Feminism: A Yearly Reminder

Winter holidays are coming up, and for many people that includes buying/creating/obtaining gifts to give to loved ones (and sometimes not-so-loved-but-otherwise-it-would-be-awkward ones). Please remember as you move forward into this season that gifts are things that are purchased for individuals and not for gender stereotypes.

Nor are personal preferences indicative of an individual's gender, any more than an individual's gender is indicative of hir personal preferences.

Nor should personal preferences be treated a moral quandary between valueless "girly" things and valuable "manly" things. 

Or to put a finer point on it, I have recently purchased one of the items in this picture and my gender didn't factor into the purchasing decision. Nor should the assigned gender for these items reflect the relative social worth of the items in specific or my purchasing decisions in general.


Randomosity said...

Worst of all are jewelry ads that imply that if a man buys an expensive item for a woman, she is therefore obligated to reciprocate in a non-material manner.

Because women never buy jewelry. Oh no. Not ever. /sarcasm

I like jewelry, but I like to buy it myself so that I know it goes with at least one of my costumes. And giving me a gift obligates me to say thank you, and nothing more. It's a gift, not a purchase price.

Silver Adept said...

Question for gender-stereotype-based marketers - if you want us to base our decisions entirely on gender presentation, didn't that preclude us from getting the "perfect" gift, because a perfect gift would require you to know someone better then their gender presentation? Which are we supposed to buy - thoughtful yet expensive gifts well-suited to the people we buy them for, or cheap crap that takes no more thought, usually wrong, than "They're Z. Zs like this." (Both, I know.)

Lunch Meat said...

I thought this was pretty clever: (second picture down) http://daughternumberthree.blogspot.com/2012/11/tweets-of-11-2013.html

Nina said...

LOLOLOL!!! Love the flow chart!

I find the gift giving guides around this time of year soooo frustrating. I feel like the gender segregation has just gotten worse in recent years. Plus, I find the whole thing kind of alienating because I'm almost never interested in the gifts suggested for women. Thanks for the reminder that I'm some kind of weirdo for not conforming to your gender stereotypes, marketing people.

cjmr said...

You'd think by now, everyone should be acquainted with the new-ish rule 'never buy anyone anything scented (unless specifically asked to)'.

So many people I know either can't tolerate scent at all or have a very strong preference for ONE particular scent. And yet 'gift hint' articles in magazines still usually contain lots of scented items.

Boutet said...

Yes! When I moved out on my own for the first time I gave away an entire box full of fancy candles, bath soaps, ugly figurines and other assorted "girl" junk that people had been gifting me for all those years. All I wanted was art supplies and books!

Hyaroo said...

I tend to buy books for people anyway. ^_^ Luckily, most of my friends are fantasy fans -- the few who aren't usually like satire.

Frenchroast said...

What drives me crazy are those tacky Christmas plates. And the thing is, I know they're nice/expensive plates (and I do say thank you, b/c I assume the person was trying to get me something they thought I would like), but they are so damn tacky, and I have no place to put them. No one ever gives my husband tacky Christmas plates.

AnnaLK said...


Creepy guy at work, who constantly makes "helpful" offers to female colleagues and clearly expects affection in return for his help, recently offered to help me find a birthday present for my little brother, after I mentioned needing to shop for said present in response to a "what are your plans for the weekend?" question. My "but you don't know my brother!" response was met with a "yeah, but I know what guys like". Which just... no. My brother is not a walking stereotype, and you cannot claim to know his preferences better than I do merely on the basis of similar genitals.

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