In a previous blog post, I talked about how space can be divided by gender. In this post, I’d like to talk a little about gendered products, which is when products are divided by gender.
Take a look at the image below. You will see two disposable razors that are exactly the same, but one is pink and one is blue. People in American culture know that the pink razor is made for women, while the blue razor is made for men.
This is just one example of gendered products, which are products made just for males or just for females.
With gendered products, the same product is marketed to different genders, just like the pink and blue razors I showed you. There’s often no difference at all in the product itself, but there are different packaging and different words used to market the products for males and market the products for females.
Here are some more examples. The image below shows a white and pink box of Dove brand soap for women and a grey box of Dove brand soap for men.
And in this image below, there is a pink bottle of Suave brand body wash for women, and a blue bottle of Suave brand body wash for men.
But gendered products aren’t just bath and beauty products—even things like candles are marketed to one gender or another. For example, the image below shows a candle marketed to men, and a candle marketed to women.
Having special products made for men and special products made for women tells us that gender is extremely important, and men and women are so different that they need different products. And each time we see a product labeled for men or for women, it reminds us that we are very different.
Why is this a problem? Well, first of all, the items marketed for women often cost more than the same product labeled for men, even though the products are often exactly the same. So, women end up paying more for things than men do.
And, gendered products can play into gender stereotypes. For example, a medical playset for a little girl may say it’s a nursing kit, while the exact same medical playset for little boys may say it’s a doctor’s kit. This reinforces the idea that women should only be nurses and that men should be doctors.
Try doing a Google search for “gendered products” and view the images that come up. You’d be surprised how many of these products are out there!
To learn more, check out these articles:
Also, check out the YouTube video, “Gendered Marketing
” for a humorous look at gendered products.
Thanks for reading!