The other night, I was scrolling through my social media and I stumbled upon this video. It’s a clip from The Ellen Show where Ellen Degeneres uses her opening monologue to discuss the absurdity of a product from the company Bic. It’s a set of pens just for women, customized to fit women’s hands. As if all women are the same?
This kind of marketing, separating men and women by changing the color of a product and nothing more and selling it at a different (and often higher) price bothers me. Or, perhaps, bother is too forgiving. This brand of advertising irks me. So much so, I spent a whole English I paper pointing out the sort of social oppression this advertising delivers.
Yes, there are some products that can be branded directly to women, such as period related things. But for simple objects such as office supplies, razors, deodorant, soap, snacks, children’s toys and so much more… Why must there be a delineation?
Often times, these products are some pastel coloring that not all women enjoy and they aren’t taken as seriously as their male-marketed counterparts. My post-its do the same job as regular not-for-her post-its and so do my soap, pens, razors, snacks and so forth.
What bugs me most is that they start this division of sexes at such a young age. Little girls are pushed to their own frilly, watered down version of a LEGO set that has little to no building capability. A little girl is taught early on that she should only like certain activities and certain colors. She is socialized to become this fictional “weaker sex,” even in our “progressive” times.
If this were truly truly the case, we shouldn’t be branding our products in such a way. When we do, we create barriers that prevent our movement to equality, no matter how simple.
What’s the stupidest “FOR HER” product you’ve ever seen?
All artwork by Pebbles.