Girls and boys, men and women, aren’t very different. Looking around at American society, you would never guess that. In their book, Packaging Girlhood, Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown examine the societal aspects which strive to make these gender distinctions and how that affects our daughters. While many would claim genetics and hormonal differences dictate such differences between the genders, Lamb and Brown make a compelling argument that our male dominated society is so driven by marketers – from baby pink onesies and dolls to sexy shopping teenagers and young women to the lack of strong females in books, movies, music, or even advertising. Marketers know how to the play the game, and that game is creating a society that plays into buying their products. Our daughters are the ones who suffer most.
If you have a girl in your life, I recommend reading this eye opening book. While some of the examples are dated back to 2004/2005, marketers haven’t changed in any recent history. The same gender distinctions are merely repackaged. Even individuals who feel they are cognizant of gender stereotyping may rethink how they look at some things. Read the book and then take the authors’ advice: talk to your daughters.