Some Links for the Weekend: Gender-associations

Triple jump

I’ve seen a couple of things this week about gender-associations within our culture, so thought I’d combine them in a post.

Links:

Always’ new campaign video for #likeagirl – trying to remove the negative associations attached to doing something ‘like a girl’.

  • The video has been trending across the internet and opening up debate.
  • The comments section below it shows a cross-section of responses, many praising it, but plenty insulting.
  • This Article that refers to how ‘like a girl”s negative associations affect men also. It points out that reassessing those associations could help both genders.

Book covers often target one gender or the other. It is basic marketing to make a product more appealing to it’s target audience and isn’t something I’d given much thought to until this blog post came up in my feed earlier this week.

  • The post discusses how the author’s gender affects the cover choice, causing many female-authored books to be “tarted up” and “belittled”. This isn’t just happening with traditionally ‘girly’ romance/chick lit novels, but with grittier ones also.
  • ‘Girly’ book covers can deter male readers who don’t want to face the repercussions of having feminine traits associated with them.
  • The article links to another about “coverflip” – what happened when author Maureen Johnson challenged her twitter followers to take book covers and re-design them as if the author was of the opposite gender. The results are impressive.
  •  Goodread’s page for Headless Women – book covers featuring the female body without the head… There are hundreds of examples. Can you think of any book covers featuring headless men? (me neither).
  • A blog post on ‘The sinister march of the headless women‘.

I think it is good to open up debate on these sorts of issues, if only because it can raise awareness of how deeply engrained gender inequality and stereotypes can be. I know I’m guilty of having told guy friends to ‘man up’ on multiple occasions and not really thought about what I was participating in.

Actually, while I sometimes find myself feeling quite feminist, the more I think about it the more examples come flashing back to me of my unknowing participation in the gender-associations side of our culture. It impacts even the little things, so for instance, should we even refer to ‘chick flicks’ and ‘chick-lits’ as such anymore. Would that be political correctness going too far, or is the consideration that it might be too far a sign of how far gone the wrong way we are already?

If you have an opinion either way on the gender-associations debate, I’d love to hear it 🙂

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