5. The "Mancave"
This term seems to have become a buzzword that nobody (or at least all the straight guys on any episode of House Hunters ever) can stop saying. Specs for a proper "Mancave" can vary, but generally include a large, preferably windowless, room in the basement; a gi-normous television; and a healthy assortment of pro sports team fan paraphernalia. Admission limited to those with a penis. Heterosexuality required.
4. Teen vitamins "for girls" and "for boys"
And then there's "Power Teen," with packaging reminiscent of Monster energy drinks, and that appear to feature something called "Feminine Complex" in the girls' version (the boys' version comes with blue instead of pink-themed packaging and does not include "Masculine Complex," but rather "BlemishShield Complex." Very complex indeed).
One thing's for sure - I feel like I'm getting a feminine complex just from looking at this shit. Maybe it's a good thing we all just learned that vitamins are slowly destroying our livers. Maybe next they'll offer us "his and hers" cirrhosis medication.
3. Those "He went to Jared" commercials:
All jewelry commercials are pretty bad, but these take the cake - and since the holidays are nigh, it feels like every other commercial is one of them. If there's something on TV these days more reliant on traditional gender roles to sell a product, let's hear about it. The thing about these commercials that I can't get over - besides the sickening heteronormativity - is that lately, they've been advertising the weirdest things, like rainbow-colored diamonds and charm bracelets for adult women, which the commercials seem to suggest should be worn to things like formal work events. Who is actually wearing this stuff? Does anyone even want these things? I can't even.
2. This totally unfortunate greeting card:
Not only is this card horribly transphobic, homophobic, and sexist, it also takes aim at the Wizard of Oz, which has so many delightfully queer elements, and is an all-time favorite movie of mine. This card is utter sacrilege. Don't worry, Lion. You flaunt those curls. I've got your back.
1. The "what your guy is really thinking" category of magazine articles and self-help books:
See above re: sexism, heterosexism, and related topics. Found in everything from Cosmo to all parenting magazines ever, these articles can advise you on how "your guy" wants to have sex, how "your guy" is adjusting to parenthood, or what communication styles work best for (you guessed it) "your guy." Because god forbid you could just ask him. Or that he would just tell you. But that, of course, would then prevent anyone from marketing "men's secrets" to women. There must be some major conspiracy afoot in which monogamous heterosexual relationships are valued by the culture at large more highly than other kinds of relationships and the people in said heterosexual relationships are subject to immense social pressure to conform to traditional notions of masculinity and femininity, which include the supposed inability of male and female people to properly communicate with one another without the aid of advice literature meant to help women read men's minds and which they must pay good money to obtain. Oh wait, there is such a conspiracy. It's called capitalism. See also: patriarchy.