Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gender Neutral Shoes?

On Sunday, I spent the day with my little sister from the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program at Denison. She is a wonderful, wise, hip young lady. While we were shopping for sneakers, she made an astute observation: “She always buys boys’ shoes because they don’t make cool shoes for girls.” When I asked her why she thought that, she answered, “I guess more girls just like pink and glitter.” Designs for shoes fall into social constructions of what is female and male. A feminine shoe is pink and glittery while a masculine shoe is as my little put it “cooler.” There are more options and better designs for men. This is just one example of how conceptions of gender influence all aspects of life. Even something small such as shoe design and color contributes to gender inequality. This needs to be changed! Maybe my little will start her own company designing cool shoes…

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