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8 Pointlessly Gendered Products

The common theme of marketing to women is usually "pink and shrink". Take a unisex product, make it slightly smaller and throw some pink on it. These are just some of the most ridiculous and unnecessary examples

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1. Lady Nuts

google. google.ca / Via google.ca

Because men have enough nuts already.

This is an extreme example of pointless gendered products. The contents inside the bag remain the same even if it were marketed to men. Saying that this snack is "especially designed for women" may be true of the packaging but not of the contents inside.

2. Laundry for Her

fast company. fastcompany.com / Via fastcompany.com

Because men don't ever wash clothes.

One can assume that the reason advertisers decided to make laundry detergent pink is because house hold chores, like laundry, are a traditionally female task. However, society is becoming more progressive and that is no longer the case. So marketing laundry detergent just to women is an ineffective sales technique.

3. Razors for her

google. google.ca / Via google.ca

Because for her means more expensive, hello "pink tax".

Often times products that provide the same function will be more expensive when marketed to women. This applies to razors, deodorant, hair products, clothing and shoes, just to name a few. They boast added functions such as "smoother shave" but in reality the function of them is simply the same. Some women are aware of this which leads them to buy male razors, because they do the same thing but at a cheaper price.

4. BiC for Her

google. google.ca / Via google.ca

Because the sleek design fits so much better in a petite feminine hand than a regular man pen.

Instead of the traditional pink route Bic chose to go with pastel colours. This still gives off an aura of femininity, and they put "for her" across the front just in case the colouring wasn't enough. This product is definitely unnecessarily gendered, because once the pens come out of the packaging they become gender neutral again. By having a product exclusively "for her" shuts out the entire male population. This is a downfall as excluding half the demographic of possible customers could cause a decrease in sales.

5. Pretty in Pink Ear Plugs

google. google.ca / Via google.ca

Because women and men have such different ear canal shapes.

This gendered product is offensive to both men and women. It plays up the stereotypical gender norms, that women are dainty and fragile while men are tough and strong. These norms are shifting in that gender is becoming more fluid, men don't have to be tough and women don't have to be sensitive. With the images of skulls and flames this product is reinforcing the idea that men have to be tough all the time. In contrast the butterflies, pink packaging, and peacefully sleeping lady, all reinforce the idea that women are fragile.

6. Oatmeal for Women

google. google.ca / Via google.ca

Because men don't eat a healthy breakfast and they cant consume all that calcium at once.

This product is fairly stupid as everyone, regardless of gender, needs to consume calcium. This product embodies femininity through the obvious "for women" title, and also through the cursive writing of the label. Curved edges emit a more feminine message, while harsh block letters are more masculine. By choosing the swoopy cursive style of font it embodies femininity. However, oatmeal does not need to be feminine or masculine, its just oatmeal.

7. Toys R Us Laptop

Picasa. thesocietypages.org / Via thesocietypages.org

Because girls don't care if there are 25 fewer functions, as long as its pink.

This gendered product is actually fairly insulting. It out right says boys and girls it isn't just implied by the colour like many other children's toys. The main problem with this is the functionality of the product. Usually when gendering a product the use value remains the same its only the exterior appearance that changes. However, in this case the boys laptop has double the functionality of the girls. This is basically implying that girls do not need all the functions because they are not that tech savvy and just care if its pink.

8. Pink Telescopes

Society Pages. thesocietypages.org / Via thesocietypages.org

Because colour matters in science.

This is another example of how the use value of a product is actually decreased because it is gendered. The black unisex version of the telescope has 525x or 250x zoom while the pink telescope only has 90x zoom. The black unisex microscope has 1200x zoom, the red has 900x zoom, while the pink one only has 600x zoom. The functionality has drastically decreased with the products pink colouring. This is reinforcing that girls don't really need to be that invested in science related fields.

In Conclusion...

While these products are all unnecessarily gendered there are some gendered products that serve a purpose. Such as mobile apps marketed towards women that deal with women's health issues, like pregnancy and menstruation. However, all the above products have no need to be marketed towards women. The use value of these products does not increase with their pink packaging. In fact many women choose to avoid items similar to the ones listed above, as they are aware of the "pink and shrink" advertising method. They may avoid these products because they do not want fall ploy to a marketing strategy, but every product is marketed at a certain demographic of consumers so it is impossible to avoid marketing strategies. That is why some companies have tried subtler approaches to market to women. An example of this is Apple watches sleeker design for females. Originally the Apple watch was too big for most women's wrists, instead of changing the colour of it they changed the design in order to make it more practical for female users. Subtle changes in design are a way that products are being marketed to women across other companies as well. For example, a more curved product is associated with femininity, over harsher sharp edges and boxy designs. Products marketed towards women using the "pink and shrink" method are not all inherently bad as some women and girls do prefer pink. However, it can have a negative impact on young girls as it ingrains societal norms of femininity on them, which may limit them in what sports they choose to play or careers they choose to pursue.

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