Neutral Product?

The topic of gender stereotyping in the scrapbook industry came up again on this week’s Paperclipping Roundtable. It was mentioned on the show that this topic isn’t considered much in the industry (I may be misremembering…), so I decided to compile a short post with a few links to several of my posts on the topic of race and gender.

The topic of gender stereotyping has come up a few times in the past few months on the Paperclipping Roundtable. I kind of get the feeling that few in the industry are willing to take any sort of responsibility. It comes down to manufacturers allegedly responding to demand from stores who are allegedly responding to consumer demand.

How about working to educate consumers, then, on how to think outside the box when it comes to selecting papers for pages? Manufacturers spend time educating stores on how to use other types of products (e.g., tools) and stores do the same for customers. Why not educate on how to scrapbook outside the theme?

Further, it would be really easy create neutral products. I used to buy a lot of dog-themed products. My dog was photographed often to use up a roll of film. I eventually stopped buying dog-themed product because it never failed that there would be some sticker that said “man’s best friend” on the sheet. I stopped looking for dog-themed product.

One of the panelists mentioned Echo Park’s new line on gaming. The line is semi-neutral. It uses boy-typical colors, yet doesn’t name boys in the line. Their best friends line is similar: girl-typical colors, yet doesn’t mention girls. It’s a start, but still relies on gender stereotypical colors.

The notion that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, however, is new. I encourage readers to explore Jo Paoletti’s blog based on her book Pink is for Boys. Once upon a time, boys wore dresses (so they wouldn’t crawl into the fire) and most children wore white (which could be boiled and cleaned easily). Check out this article on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dress, maryjane shoes, feathery hat, and long hair.

Alright, enough from me today. I am afterall supposedly on hiatus for the summer…

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  • http://digitalscrapbookinghq.com/ Melissa Shanhun

    Yes YES!! I am definitely a mum who loves her girls in pink and boys in blue – so I can’t really talk. BUT I can’t stand the way we teach people that certain skills are only for certain races/genders. I especially hate that whole maths thing! I’m not brilliant at Maths but my mum is (and mum in law even has a degree in maths!!). We shouldn’t be teaching people to stereotype.

  • http://www.scrapworthylives.com Stephanie Medley-Rath

    Thanks for commenting! I think everyone should choose what works best for them. My daughter’s favorite color is black. The pink-themed “girl” lines simply won’t work for her. They don’t suit her personality and it’s not her favorite color. She isn’t opposed to pink, but it isn’t her first or even second choice.