It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means: time to buy gifts for all the special women in your life. This time last year, I found myself wanting to give a little girl named Riley a big, fat virtual high-five right through the computer screen after watching her challenge gender norms and gender-based marketing strategies during a trip to the toy store. “The companies who make these try to trick the girls into buying the pink stuff,” she insists pointing to a shelf of pink-swaddled plastic baby dolls in a home video that went viral on YouTube. “So why do all the girls have to buy princesses?” Riley demands. “Some girls like superheroes; some girls like princesses. Some boys like superheroes; some boys like princesses.” Right on, Riley.
Of course, the problematic boys vs. girls’ aisles don’t just disappear as we outgrow our action figures and pastel-painted pony dolls. As Bic made glaringly clear with their line of “For Her” ballpoint pens, the special needs of women must be met when it comes to such gender-specific items as writing utensils.
Here are the top three ridiculous gifts “for women” to put on this year’s gender stereotype-reinforcing, shameless-marketing naughty list.
For many of us, New Year’s resolution season means finally getting in shape ... or at least attempting to break a sweat or two until February rolls around, anyway. With that in mind, fitness equipment can make for a great holiday gift. Why not get that special woman in your life a nice set of five-pound dumbbells? Unlike with those identical yet intimidating five-pound dumbbells at the gym, she’ll know these are OK for her to use, because they say “For Her” on the box!
Last time I checked, cracked skin was cracked skin. Do men and women really need their own, separate foot creams? What’s a boyfriend to do when he finds himself searching for the skin-repair cream in his lady’s medicine cabinet while over at her place? Better keep away from that Dr. Scholl’s, lest you emasculate yourself via moisturization. Can’t you read the label? It’s for her only! We can’t even point to scientific theories of gender-based scent preferences on this one; the cream is fragrance free.
Great news ladies! You can finally fix that pesky, leaky faucet and maintain your womanliness with your very own, female-friendly tool box! Actually, it’s just like any other tool box. Hammer, nails, pliers, screwdriver ... all the usual suspects. Except these tools are a lovely shade of fuchsia, which, of course, means they’re for women.