Bic has tried for a second time to apologise for an offensive Women’s Day post, which told its female followers to ‘act like a lady' and 'think like a man’.
The 'inspirational' post was published on the company’s Facebook page on Sunday, with the intention of celebrating National Women’s Day in South Africa.
Within minutes however, the meme, which included a quote company reps now say was taken from a Women in Business blog, had gathered a barrage of complaints.
Reading, ‘Look like a girl, Act like a lady, Think like a man, Work like a boss!’ the post, which has since been deleted, saw Facebook fans hitting back at the sexist message with one word responses such as 'offensive', 'disgusting' and 'sexist', plus longer passages of criticism.
One woman summed up her feelings with; “If it’s quite alright with you, Bic, I’ll look like a woman, act like a woman, think like a woman, and work like a woman. And you can f*ck right off like an idiot.”
Two days later the company, which still sells the ‘pens for her’ in South Africa that caused uproar in the UK and US back in 2012, issued its first apology addressed to “all our fans who took offence to our recent Women’s Day post”. It read:
“We can assure you that we meant it in the most empowering way possible and in no way derogatory towards women. We took the quote from a ‘Women in Business’ blog site. The blog site explains the quote and what its intentions were when it was written. Bic believe in celebrating women and the powerful contribution women make to our society.”
Unconvinced? So were Bic’s Facebook fans. Which led the company to delete that message too, replacing it today with the below.
Followers are clearly still feeling angry however, with many highlighting the fact that Bic still tries to separate male and female pens with colours like pink or lilac for the latter.
The infamous Miss Bic range even made it onto the Ellen Show back in 2012, where it was, of course, discussed from a feminist perspective.