The book Untamed by Glennon Doyle was recommended to me by a close friend. Number One New York Times Best Seller! There seem to be so many Best Sellers these days, if I am lucky one day, I can become the Number One Worst Seller but just being a seller will be a victory for me. This is not my usual genre of books but in the spirit of unity I went to my local library (virtually) and checked out the book; in a digital version, of course – in an audio version never the less. A lecture that I can enjoy on walks, runs and on mindless car drives between errands.
The book opens up with an image of a captive cheetah, Tabitha and a Labrador Retriever her prison dog companion, both locked up in the San Diego ZOO. I recently came back from San Diego and while there went to that exact ZOO. I was actually pleased that the poor cheetah had a companion my tears fell over a family of Bonobo primates locked up for no crime at all (but this might be a separate blog). The concept of the book is that throughout history women have been tamed by social structures, that is of course wrong!
I will not discuss the notion of untaming the women, desires for liberty and concepts of breaking social norms. Yah! Let’s do that – hurray! What struck me is in Part 1 of the book, chapter titled Directions. In this chapter Doyle proposes that personal hygiene product (maybe all products) are marketed differently to boys/men and girls/women. For boys/men there is a call to action telling them what they should do. For girls and women there are soft adjectives telling them what or how they should be. I certainly need to take a field trip to my local drug store and do some investigative reporting.
Super excited! This will be my chance to dump on the corporate America and the unfair treatment of women, comment on how men are propped to be strong and powerful and women are suppressed and pushed down as soft and weak. Glorious material that will make people read this blog and give me kudos for being on the cutting edge of woke. I did not have a good plan for my research, basically I figured that I can wonder around the store and look at:
- Hair dye: more of a female thing and should definitely high light the differences.
- Shaving apparatus: totally expecting that men will get 5 blades and women will get pink handles.
- Adult diapers: neither party should have a historical advantage for these.
- Shampoo: aren’t all shampoos pretty much the same?
- Body wash: for real? Can we truly differentiate soap between genders?
And here are my findings:
Hair dye: first we shall acknowledge the handsome men on the boxes (do they really need to color their hair? They are young and vibrant.) But if so, they must be a bunch of dummies because the product advertises: “Easy comb-in color” and “FoolProof can’t go too dark” advantages.
Ladies’ products showcase beautiful people, too (I think the guy from the first box on the left would go well with the girl on the middle box – I should be a match-maker). Women get “brilliant color, visibly healthier hair,” and our products definitely lasts long, up to 8-weeks! I love hydrated, silky and shiny hair and no one is questioning the mechanics of my coloring skills!
Shaving apparatus: women get 3-blades that are comfort-glide in freesia, white tea or platinum (metal handle baby!) Men get 5-blades pro-glide, long lasting shave. Bastards! I knew it – the dudes get more blades! I will need to email Gillette Research Center and see if each additional blade truly contributes to the shaving experience? There might be a point of diminishing returns, otherwise, I want 17 blades!
Adult diapers: we both get “Dry-Lock® Core” with maximum Level-5 protection. Women’s box is pink with butterflies and men’s box is navy-blue. Whatever – color one green and one purple and put Manneken Pis on the male version and Jeanneke Pis (holy crap! She does exist!) on the female version.
Shampoo: Let me not bore you to death. One thing worth noting is that women’s products in many instances have a separate shampoo and conditioner, while many men’s products are 2-in-1. Of course, we can dig deeper and say that this is because the industry tries to get twice as much money from women, probably true. Frankly, I do like my separate products, maybe I am too tamed by the social norms but conditioners are good for my hair.
Body wash: I finally scored! Women’s products replenish, calm, sooth, relax – positively radiant! As for the men I see: Bear-glove, Captain, Pure Sport and Swagger! This section of the store could use a little woke help. I would like for my products to be Saber-tooth, Empress, Extreme Sport and of course Untamed!