Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gender stereotypes - or maybe not?

One of the many stereotypes for gender roles, is that "women belong in the kitchen." In recent years, this has been combated with cooking shows featuring a male chef, such as Chef Earl or the Iron Chef. Yet, as far as superheroes go, why is it that female characters are still the main targets for this common stereotype? For example, I came across this awesome Kitchen Aid mixer in a Wonder Woman theme.

Now, don't get me wrong. I want one. The mixer is pretty awesome. But, when I searched for similar products, but in superhero themes, nothing came up. Why can't I buy a Batman mixer? Is it because he's a man? Is it because "men don't cook or bake and woman do?" Or is it simply because no one has thought of such a cool idea? I have to wonder if this is leaning towards stereotyping women and their roles in society, or if it's simply because statistically speaking more women bake than men, so products should target women to gain as much profit as possible. In today's society we should be recognizing that gender roles are changing. There are male nurses, male cooks, and male secretaries, just as there are female cops, female judges, and female mechanics. We have gotten to the point where we have breached the gap between female jobs and male jobs.

So then why are superheroes and super-heroines still subject to these stereotypes in the products sold to us. Aside from comic books, these DC and Marvel characters have mass produced millions of action figures, costumes, props, etc. to target both a male and female audience. Yet, somehow it still comes back to gender stereotypes. My point is, I want a Wonder Woman and a Superman Kitchen Aid. Enough of the gender roles, or the "emasculation" of Superman if he was associated with baking.

So what do you think? Is this really an act of stereotyping? An act of profits and gains? Or have I simply not searched hard enough for a male hero themed mixer?

1 comment:

  1. With the recent fascination of men saying to women “make me a sandwich” implying that women belong in the kitchen, I would have to agree that that stereotype does somewhat annoy me. However, I’m not sure that a WonderWoman themed mixer completely proves the existence of that stereotype.

    For example, I found a Superman apron online.


    If a WonderWoman mixer means that women only belong in the kitchen, then would a Superman apron mean that men only belong in the kitchen as well?


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