The Story of the Pink Coat
Every girl is given a pink coat a birth (boys get a blue one). It is a tightly woven garment made of meekness, passivity, self-self-abnegation and maternal instinct. The child grows up wearing this coat, which magically adjusts to fit her. If she wants to take if off, those around her advise against it: she could catch a cold and, in any case, she will be punished if she ignores their advance. She is also so pretty and feminine in her coat.
Some women become so used to the coat that [they] no longer know whether it’s the coat of their skin thats pink. And their skin and the coat in fact become one and the same thing. In the end, they believe they are meek by nature and are only fulfilled when those around them are happy. These feminine characteristics become their personality and not merely a social standard set for all women.
Women have to fight to make alterations to the pink coat. Those who try are judged severely (rejected by those around them, become lonely, etc.)
It is important to realize that society requires all women to wear pink coats. Women first learn what the coat is made of. Then they decide whether they will wear it all of the time, sometimes or not at all. But the important thing for them is to choose what they really want, not what society expects of them. They must feel free to keep the coat or throw it away. The purpose of feminist action is to enable women to become aware of their “pink coat” heritage.
This analysis was shared with me in one of my early women’s class. I unfortunately do not have the source. If you know who the author is, please let me know so I can give credit.