Thisiswhyimbroke.com is one of the most ridiculous sites I have ever been on. However, my trip down buyer’s remorse lane began as my professor says philosophy did, with wonder. I spent entirely too long scrolling through tons of pages of things that I could see myself buying, things that I could see my family or friends buying or things that I could never see the need for, ever. As I kept scrolling down, the ever present top menu bar drew my attention one to many times. I realized that next to the “popular” items tag, which I had been previously been scrolling through, were two page options of “Gifts for Men” followed by ♂ and the page “Gifts for Woman” followed by you guessed it, ♀.
Now being who I am, (a strong, independent, feminist, female who “don’t need no” gendered product placement) I was instantly intrigued by the idea that even on a website so ridiculous as thisiswhyimbroke.com they had gendered sections that followed the typical male/female gender split when it comes to strange and expensive gifts. In the female side everything from the first five to ten pages was strictly beauty products and sexual “gifts” that would not only be incredibly inappropriate to receive but are made not for the woman but for her significant other or partner almost unequivocally. But that’s not the page from which I chose my object to spend all my rent money on. No, in between all the anatomical jokes, BBQ tools, gun shaped objects and for some reason chocolate flavored whiskey, I had a tough choice ahead of me.
Finally, after trolling through what felt like miles of brown and black packaging with bold white text, I had it narrowed down to three objects. The military diaper backpack, the men’s yoga mat, and hand scrub for men were my final contestants. And after extensive thought I settled on the cheapest option, because why break the bank while creating a social commentary on the ridiculousness of overly gendered products?
If you guessed that my product of choice is the Organic Man Hand Scrub, you’re right! The website describes this product as, “Keep your manly hooks clean without feeling emasculated by using this rough hand scrub for men. Handmade from natural ingredients, this organic scrub softens and exfoliates the skin without leaving behind a feminine scent.”
I for one have never worried about losing my femininity by perhaps scrubbing my hands with man hand scrub, but I guess this product will teach me to be more cautious in my sanitary purchases. Clearly, I have been wasting my potential for strength and a more respectable, manly scent by not purchasing “for men” soaps and shampoos. I wonder if the scrub comes with instructions for how to de-woman the tap water that is needed to use this product too, or if the men who use it are just counseled to only use boiling water to prevent from immediate “emasculation”?
But all jokes aside folks, over gendering, or even just gendering, products creates a binary that is just not needed in the world today. There should be no pressure put on the men in our world that says that they can’t enjoy smelling like calming lavender instead of bacon. There should be no worry based on the products someone uses, that they are going to lose everything that they hold dear to themselves in how they regard their own gender. I encourage you all, men and women to confront this idea of “this is only for this gender because…”, because superheroes are awesome and should be for everyone, as should organic hand scrubs.