Something nice for a change: here’s a clever new video from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault about “breaking the box” of society-prescribed gender stereotypes. Boys can cry. Girls can play football. Taking advantage of a drunk woman doesn’t make you a “man.” It’s 2013, everyone!
What do you think of the PSA? [Feministing]
It’s easy to think that some behaviors are just inherently male or female. Boys like to play with trucks. Girls like to play with dolls. Men propose marriage, women take their husband’s last name. But what may be normal in the Western World isn’t necessarily around the world.
See what we discovered about gender norms across the globe.
1. Belgium: Boys Wear Pink
When it’s time to paint a baby’s bedroom or pick out an outfit, many of us immediately choose pink for girls and blue for boys. But it wasn’t always that way, and, in some places, it still isn’t. Up until the early 20th century, the opposite was true — blue was considered feminine and pink was considered masculine. Pink was thought to be stronger, and blue was thought to be dainty, hence the gender distinction. In contemporary Belgium, this is still considered normal. Read more…
You can’t walk through my home barefoot without stepping on a colorful, sharp piece of plastic at least once. Yes, we are one of the families that helps ensure that Lego’s sales and profits continue to rise in an economy where many toy manufacturers are struggling.
And apparently, we’re not the only ones: Lego is crediting a recent boost in sales to a bunch of new customers — specifically, girls. The 36 percent profit seen in the first half of 2012 is being attributed to Lego’s newest line, Lego Friends, which is targeted towards little girls. Lego Friends includes “Lady Fig” (lady figurine) characters that accompany a variety of sets from a beauty shop to a café, all heavily saturated in pink. Lego Friends are a departure in how Lego has marketed their building blocks toward girls in the past, despite the paltry representations of girls seen before. I can’t be the only one who remembers this ad from the 1980s? Keep reading »
Is the traditional Diet Pepsi can too short and fat for you? Are you embarrassed to be seen holding it? No worries, girlfriend. PepsiCo. has announced it’s releasing a “taller, sassier, new Skinny Can” which is meant to celebrate “beautiful, confident women.” It’s like the Virginia Slims of diet sodas! Naturally, the new can will debut this fall, just in time for fashion week, because, duh, “Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks,” said Pepsi CMO Jill Beraud. Ugh. I think I’ll stick with my chubby Diet Coke, thanks. [The Daily What] Keep reading »
A couple in Sweden is raising their child, named Pop, as an “it,” and say they are keeping the toddler’s gender a secret. This decision, they said, came from their “feminist” philosophy that gender is a social construct — they believe “it is cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.”
Keep reading »
Chelsea Sarvis, a senior at South Carolina’s Chapin High School, wants to wear pants to her graduation. But according to Principal Mike Satterfield (surprise, surprise, it’s a male), unless she wears a dress, she won’t be attending. That’s right—if she doesn’t conform to what I thought were antiquated stereotypes and flaunt a “feminine” frock, she won’t be able to go to her own graduation.
Keep reading »
Saturn debuted its “Total Confidence” campaign earlier this month, aiming to help automobile buyers make car payments if they lose their jobs. Yes, this is a great idea during this recession, but the ad missed the mark. In the original commercial, Saturn retailer Jim Smith talks about how losing your job and your car would be the worst ever, saying, “Honey, I’m home! Lost my job! Don’t have a car! What’s for dinner?” When we first saw the ad, we were a little offended by this line. Jim’s partner is responsible for making dinner? He just expects dinner to be ready for him when he gets home? Maybe the two take turns preparing the evening meal, and in this instance it was his night off — or maybe “honey” is a man — but we doubt it. Commercials should be advancing parity, not reinforcing visions of ’50s housewives setting a giant pot roast on the table as their husbands walked through the front door.
We weren’t the only ones who found the commercial dated. Now we’ve started seeing a tweaked version airing. Basically, it’s the same ad without the “What’s for dinner?” line. Thank goodness they wised up and changed it — we don’t want men assuming we can cook … because we can’t. Keep reading to watch the edited version of the ad. Keep reading »
Recently, I rambled about The Big Switcheroo – men and women adopting each other’s worst gender behaviors. The diatribe was equal parts self-indulgence and genuine confusion. Are men really becoming needy, emotional leeches and women emotionally void predators? I suppose no one said the collective lurch towards equality was going to be pretty. And I’d like to add that it seems no one is really having any fun. It’s never fun being someone who you’re not.
But enough Danny Downer. Keep reading »