A Female Pen: The Extent of Gendered Marketing

Sometimes we need a bit of gender segregation. Separate toilets are a perfect example. So are certain gendered greeting cards. Now I’m not talking about the ones that say ‘Happy Birthday Brother‘ with a picture of a motorbike. Your brother has probably zero interest in them, but hey, at least it’s manly. No. I’m talking about the ones like we make. You know – ‘Happy Anniversary‘ with two dickie bows to signify it’s not your regular Hallmark hetero relationship card. But I digress. Gender segregation has seeped into every crevice of society, and we’re lapping up it to the delight of marketing directors worldwide.

Even my childhood was not without basic gender segregation. Growing up I played with Polly Pockets and teddy bears, whilst my big brother played with toy guns and soldiers. He’s an actual soldier now though, so maybe that’s a bad example. He obviously really like those toys!  And now that I think about it, I remember really loving those Polly Pockets. Perhaps I’m trying to find a non-existent fault here. Because playing with ‘girl’ toys made me pretty damn happy. Why though? Was it because television adverts showed me images of girls my age having the time of their lives playing with Polly? Well they certainly didn’t show girls running around playing toy soldier.

It’s too far gone to remember my rational from childhood. I didn’t know what rational was, so I doubt I even had any. In adulthood however, I’ve no excuse. Now when it comes to clothes, I don’t see a gender divide. I suppose that’s the gay in me. I’ll happily shop for a t-shirt in the man’s section, and shoes in the women’s. But if I’m buying a razor, off to the pink aisle I go. I remember wondering to myself what the difference between female and males razors is before. I think I settled on the colour and went ahead with my pink purchase. But now I’m wondering, is that it? Is that actually the only difference? What is the point?!

Oh how we fall so easily into the market traps. From female Lego to male eye cream, Australian show ‘The Checkout’ highlights the differences between gender specific products. Of which, there are basically NONE!

Listen: Mid-week Tune – WARPAINT ‘Undertow’

And here we are again in the middle of our week. So there ain’t no better time to showcase a little bit of America’s indiest girl band, WARPAINT. Spoil your ears with a listen to their widely acclaimed and favourited single, Undertow.

I had the pleasure of seeing WARPAINT live in Dublin when they toured here in May, 2011. In the small-ish, intimate venue that Tripod (RIP) provided, the four women mastered a dominant and gripping atmosphere which never faltered in holding the room throughout. At the time, it was unlike any other gig I’d ever been to. Between the overuse of stage smoke and a general quirky, hushed stage presence, WARPAINT certainly lived up to their admired live reputation. The whole performance felt like a trance. The guitar strokes were effortly majestic and the vocals were simply harmonious. I left wanting more.


2014 marks the ten year anniversary of WARPAINT. As well as their music, the girls are known for their unique and effortless style. None of the four are the typical LA glam that the media is saturated with. And because they’re not, it caused confusion for some poor fans. One actually posted a Yahoo question, ‘Which Warpaint member is a lesbian?’.


But as bass player Jenny Lindberg explained, ‘I actually think overalls are really sexy on a girl, but I’m a bit of a tomboy. I like it when girls are more in touch with their boyish nature. It doesn’t mean you have to be a lesbian, or a dyke, or wanna be a boy. I just think it’s cool to be in touch with both sides.’

Well said Jenny! Plenty of depth to this group. Do yourself a favour and tune in.

7 Items of Clothing You Need to Bin. Now.

That luminous orange mesh tank top at the back of your drawer. Cut it up to avoid a marine disaster, and throw that hideous thing away.


The keffiyeh scarf. You had one. I had one. We all had one. Was yours white and black check? Mine too! This conversation ends here.


Striped arm…warmers? Once the staple clothing piece for a Pink or Paramore concert (they just GET me, you know?) these should now be removed from your arm and buried deep in your wardrobe until Halloween invites them out to play.


Your mood ring. Seriously?


The studded belt you wore every day, despite losing almost a stud a week. Let it go. Let it gooooo.


Your rainbow eyebrow piercing bar. Technically not a clothing item, but the importance of it’s removal is just that vital, we had to include it.


Rosary beads. What exactly is the goal here?