On Gender Targeting in Umbrellas

Tuesday, 18 Apr, 2017

As I walked in the rain to take the trash out this morning, I used my wife or daughter’s umbrella, and was marvelling at how pretty the light is, when you’re inside it.

I felt jealous of women and perhaps gay men, who might choose such beautiful designs, that set your world in a soft glow of color, on dreary days. The only non-black or blue umbrella I’ve owned is an oh-so-manly army camouflage one.

Ellen Degeneres has a famous skit slamming gender marketing in Bic Pens, specifically the ones sold “for her”. I agree about the points she makes, but at least here in Japan, it’s the way things are done. We have all manner of consumer products (such as the compact car Suzuki Lapin) that are targeted at women—mostly I think in color choices—and nobody bats an eye.

Should this be? Should we not choose whatever color or design we like? If I had a nicely colored umbrella to use, maybe I wouldn’t feel so dark on rainy days. 😄

By the way, Happy Birthday! to my lovely wife of many years, Akiko. May her umbrellas always be colorful.

💗 🎂 ㊗️

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