Just recently, Erin Chack from Buzzfeed ran an interesting article that told the story of 21 everyday products that are entirely designed and sold on gender differences premises. From ear plugs to tea and tissues, we are invited to take a visual trip that pretty much consists of a pink panorama for women and a deep blue landscape for men.
As much as I support the idea of men and women wearing different clothes and preserving their biological heritage, I wonder why women are still regarded as pink fluffy products maniacs that need special deodorants, razors or beers? I for one have used my boyfriend’s deodorant without setting my armpits on fire and I just as well used a unisex razor without getting an allergy. Do we actually need all these contrasting products or are they on the market just to remind us how different society really tries to makes us look?
Even if I could get my mind wrapped around the idea that we are likely to prefer glossy, cotton-candy like products what is really infuriating is that some of these products are addressed to children. Sexist Kinder eggs and M&M’s are now available as an educational tool that can be used to teach the future generation of our apparently unlike eating preferences.
Non-state actors, especially big companies whose products target both men and women should get more involved in mending the gender gap and should not create revenue at the expense of differential manufactured goods. I think parents, men and women alike should be more vocal about the need to desegregate toys, accessories, clothes and any other product that can collaterally affect the way young children label each other.
A group of exceptionally concerned parents from the UK started the initiative Let toys be toys, advocating against gender based marketing and its influence on children. They managed to persuade a few retailers into removing the gender labels on the packaging. If you support their project, sign the petition or donate here.
Another example of thinking outside the box is Goldie Bloxs, who’s CEO Debbie Sterling envisioned a world where young girls are encouraged to pursue science and engineering. By designing and upholding non-stereotypical toys, the company is trying to alter the sociological discourse dominated by the idea that science is a man’s world.
If you also disagree with gender advertising maneuvers and consider that men and women can and should use the same type of frying pans, socks or pens spread the word around the world!