Girl Talk: Some, not all, corporations help change gender stereotypes

Share This:

Some of corporate America seems to care more about making money than standing for gender equality.

What fun is societal change without a little controversy and standing tall with integrity and the intention to make a difference? 

Intel pulled an advertising campaign from gaming website Gamasutra because too many customers complained it was too gender neutral. What compelled a company as big as Intel to stop the advancement of gender equality in its tracks?

That led me to think about the advertising concerning the value of women and feminism that gives us a positive look.

There are two ads I think about immediately that shed a positive light on females in a world that still seems to struggle with the thought of women doing the same things as men.

Under Armour and Always. That’s right – athletic wear and feminine hygiene. Obviously they target different audiences, but they tell the same story: Women can be just as awesome as men.

I’ve always admired dancers and seen them as athletes. Under Armour publicly recognized that ballet is as taxing as other mainstream sports when it recently put out an ad featuring Misty Copeland, a non-traditional yet incredibly successful woman in the world of ballet. It took a stand to say women are deserving of everyone’s attention because they too can do great things.

Under Armour went the road Intel decided not to take. It took the chance to expand their demographic rather than limiting it. 

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Always ad. The ad is targeted at girls, even though it really has nothing to do with the product. Always simply took a stand for girls and what they’re capable of. It took the phrase “like a girl” and made it positive when it has traditionally had a negative connotation in society.

I know the general demographic of gamers is male, and many video games themselves shout sexism, but my goodness. Even the editor-at-large of Gamasutra has written about the growing culture of gaming and the end of traditional gamers, for which she got Internet hate immediately. Entire organizations against gender equality in gaming have risen to oppose her every move.

I’m not a gamer myself, but if I were, I would game like a girl because I am one. As much as I love the iconic phrase from my childhood favorite film “The Sandlot,” I wish boys would play ball like girls and not take offence to the idea. If I told a girl to play like a boy, she’d still play like a girl because that’s what she is. And I’m sure she would play ball just as well as a boy could. 

I’ve never understood the phrase “the customer is always right.” They are not. If the customers are opposed to gender neutrality and the progression of human beings shifting their roles in a formerly male-ruled culture, they should probably crawl out from under the rock they’ve been gaming under for the last 20 years and take a look around.