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masculinity

Highlights from the #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag that’s blowing up on Twitter

Time for a man shower!
Time for a man shower!

So Buzzfeed ran a pretty hilarious post today featuring 23 Gendered Products That Prove How Truly Fragile Masculinity Is — including the example above, of a shower puff shaped like a hand grenade, because what real man would ever use a … shower puff to wash off his manly stank?

Well, turns out I’m not the only one who thinks these gendered products are completely ridiculous; the Buzzfeed post has gone viral, getting nearly half a million hits so far and re-igniting the Twitter hashtag #MasculinitySoFragile.

Here are some of the highlights from the hashtag so far. (Click on the smaller pics to enlarge them.)

https://twitter.com/stefihega/status/646807716585836544

https://twitter.com/gay_desi/status/646806063644340224

https://twitter.com/Ansmellicaa/status/646805720822710272

https://twitter.com/fucking_jessie/status/646803657070014465

https://twitter.com/enright_dan/status/646819670729863170

https://twitter.com/THECAROLDANVERS/status/646584422158999552

https://twitter.com/THECAROLDANVERS/status/646585159748333568

This birthday card, at least, is self-aware:

https://twitter.com/AlphaDecae/status/646804956297752577

As is this dude:

But the hashtag has turned out to be more than just an opportunity to post pics of ridiculous products aimed at insecurely masculine men; it’s helped to spawn an interesting discussion about masculinity.

And it’s also spurred on a backlash from antifeminists, who (almost completely missing the point) have been bombarding the hashtag with attacks on “fragile” feminists.

More on all that in a future post or two.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this. I have no idea what it has to do with the hashtag but it is AWESOME.

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firechild (@firechild)

Hey David, in light of this hashtag I thought you might get a kick out of a bakery here in Vancouver. I’ve walked by it before but never gone in since it doesn’t really seem all that appealing, ridiculous gender issues aside. Anyway enjoy http://www.mancakesbakery.com/

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

And before any trolls roll in here with “But but but there are products unnecessarily aimed at women too!” – yeah, but the difference is that when a product is unnecessarily gendered for women, we laugh. Oh God do we fucking laugh. But when a product is unnecessarily gendered for men, they buy it in droves to the exclusion of everything that doesn’t say “MAN” or “DUDE” or “PENIS.”

katz
katz
6 years ago

The thing I love about the bronuts is how they cost like 5 times as much as regular donuts. There is no cash cow like insecure dudes.

Moocow
Moocow
6 years ago

Love the hashtag, love the idiots who interpret it as “men are fragile” and then try to come up with clever ‘comebacks’ that do nothing other than prove the fragility of their gender identity.

Now excuse me while I go put on my extremely manly rainbow acrylic thigh-highs on. What? Did I say “rainbow”? I meant “manbow”!

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
6 years ago

The whole business of gendering products for no discernable reason is just so weird. I thought we’d reached the pinnacle when Bic decided to take regular ballpoint pens, make the outside pink, and jack up the price because they’re pens “for her.” The Amazon reviews are to die for:

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-Cristal-1-0mm-Black-MSLP16-Blk/dp/B004F9QBE6/ref=sr_1_1?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1443051399&sr=1-1&keywords=bic+pens+for+her

But man BREAD? Man TEA? Whut?

Sissy
Sissy
6 years ago

Love the hashtag, love the idiots who interpret it as “men are fragile” and then try to come up with clever ‘comebacks’ that do nothing other than prove the fragility of their gender identity.

Yep, exactly! I think I’ve seen a tweet that has one guy going about challenging the feeeeemales to last three rounds with him in a fight.

Because if you need to prove your masculinity, it’s by beating the crap outta someone. *sarcastic thumbs up*

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I’m surprised not to see Men’s Pocky.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

This is the hands-down dumbest gendered product I’ve ever seen:

http://www2.woolworthsonline.com.au/Content/ProductImages/big/779309.JPG
comment image

They’re exactly the same. The shape is the same, the accessories are the same, the uses are the same. The only difference is the colour. I know I’ve posted these before, but just… Fucking Christ, guys. (The female version came first by a full decade, so this also counts as a Manly Product For Men.)

katz
katz
6 years ago

The difference between products aimed at men and products aimed at women is subtle. As I see it, for women, the overall social narrative is that everything is off-limits to them unless specified otherwise. So products “for women” are granting women permission to participate: “Here, honey, here’s a hammer just for you.”

And that can work! When you’ve spent your whole life in a culture that assumes you don’t exist most of the time, it feels nice to have someone acknowledge that you exist and that you do whatever it is, even if it’s in a belittling way that reinforces the idea that you didn’t belong there to begin with. So I don’t blame women at all if they feel more comfortable with things labeled “for them.”

But with men, the whole damn world is made for them already! That’s what’s so ridiculous about most of those “man” products: They’re mostly things that were never particularly gendered in the first place. But men can’t just live with generic stuff that assumes the user is male because men are the default; they need stuff that’s extra tailored to them.

Also a lot of those products, like the cleaning products, are packaged that way to soothe their egos so they won’t feel bad about doing things that they should never have had a problem doing in the first place. I can’t think of many female-marketed things with that angle.

Snuffy
Snuffy
6 years ago

(I posted this in another thread, but I love it too much not to repost)

My personal favourite man-product is DUDE STICK (the chapstick made for MEN).

http://www.dailydot.com/lol/dude-stick-manly-chapstick-kickstarter/

High-lights include:

matte black packaging, references to lumberjacks and beer, and maybe some “tactical” details that make it look like a weapon.

I’m not 100% sure whether it is sincere or a parody of man-products, but either way I love it. Just a bunch of manly-men rubbing DUDE STICK all over their mouth to moisturise their lips.

Michael Bauser
6 years ago

I must be shopping at the wrong stores, because I’ve never seen most of those products. Is there a separate ManlyMart™ I’m supposed to be shopping at?

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

Yep, exactly! I think I’ve seen a tweet that has one guy going about challenging the feeeeemales to last three rounds with him in a fight.

Even better, a woman accepted his challenge: https://twitter.com/PiaGlenn/status/646678039158460416

And, of course, he ignored her, instead continuing to challenge other women to “prove” his point: https://twitter.com/ReignOfApril/status/646682782689816576

So very fragile, yeah.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

@Katz & myself

Actually, thinking about it more, there are loads of differences. Another one would be that they’re all designed, made and marketed by men, who know what men like but have no idea what women like. Which is how we end up with pink pens and mini-computers for the kitchen.

Nick
6 years ago

Actually, I use that particular shower puff thing. It’s not because it’s Axe, or because of the shape, but rather because the two textures are pretty nifty and they don’t tend to fall apart as badly as the regular poofy things do.

Not saying marketing it just to men isn’t ridiculous, but it’s not a bad product otherwise.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

Also the products geared towards women tend to cost more and give less than non-gendered products. And usually the products geared towards men, too, though there are a few exceptions where the MANLY MEN products are more expensive.

Sissy
Sissy
6 years ago

@Tara:
HA! Those reviews are everything! Guess they were what my tiny lady hands needed, since the last pens I used were took a giant toll on my feeeemale self! Where have you been all my life, Pink Tax Pens?

@Ben:

Even better, a woman accepted his challenge: https://twitter.com/PiaGlenn/status/646678039158460416

And, of course, he ignored her, instead continuing to challenge other women to “prove” his point: https://twitter.com/ReignOfApril/status/646682782689816576

So very fragile, yeah.

I shouldn’t be surprised at this. He even called her a “wannabe” TWICE to boot. Very hypocritical from that dude.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
6 years ago

The assumption that making any product pink makes it “for women” is even weirder when you consider how new the idea is. A century ago, pink was for boys because it was a “warm” color, while the (oh-so-gentler-natured) girls needed a “cool” color like blue.

katz
katz
6 years ago

Later on, various dudes accuse her of being violent for being willing to fight him.

foxkit
foxkit
6 years ago

@sissy
What?! Who taught you how to write? That’s man’s work!

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I think this is one of the stupidest gendered products ever.

http://762precision.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/pink-digital-ar-15_springfield-1911.jpg

And so American. So very, very American.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

@katz:

I think the idea is that the default versions of a lot of these products ARE gendered and generally considered feminine by a lot of people. Like beauty products, yogurt (for some reason), diet ANYTHING, etc. Giving them “manly” things like a black/gray color scheme or tactical grips somehow gives guys who care about this kind of thing permission to care about their appearance or watch their weight without losing face.

monopole
monopole
6 years ago

@katz but the forces of masculinity are taking back their hammers!!
http://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/56273468.jpg

tcwill00
tcwill00
6 years ago

Beloved is going to market Mandals(R), for all your masculine beachwalking needs.

She’s going to be a millionaire.

ljy2008
6 years ago

Do men ever get sick and tired of being condescended to by marketing companies?

ljy2008
6 years ago

monopole LOVE IT!

That is all.

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