Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fluidity please


I was doing laundry today and reading a sign, produced by STEP, on how to save energy and water. One of the items is headed "Dad yells check the oil, Mom yells check the lint!"

I know that this is not explicitly that sexist; you could argue that it jokingly describes the usual division of household labor. But this sign perpetuates gender norms - norms that have more broadly delivered vast inequality within and outside of family units. I think we should at all costs avoid using such stereotypes (however trivial the situation!), in the hopes that individuals of all genders can be recognized as "experts" in whatever "field" they want.

Thoughts?

4 comments:

laura said...

I hate that sign. Why do you seem apologetic that you're blogging about it? The fact is that when politically aware people see such blatantly gender normative (and heteronormative) language, they will and should notice it. A family is not just mom and dad, women aren't the only ones who do laundry, and men aren't the only ones who know about cars. Duh!

Anonymous said...

yup. in my house dad does his laundry and mom does the plumbin' and garden digging. stereotypes are for the dogs.

jules said...

truth. Don't apologize, that sign is stupid as hell. My dad is a laundry fiiiieendd.

Anonymous said...

you guys are kidding, right?