What Gender Is Father Christmas And Are Gingerbread Men Sexist?
The divisive click-bait articles taking over the internet this Christmas.
Have you seen them? The click-bait articles about petty feminism?
Sure – they get attention, they spark debate, sometimes they even raise interesting conversation points – but they really devalue the word ‘feminism’ and take attention away from the important, valuable points that feminists make.
We’re talking about the articles about gender-neutral gingerbread men, or about ‘snowpals’ becoming the new gender-neutral name for snowmen, and even most recently about people wanting a gender neutral Father Christmas.
These articles do raise a good point that being male is not the default option for everything, and that all of these characters should not be assumed to be men – where are the women, where are the characters for girls to look up to? Where are the characters to make non-binary people feel included?
BUT they are generally not fact-based articles. The debate about the sexist gingerbread men stemmed from the fact that Pret-A-Manger changed the names for it’s gingerbread men & women into simpler ‘gingerbread biscuits’ – a choice made by one man in the company. And the claim that feminists wanted a gender neutral Santa came from a survey that was not accurately measured and in fact only found that a small group of participants selected gender neutral from a multiple choice question about Santa’s gender that provided female, male, or gender neutral as the only options.
So why aren’t they reported factually?
They’re exaggerated and promoted under misleading headlines purely to spark debate. To get responses like ‘feminist’s are out of control’ or, in the words or Piers Morgan ‘The world’s gone nuts’, and to drive traffic to the reporting news sites.
It’s dangerous to make feminism seem so petty, to make out that women want to change every little thing, and to devalue the people that call themselves feminists. It takes conversation away from important feminist issues like transgender rights, abortion laws, healthcare, toxic masculinity, assaults, mental health issues, the pay gap, rape cases, sexual misconduct – the list goes on. These are the problems that get us riled up, and these are the conversations that need to be taking the spotlight. If we ever get to a place where the gender of a biscuit is our biggest problem then we will be living in a much better world than the one we’re living in right now. Hopefully one day we’ll get to it.
Facebook caption: The divisive click-bait articles taking over the internet this Christmas.
Instagram caption: If we ever get to a place where the gender of a biscuit is what feminists are worried about then we will have come a very long way from our current world of damaged mental health, dangerous laws and unpunished sexual misconduct and assault.