You’ll get a rich boyfriend to buy you diamonds and rubies. Right?
As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed this past weekend, I stumbled across a tweet from the Huffington Post which read, “LOOK: Birthday card sends AWFUL message to young women huff.to/SFxK1E” Well, obviously I’m go to click the link with a headline like that, just like you probably clicked the link to this post with a headline like that. Or maybe not.
Anyways, please, indulge in this card that can singlehandedly sum up my reasoning for being a feminist.
This picture was posted by Maureen Johnson via twitter with the comment, “Dear @HallmarkPR, SERIOUSLY???? #letsmessgirlsupearlywithcards”
The article was especially interesting to me as recently a few people were discussing greeting cards and the messages they send to young girls, the way they play into traditional gender roles, and the cards that are kinda like “Hey it’s your birthday, here’s my butt.” I so wish I could take credit for that quote…
It’s an interesting topic, no? Small things like greeting cards, you wouldn’t think that that would be something we need to be concerned about. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I had received this card when I was thirteen and if it did have an impact on me I probably wouldn’t even notice… it would be that subconscious.
Not only does this card send a bad message about relying on men for financial security/materialistic lifestyle, it also sends the message that having big ‘boobies’ will get you a boyfriend. False. I have big boobs and I do not have a boyfriend. TMI? Ugh, probs. ANYway… the card also is successful about bringing up any insecurities a young girl may have about not having boobies or any other of the hundreds of insecurities young girls and women have about themselves. Is there a study on this? Effects of greeting card messages on young girls? Maybe my Google skills have failed me, but I have yet to find it.
However, my Google skills aren’t all that bad. While searching for other greeting cards that have caused controversy in the past I found….
This one, which makes light of stalking….
And then there’s this asshole who thinks it’s funny to make greeting cards that insult rape victims, people with AIDS, and people with breast cancer. Yup, you read that correctly. I’m not even going to give this person the benefit of showing the card on here, but the copy on the card reads “Congratulations. You got bad touched” and features an illustration of a woman hunched over sitting on the shower floor.
Are you $#@&*(% kidding me?!
Not surprisingly, this got some national attention from CNN and other outlets, but the best part? This guy still sells cards on Etsy. Yup. Granted they’re not as offensive, wait, no, they are. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
I know, I know, this post is all over the place, so for that, I apologize. (Can you tell it’s finals week?) This post was originally intended to spark a conversation about messages in greeting cards and the gender stereotyping involved. Even the card isles are gender stereotyped. Walk into any card section in a store and you’ll find birthday cards “For Her,” usually featuring pink labels and messages along the lines of “you’re getting so old! yay it’s the one day you don’t need to diet! happy birthday you sassy chick, you… let’s go shoe shopping! I couldn’t get you a boyfriend for your birthday, so here’s $20” and then you venture over to the blue “For Him” section where you’re likely to find cards with beer, golf clubs, some blonde, etc.
I mean, this is ridiculous. We’re talking about birthday cards. When did birthdays become so gender specific?
Now I’m not saying go boycott the card industry, but the next time you’re out shopping for a greeting card, take a gander at the differences between cards for her and cards for him, especially at the cards geared for young boys vs. young girls. It’s quite interesting. (And if you find a good one, post a pic below! And if you find a study on the effects of card messaging… send it my way!)