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Stereotypes About Femininity Got You Down? Try Gendolene!

Posted on the 08 January 2011 by Danielleb
Stereotypes about femininity got you down? Try Gendolene!About a month ago a woman from HighWire, a program at Lancaster University in the UK, contacted me about a video made by some of her students. On top of earning PhDs, they're part of something called the "EmpowerMe" project. How cool does that sound?
The video advertises a new (and fictitious) product called Gendolene, a bleach of sorts that can be used to eradicate femina stereotypica, or stereotypical femininity, via the color pink.
The video's only a minute long, but it's a clever commentary on the "pinkification pandemic" that's taken the world by storm. Here's what the makers of Gendolene had to say on their website:
"The power of Gendolene isn’t something that comes in a bottle. It’s our collective ability to resist and reverse the tide of pinkification that has gradually washed its way across so many toys, clothes, accessories and household items targeted at girls and young women.
Our goal is to challenge the production and marketing of items that simply reinforce restrictive and damaging stereotypes about what it means to be a girl.
The culture of pink segregates boys and girls into different aisles. In one it’s cool to be active, adventurous and explore the world; in the other it’s cool just to look pretty and explore as far as the next pair of shoes or shade of lipstick.
We think it’s about time manufacturers and retailers join the 21st century and find new ways of engaging with our young people that promote equality and empowerment for all, irrespective of the body we happen to be born into."
I can already see somebody reading this and thinking "so that's what feminists want, to get rid of all the pink in the world?" Puh-lease. The video is speaking to the fact that when institutions such as "femininity" and "masculinity" are rigid and narrowly defined, everyone is affected - men and women alike!
Update (1/11/2011) - Becci from the EmpowerMe Project would like to add:
"I think that its really important for children's toys to inform and prepare children for the diverse and complex world that lies ahead. We should therefore be providing our children with a wide range of toys which not only support their physical and cognitive development, but that also develop their understanding of how 'real' men and women look, behave and interact with the world, as opposed to distorted and often unobtainable representations."
Stereotypes about femininity got you down? Try Gendolene!

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