SEAT and Cosmopolitan contribute to gender divide


By Alex Solari, Staff Writer

Have you ever wanted to drive a girly car that only you and your female friends could drive around town?

No fear, the Mii is here, and no boys are allowed!

On Friday, September 23, car manufacturer SEAT teamed up with Cosmopolitan to create an all-women vehicle called the Mii, which is “the perfect car for confident, independent, active young women who are really going places,” according to SEAT.

The car comes in two colors, “Violette” and “Candy White.” It also has a smartphone cradle for all your girly social media needs and eyeliner shaped headlights so even your car can be as pretty as you!

As ridiculous as this car is, this is not the first time a company has unnecessarily put a gender on items. Anyone remember the BIC “For Her” pens? Or Banana Boat’s sunscreen only for men?

As much as I’d like to sit here and bash SEAT and Cosmopolitan for this car, they are merely following along with this insane trend.

There is nothing wrong with having a traditionally feminine car or a traditionally feminine item. Companies come out with purple cars and pink pens all the time, but making it clear that the item is only for women is the problem.

Although the majority of the people who want to buy these items are female, there are still men and people of other genders that will want to buy these products as well.

By excluding these other potential customers from purchasing these items, there is a segregation which makes the divide between our genders even more visible.

I don’t necessarily think putting a gender on every item is bad. Some items, like clothes and shoes, should be separated by gender simply because it makes more sense. For example, men tend to need bigger clothes and bigger shoes, so that’s logical.

But what is the difference between men and women’s sunscreen? Is the men’s sunscreen more rough and manly?

When those sorts of items are separated by gender, it feels like the company is taking advantage of the huge disconnect between men and women, and they’re making money off of it.

This country is constantly divided in terms of gender. If we always divide men and women, even in terms of the items we buy, this gap between our genders will always exist.

In almost all ways, men and women are exactly the same. There is no reason why cars, pens, and sunscreen should be separated by gender. This is merely a marketing tactic.

In addition to the divide of men and women, the gendering of items can make life even more difficult for people questioning their gender identity, or who are gender non-conforming.

These items make a consumer feel like if they like pink, they must be a woman, or if they like blue, they have to be a man.

This is 2016, and there are people who identify as something different than man or woman, or do not feel the gender they were assigned at birth is right for them. Some people simply don’t like things that are traditionally for their gender.

The idea that people assigned as female at birth have to like feminine things, and that people assigned as male at birth have to like masculine things, is destructive.

This could make people who don’t fit these societal “norms” feel excluded and ashamed.

In some ways, I understand the companies’ thought process. If you put a gender on a certain item, it’s going to instantly appeal to that group, therefore securing buyers.

I don’t think SEAT and Cosmopolitan meant to contribute to the huge disconnect between men, women, and people of other genders—but they did.

By gendering items and keeping genders separate, equality gets further and further away, so I hope that due to the backlash Cosmopolitan and SEAT have received, they will decide not to release the car.

However, as of this moment, the Mii is still expected to come out in January of 2017.

Photo Courtesy: SEAT


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