Have you ever gone shopping and stumbled upon a product that was made *just for women!* or *for men* (in manly, bold fonts)? Have you ever wondered why a random body lotion was being marketed towards men when anyone can (and should) use body lotion? Have you ever glanced a pink pen made especially for women (because we all love pink!) and felt rage go through your body? Same. It’s no surprise that social gender roles, sexism, and stereotypes have combined to create one of the most annoying things about shopping: random products that are gendered for absolutely no reason. For as long as many of us can remember, marketers have used gender to sell their products in ways that are completely unnecessary and many times cost women more. #NotCool. Girls actually don’t always need to have the word “princess” before their product names or glitter on their pens or pink-colored bikes. And guys rarely have such fragile masculinity that everything they buy has to have “for men” plastered on the front. IT’S RIDICULOUS.
In the marketing world, gender is defined by what society deems “masculine” or “feminine.” In reality, gender is fluid. Almost all things can be enjoyed by both genders equally: a girl may want her armpits to smell like Old Spice and a guy could want a pink razor. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A PERSON’S SEX. In fact, it’s only in the last century that it was decided that pink would be for girls and blue would be for guys – in fact, it used to be the other way around! It just goes to show how arbitrary gender roles are. Hopefully in the future we’ll no longer have such a gendered culture.
As men and women become more and more aware of marketer’s gender practices, they are calling out the absurdity of it on social media. Here are 21 times products were gendered and left people scratching their heads as to WHY:
— Amy (@amygarymakeup) April 15, 2016
2. Butt Wipes
3. Bath Sponges
IDK… these sponges look suspiciously similar to the lady bath sponges. How can we be sure they're REALLY men's? pic.twitter.com/gdsLdMC9AQ
— Lisa (@notmuchelse) July 14, 2015
4. Ear Plugs
7. Laptops For Kids
Today on "Unnecessarily Gendered Products" pic.twitter.com/gREUuHfHFb
— Jessi Nowack (@Nowacking) July 19, 2014
— Raychle Bernoth (@Raychle1Bernoth) March 31, 2016
13. Coke Products
— Zoé S. (@ztsamudzi) April 2, 2015
17. Ice Cream
— Kirsty Nicol (@Kirsty_Nicol) October 7, 2015
18. Body Wash
— LetClothesBeClothes (@letclothesbe) October 27, 2015
19. Bath Bombs
when your masculinity is too fragile but you want a bath bomb pic.twitter.com/Q8nv2bmHKS
— Raylo (@Powerful) May 18, 2016
21. The Earth
Which product that was “gendered” was the most unnecessary? Why do you think this happens? Let me know in the comments below!