Race, Task 5


Are Men From Mars?

toyshop genderkfc gender

The Toy Shop

Somewhere like a toy shop can reveal true gender roles as it is exactly what implements them to children from a young age. The toy shop had a blue area named “action and adventure” clearly aimed at boys, and a pink area named “imagine and play” for girls. This immediate segregation separates the two genders and gives absolutely no spectrum as to what may be considered ‘boys’ toys and ‘girls’ toys. However, in recent times, this male female toy split has been shamed on social media and in society in general as it is deemed a thing of the past. In the toy shop, there was evidence of this new way of thinking. For example, the company ‘nerf,’ a brand that has always been associated with boys as it involves shooting and violence have brought out a seemingly ‘female’ version. It has pink and purple packaging and is called ‘Rebelle,’ which suggests that if a girl is seen to be violent she is rebelling against her typical gender role of being kind and gentle.Raymond Montemayor, a psychology professor at the Ohio State University, brought six- to eight-year-old children into his lab. He told them about his new throwing game called Mr. Munchie (which was really just a Canadian toy unknown to US Midwestern kids). To score points, children throw as many plastic marbles as they can into a clown’s mouth in thirteen seconds. Some of the children were told the game was “for girls, like jacks.” Other children were told that the game was “for boys, like basketball.” The children liked and performed better when the game belonged to their gender group. Even in the preschool section, the building blocks all had pictures of young boys on them and the girls had the more creative toys. The same toy had multiple colours for boys and girls, even though the toy was exactly the same. This exploits the fact that someone may find the colour opposing their gender offensive or unlikeable even though it is the same device as their gender colour.


Gender roles are even evident in fast food restaurants. We visited KFC and uncovered the startling amount of male iconography within KFCs advertising. Even without the bold, sans-serif, masculine fonts, the names of the food have clear male connotations. The names of the foods include ‘Big Daddy,’ ‘Boss Box Meal,’ ‘Legends Bucket,’ and ‘Fully Loaded,’ which all have tough, powerful associations. Some are even sexual which again, is to appeal to KFC’s target audience of men. We went on to think about why KFC was aimed at men. We believe that KFC are still following the 19th century theory about men and women’s spheres. After the Industrial Revolution, the workplace and the home which had previously been the same, now began to seperate. Women now were assigned the private/domestic sphere, while men were forced to do their work in the public sphere. This is exposed today, when women are somehow unavailable to put dinner in front of their male counterpart, the man finds cooking impossible so therefore goes to his local KFC to pick up a fried chicken beastly meal.