J Crew Gender Controversy


So ironically enough after our discussion Wednesday about children and gender roles I ran into several articles discussing this advertisement by J Crew:


A boy who likes pink nail polish is apparently newsworthy. Here are two different takes on the issue from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Fox new's response: Here are some of the more savory quotes from the article.

"These folks [J Crew] are hostile to the gender distinctions that actually are part of the magnificent synergy that creates and sustains the human race."

"This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity--homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such "psychological sterilization" [my word choice] is not known."

The blog Afterellen picked up the story and offered it's own "doomsday scenario" of what might happen if the gender lines are no longer firmly entrenched.

Choice quote: "I don't know why conservatives always fly off the handle about stuff like this. One trip to a toy story proves that the gender binary is still firmly in place. Heck, at ToysRUs.com you can even sort your search results by "boy" toys and "girl" toys (helpfully color-coded pink or blue). Also, actual science AND Lady Gaga are here to tell you that dolls and Halloween costumes don't make a person queer." Here's their own spoof on the issue:


Thoughts, comments? I particularly like the notion of "psychological sterilization" friggen hilarious.


Thanks for posting this. Somehow I missed it; very fitting for our class discussion.

I saw this the other day too, and I couldn't believe that this was even a story. Personally, when I look at the picture I see a happy woman and her son. When we talk about gender binaries in our society, it's interesting to me how most of the concern is placed on the 'feminization' of boys. If this had been a picture of a girl and her mother doing something traditionally masculine, I'm sure that it would not have made the news. In general, our society seems to be pushing at raising boys to not be feminine in any way. While we are telling our girls "you can be anything that you want" we are telling our boys "don't be like girls." And I think it just further illustrates the patriarchal society we live in.

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