I think I have posted about this before, but I am really too lazy to look it up. Let’s just say that the Women’s section of some websites and the Men’s section are so cliché they are sexist. For example on MSN this morning:
For the women’s section you have jeans/fashion advice, Beauty tips, info about women and therapy, and ways to build your marriage.
For the Men’s section it’s about cars, sports, making money, food and repairs.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that women are interested in beauty items and fashion advice and helping make their marriage stronger. However, I would like to think that men are also interested in making their marriages strong and not put the onus only on women. I would also think that women are interested in breakfast that can give you energy (especially if you have small children!) and I know there are women who are interested in sports and cars as well as appliance repair (some of us are just more handy than our counterparts!).
Before you say anything…I know that nothing is stopping a woman from clicking on the Men’s section and vice versa…this is just an example of how society in general compartmentalizes everything into His and Hers. Why can’t they just have a general “Lifestyle” tab on the front page with all of these articles listed?
Even Yahoo is guilty to a degree since there is Sports, Finance, etc…but all “women’s issues such as relationships and the like are lumped in there female friendly Shine (most of those articles are written for women by women about men, parenting, etc.). At least they didn’t lump all the sports and finance into a “his” category…but what man is going to want to click on a page that that talks about “bikini fab abs!” or “DIY Celebrity beauty tricks!” or finding your best bra size or gaining weight on the pill? Not to say there aren’t articles in there that a guy might want to read, but you have to dig through to get to something that, again, isn’t painfully gendered. Even if it isn’t obvious in the writing, the pictures are always gendered…if there is a person in the photo, chances are it is a woman.
Let’s switch to 100% gendered websites. Here are menu screenshots from Cosmopolitan and Maxim (Note: I had to cut them in half so they would fit ok in the blog area.):
So, for Cosmo we have almost exclusive “Women’s area” pages. Most of the front page is about sex, celebrities and fashion. But, wait…there is a Cosmo page for guys? I was curious so I clicked. Mainly what was there was about sex. Sex positions, how to take profile pic she can’t resist, what to say to her during sex…you get the picture.
Judging from the menu this would be more what I, personally, would want to read…except for the girls thing. However, on the front page all you see is half-naked women. Of the 5 headline pictures there are 4 that have half-naked women. One was a game. On the side bar there are more half naked women. As you scroll down there are a few sports articles, but mostly half naked women.
Here is my beef with all this. I know men like sex and women, but if you are a guy you should be offended. Why? Because it is reinforcing the stereotype that you are nothing but penises that like sports and sex. You don’t care about relationships unless it leads to sex. You don’t care about women unless they give you sex…specifically sex YOU like. I know plenty of men, and the men I know are a lot more interesting than sports and sex.
Women, you should be offended too. I know I am. My interests are not limited to know to treat HIM in bed or fashion. I like games too, and while I don’t like sports I know quite a few women who do and follow stats religiously. We are not all about clothes and makeup and kids (that is another women’s website, of course, that is geared for the “home maker” stereotype”). We like other things too.
Anyway, I know I rambled…but that is how I roll!
I just wanted to get you to thinking about this. Everyone always talks of equality and being treated a certain way…it will never happen unless we all break these stereotypes. It permeates everything and you don’t even realize it.