Tomorrow I’m going to share a great story from my good friend Sara about how she saw some gendered marketing to kids and spoke up about it….at our county fair. The reactions of the people she spoke with were really funny and encouraging.
In the meantime, check out what some of our PPBB Community Members shared with us via email and on the facebook page:
“Hi Melissa! I wanted to send this to you because it made me so excited to see a female mechanic showing my husband how to change the headlight on our car. My daughter was excited and was asking all about fixing cars! It’s true! You can’t be what you can’t see! Glad she saw a women doing a stereotypical man’s job! Thanks for all your awesome advocating on behalf of all the daughters out there!” -Andria Lewis
“I went to our local Hallmark store to get a birthday card for my three year old daughter after I couldn’t find a suitable one at Party America the prior day. I was thoroughly disgusted by my choices. Every single card for younger girls was about how the birthday girl is “pretty” and “sweet” and “snuggly”. I’d say 80-90% of them either had some sort of sexualized princess on the card or referred to the birthday girl as a princess. The “boy” cards, on the other hand, focused on how the birthday boy is adventurous, strong, smart and fun. It is no wonder girls are still dealing with gender bias – kids are being taught this before they can even read. I ended up buying my daughter a mickey mouse card from the “boys” section. There is no reason it couldn’t have been in the girls section but I’m sure most people stick to their “section” since half of the cards wouldn’t work since they refer to the “birthday boy”. My daughter may be sweet, snuggly and pretty but those aren’t my favorite qualities about her and I should be able to find a card that celebrates the other, more substantive, qualities that I love about her. Guess I’ll be looking elsewhere in the future or ditching the birthday cards all together. She could care less if she gets a card after she unwraps the bulldozer she’s getting to play in the dirt in the backyard….. one of her favorite things to do.” -Lisa Nicolls
“I was in the mall the other week and saw that they put in a Learning Express. I was like “Oh thank god! Educational toys! Finally we can get away from the pink princess gendered crap.” I’m apparently still more trusting and innocent then I thought. While there were no boy and girl labels on the isles there was clearly the pink side and the blue side. Want to know what was in the pink section under “Fine Motor”? Come on you know you want to know. Manicure sets. 15 different manicure sets! 6 jewelry making kits, 3 perfume crafting sets, and a dozen or so arts and crafts sets that were clearly marketed to only girls. Seriously? Seriously?! How is that educational? How is that learning?! You can be damn sure that there weren’t any cologne making sets over in the blue section. So. Freakin. RAGEY!! Oh. Oh! You wanna top off this crap fest? Nearly every book in the pink section was about girl fitness. But not really fitness so much as how to stay slim and trim. My wife had to walk me out because I was about to lose it all over the teenager behind the counter who she gently reminded me was innocent in all this.” -Theresa Costello
“I just started working out at a new gym here in town. Not gender biased at all — women and men are pushed as hard as possible, no one accepts that a woman can’t do what a man can do, except for one thing….The weight bars for women (smaller diameter so we can lift with correct hand position) have pink ends. I’m sure they come from the manufacturer that way. I totally wouldn’t have noticed it if I wasn’t reading your blog. Just the bar has the pink end. All of the weights you put on the bar are black. And those aren’t in special “women” or “men” sizes. But I do make sure I wear glitter and perfume so everyone knows I’m a lady.” -Christy Skalecki (with a bit of sarcasm!)
“I’m a 33yr old single mom, doing my best to raise a strong empowered daughter. I’m also a Welding student at my local trade school. Tonight I stopped into Walmart on my way home from class all sweaty and gross and still wearing my welding overalls. One of the teen girls working there commented on my overalls and we got to talking about welding school. To me, it was just another conversation like any other. To her, it meant a lot more. Her eyes lit up as we talked and at the end of our conversation she thanked me for going to welding school and standing up for females (by doing so). I was stunned and humbled. I wanted to share this story because I want us all to remember that we can make a difference in ways we never expect. I saw a girl working a job she doesn’t enjoy (that will never pay well) gain a degree of empowerment tonight. She saw that there can be more in her world than she thought. I don’t think she’s gonna run out and become a welder, but maybe there’s something else she really wants to do, that now seems more attainable. I sure hope she follows her dreams!! No matter how many people say nasty things to you for standing up for girls or doing things considered to be outside your ‘gender’ role, remember that we are making a difference and don’t let it get you down. Hooray for empowered girls AND boys!” -Jessica Geurin