Guys, Are You Being Tricked Into Buying Gendered Products?

Are gendered products dividing us to take more of our money, or tailoring products to fit a market need?

This video by two awesome Aussie women, Zoe Norton Lodge and Kirsten Drysdale, explores the marketing tactics deployed by companies that have discovered that they can sell more products by making one version for men and one for women. Same for boys and girls.

The conversation is fascinating. What happened when Lego started making Lego Friends (marketed to girls) and Dove started making body washes and other products for men? Sales skyrocketed.

But does that mean that gendered products are necessarily bad?

Personally, I don’t think so. Dove Men+Care is a fantastic line, and I laughed out loud when I saw that section on Glide (an anti-chafing product for athletes) in the video. I just bought a package of Glide, and I totally bought the Glide for Her for the exact reason they say – it’s small and fits in my purse, so I never forget to take it with me when I go work out.

But I’ll admit, I laughed when I bought it. Glide for Her?! What? Couldn’t they have not made it “for her” and just made it a smaller package? Or go back to making the awesome Glide with sunscreen that all of us who wear wetsuits loved so much??

Anyway, I’m really curious what people think of this gendered marketing thing. Is it always bad? Or do you find it a handy way to shop?

Also, would you ever buy sunscreen for men? I saw this at Target recently and raised an eyebrow. I can see the reasons for a lot of gendered products, but… sunscreen?

Or is it brilliant?

You tell me.

h/t UpWorthy

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 8.48.49 AM

About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer and editor with a special focus in issues facing raising boys and gender in the media. Her work has appeared on Redbook, Yahoo!, xoJane,,, and more. She and her husband are outdoor sports enthusiasts raising very active sons. She is currently co-editing a book of essays for boys and young men with author and advocate Jeff Perera. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. First off, thank you Joanna for at least maintaining some sense with this. It’s a great talking point, and it was refreshing to find you not write like other pieces I find on here and HuffPo, which make it out as though I’m wrong because I don’t want to use products marketed for women.

    Why do the women in the video worry about the men though? It’s women who pay more. So why not point out, that as long as women don’t mind using bigger bars and edged, less feminine products, they could “save a fortune?” I do think it’s stupid that a smaller package is more expensive.

    I will say that the price for women is likely to be higher because the demand is higher. Something they don’t seem to touch on.

    Also, is it that the products are driving a gender gap or just marketing to the gender gap already in place? I think that it certainly doesn’t help it but I don’t think that there’s anything wrong gender marketing. Can’t say I’d mind more of a unisex approach either.

    You can be a “good man” and still not want to use products that are obviously marketed more for women. Thank you for allowing that possibility, Joanna.

  2. Amy Gass says:

    A lot of these products are unisex! No need for excessive gendered products.

  3. Tom Brechlin says:


Speak Your Mind