Monday, June 16, 2014

Just Something to Think About

Dear #yesallwomen:

How would you react to Mother's Day commercials trying to sell you vacuum cleaners or stand mixers? Would you find it demeaning and sexist? Stereotypical? Dare I even say ... gender normative?

Why, then, is it acceptable to run Father's Day commercials selling power tools for dad? Or lawn mowers. Or chainsaws.

I suspect we would see many tirades screeched and many hair-shirts donned if KitchenAid ran a commercial suggesting that Mom really wanted a new mixer for Mother's Day. Or if Dyson hinted that Mom wanted something that really did suck for her special day. The thought that we should get our parental units a traditional gender-appropriate work item would be met with, at best, stony silence if it were the female unit.

Yet make it a power tool for dad and everything is right with the world. Why is this? If you really want to break down gender stereotypes, *Mom* should be getting a chainsaw for Mother's Day, right? Why shouldn't Dad get a new bread machine for Father's Day? Or, even better, why not suggest that neither parent get a gender-*anything* present for either day - if that present means doing work.

Instead, by only showing offense at one particular gender stereotype, you lessen the effect of your message.

Then again, the beclowning of "teach men not to [bad action]" rather than teaching women to own their empowerment does that just right, too...

That is all.



5 comments:

abnormalist said...

Simple answer actually...

Its more socially acceptable for men to enjoy gender specific manly activities.

Dads generally like their power tools/chainsaws/lawn mower. And its socially acceptable for them to admit it. Mom might like her vacuum cleaner, and might enjoy cleaning/cooking but your as likely to get her to admit to it as Dad to admit to enjoying a hot soak in the tub.

Thats ok, for fathers day I got money for a new shotgun I've been wanting. Thanks Mom and Kids, you guys rock!

Borepatch said...

Good post

Formynder said...

I almost wish I had a twitter account, so I could make posts like "I want a sandwich #yesallwomen". But I have enough to do without wasting my time on vacuous brain-dead rejects from the crash dummy factory.

The Old Man said...

Hell, I'm on my second bread machine (wore the first out). Boss lady got a lawn trimmer (recommended by Tam) for her birthday last year.
If this is all y'all activists got to occupy your time, go save a whale or a squirrel....

Daniel in Brookline said...

Shucks, I *like* power tools. But if my family gets me something I actually like and/or can use for Father's Day, that's all I could ask. I don't particularly care if it matches stereotypes or not.

Father's Day always reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV9Rh4ynBf4