The #ItWasNeverADress campaign aims to empower women by changing the way we look at bathroom signs for women differently.
This campaign was created by Tania Katan, an activist,author and software programmer, who says, “In science, technology, arts, mathematics, politics, houses of worship, on the streets, and in our homes, insightful women are often uninvited, overlooked, or just plain dismissed. “It Was Never a Dress will foster necessary conversations, vital voices, and images from around the world that honor ALL women. When we see women differently… we see the world differently!”
Sexist bathroom signs have been hailed as creative for many years!
Another commonly seen “creative” bathroom sign is “blah” for men and “blah blah blah..” for women! While we can simply laugh it off, we cannot ignore the stereotyping that hides behind these signs.
When I decided to dig deeper into this topic, I came across an amazing number of sexist advertisements that have existed in our world for ages! A bathroom sign is just the tip of the iceberg! I have included a few images of these advertisements that will make you cringe and question how these flew by with past generations!
Thankfully most of them are from the ‘60s. But sexist thoughts still exist in our society. It’s imbibed in our culture.
A simple thing such as blue for boys and pink for girls is sexist! Who gendarized colors? If a girl likes pink, it’s absolutely okay but she doesn’t have to wear pink just because she is a girl. My 9 year old son likes pink and we buy him what he chooses. We don’t force him to wear blue and not to wear pink either!
Another common sexist phrase is; “Think like a man!” Wherever that phrase originated from, how does one jump to a conclusion that women can’t think radically!
Today women work in different higher capacities than men and still such comments are subtly passed as a joke. No, we are not laughing!
At least our generation should understand the importance of sexism and stereotyping and teach our children differently. We need to teach our children that boys and girls are equal so that our sons don’t grow up and hurt their partners and so that our daughters don’t fall prey to abuse and have the courage to fight it.
I will cite a personal example. I bought my son a fairy tale, and he didn’t like it. He was expecting his usual comic. So I explained to him the importance of fairy tales. He then said, “But fairy tales are for girls!” Now, I have never said anything like this to him nor ever shown that he is privileged because he’s a boy. But, he still has picked this up from his normal exposure. That’s how deep sexism runs around us.
Take a minute to think about this. This is not about women alone. Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which patriarchy is harmful to men. For eg. “Boys never cry.”
The only thing to be done now is raise children with an impartial point of view. Treat them equal, reprimand them when they don’t!