Gender Response

Gender reflection, 750 words; response, 300 words

Gender, as well as gender bias, is present all around us. Sometimes it is obvious, like when manufacturing companies and their advertising agents market the same product differently to women than they do for men. In a now-infamous example, manufacturers market dark-coloured, more “manly” razors to men and lighter-coloured, more “feminine” razors to women—even when the plastic and the steel that make up the razor product is exactly the same in both cases. Sometimes, consumer-product vendors take this a step further and introduce a so-called “pink tax” by selling exactly the same product to both men and women but charging women a higher price. Read the article “12 Products Marketed to One Gender for No Good Reason ” for some examples.

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This assignment invites students to consider the ways gender “works” in their everyday lives.

Instructions
Part One: Gender Reflection
Type “toy aisle” into your favourite search engine’s image search function.

Select a few random images, and comment on how gender “works” in the marketing of children’s toys.

Do you see a gendered construction in any of the images? And if so, what can this gendered construction reveal about the ways toy manufacturers and toy vendors encourage the construction of a gendered marketplace for toys? What are some of the implications that you think might flow from such a gender-constructed marketplace?

Your written submission for this assignment ought to resemble, broadly, a blog post. You need not be too concerned with formal essay-like structure—a conversational tone is sufficient, but do bear in mind that your student-colleagues will read and comment on your post.

Be sure to include a link to the image(s) you have selected. When ready, please post your reflection in the Assignment 1: Reflection and Response Discussion Forum.

Part Two: Response
Read through a few of your student-colleagues’ posts from part one in the Assignment 1: Reflection and Response Discussion Forum.

Write a response to one or more of the posts. Be sure to begin your response with a positive remark on the post(s) and then offer your own take on it. This might include stating your agreement or disagreement with the post, or it might suggest a different way of looking at the image.

Be respectful of other student-colleagues’ posts, thoughts, and ideas.

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