Gendered marketing is so commonplace, it frequently goes over our heads. Still, some companies take it so far it’s laughable. Check out some of these absurd products for women.
Remember when Stanley pitched “Papyr: Paper for Women” to Robert California in The Office? It was pink, scented and silky soft, perfect for the delicate hands of a woman! This scene was hilarious, but unfortunately, not all that unrealistic. There are loads of unnecessarily gendered products on the market. Everything from children’s clothing and toys, deodorant, toothbrushes, and liquors are marketed in both pink and blue.
This marketing trick confuses people into needlessly consuming more, and even spending more. Women’s products are routinely more expensive and/or of lesser quality and quantity, a sexist premium referred to as pink tax. Not only is much of gender-based marketing laughable, but it is an unnecessary reminder of the gender binary we live under — forcing non-binary folks to choose between things like so-called ‘men’s razors’ versus ‘women’s razors,’ when in reality, they all do the same thing. When talking about women in this piece, we refer to all people who are targeted by the gendered marketing tactics of the companies. Their own gender identification might not coincide with that which the companies assign to them, and many products target qualities or characteristics that many women might have, but many others don’t.
Gender-based marketing is seen everywhere, but here are some of the especially funny absurd products for women.
1. The Titty Bear
The Titty Bear is a product made to prevent your breasts from moving throughout the night. This bear is meant to keep your boobs upright and separated from each other, in order to prevent your chest area from wrinkling and showing other signs of aging. You stick the little bear right in between your breasts before going to sleep, and wake up with your chest looking better than ever. We’re not sure if this is something anyone is in need of, but the product exists in case breast wrinkling is something you’re worried about.
Mack’s makes high quality earplugs for everybody, but this line missed the mark. “Mack’s Dreamgirl Soft Foam Earplugs” are advertised as providing the “ultimate comfort for women with smaller ear canals.” This is a perfect example of an absurd product for women. They’re just like all the other earplugs, except the “Dreamgirl” earplugs are pink, and apparently slightly smaller. If size was the issue, Mack’s could have simply offered a variety of earplug sizes.
Mack’s Dreamgirl earplugs are still being proudly advertised on their Instagram.
Bic carries several different pens marketed toward women. Ellen drew attention to this several years ago, when Bic came out with “pens for her.” The pens are “beautifully smooth” and “designed to fit a woman’s hand.” These completely normal-looking pens come in pink and purple, and unsurprisingly, they’re much more expensive than Bic’s conventional pens. Bic also carries “Cristal for Her Ball Pens” and “For Her” pens in assorted colors.
Finally, there are pens just for the ladies.
Another product that’s entirely unnecessary, “women’s tea,” is unfortunately not all that uncommon. Popular brands like Yogi Tea carry teas for women. Yogi’s “Women’s Tea” is a chamomile tea containing ginger and orange peel. What about that conveys “no boys allowed?” Yogi also carries “Women’s Energy” and “Women’s Balance” tea. Yogi seems to be aiming for women to embrace and love themselves, but these teas don’t really seem necessary in order to do this.
IS that what Yogi Tea imagines self care for women should look like?
Good news ladies! Next time you’re having a hard time pushing one out, check your local drugstore for Dulcolax, who make special laxative tablets just for women. The Dulcolax Laxative Tablets For Women are said to be perfect for women’s sensitive tummies. Is this really necessary? Are regular laxatives too strong and somehow masculine? The laxatives seem to be the same as any others, but they come in a cutesy pink packaging, of course.
Razors are a commonly gendered product. Seemingly every company from Bic to Gillette carries separate razors for men and women. Other than women’s razors being pink and costing much more, there isn’t much difference between the products. Hair length, thickness, and density vary depending on the person and the body part, so why not offer a variation of razors based on these factors, rather than gender?
Every Father’s Day, we’re hounded with advertisements for “manly” gifts like lawnmowers, grills and toolkits. But did you know that – astonishingly – women are allowed to use tools too? There are tons of pink toolkits just for women. Everywhere from Home Depot to Sears and Amazon, they offer ladies’ tool sets.
8. Pinky Glove
The pinky glove caused quite a stir when it was released in 2021. Apparently, two German entrepreneurial men decided for themselves that some of us simply don’t have the tools to deal with our disgusting periods. Literally just a pink glove, this product was designed for menstruating individuals to be able to grab their tampon or pad, wrap it in the disposable glove, and throw it out more discretely. The inventors stated their intention was for the tossing of period products to be less smelly and more secretive.
Critics were quick to point out the myriad of issues with this product. Firstly, gloves already exist. If people wanted to use gloves to dispose of their period products, they would be already. The Pinky Glove is also extremely expensive. Who would want to spend almost $15 on a pack of 48 pink gloves? This invention can be summed up as the epitome of ignorance. The Pinky Glove brand stigmatized periods, a natural process, and advocated for increased plastic waste, all for the goal of making periods more comfortable for cisgender men who didn’t want to have to see or smell any sign of a period. Luckily, the company quickly shut down the Pinky Glove project in response to criticism.
This absurd “invention” for women luckily became un-invented rather quickly.
This may be one of the most absurd products for women you can find. In an effort to use a quirky play on words, Lucerne offers a “Monterey Jill Cheese” with a picture of a weirdly lady-like cow on the packaging. Of course, since this cheese is for women, it is also low fat. Lucerne’s woman cheese provides women with a not-so-friendly reminder that they need to keep their calories in check.
Specialized cheese has got to be one of the most absurd products made for women.
Chick Beer is an American Lager aggressively marketed toward women. A six-pack of these comes in a pink and black container made to look like a purse. Each bottle has a little black dress on it, and some cutesy font reminding women that this beer is low-carb and lightly carbonated to prevent bloating. Unfortunately, this just serves as a reminder to women to be body-conscious.
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