As I dropped my daily aspirin into the glass of water, I asked Mrs B what it reminded her of. Quick as a flash she said “Plink, plink, fizz: Alka Seltzer” and we laughed. It was exactly what I was thinking too.
“And that is why they want to ban adverts that portray gender stereotyping” I replied. If one harmless advert is still referenced by us forty years on adn influences our way of thinking, what effect is the apparent stereotyping of male and female roles in adverts going to have on the youth of today? Not much, I suspect, as I am not too sure the sight of men getting their thrills being active while the woman enjoys peace and quiet with a book and a sleeping baby is going to have too deliterious effect. Should we be concerned that some advertisers are suggesting that (white, middle class) women are good at looking after children and (white, middle class) men do not read enough?
At a time when we have politicians on a daily basis blithely reinforcing national and racial stereoptying without any noticeable penalty, I do not see that a few adverts making jokes at the expense of absent-minded fathers is that big a deal by comparison. But hey we have to start somewhere I guess.
In the Midlife Garden we have no such worries of stereotypical activities, as Mrs B and I happily allow each other to take on non-gender defined roles. Mrs B enjoys nothing more than a bit of slashing and hacking as she has chopped overgrowing ivy and Forsythia, keeping hedgerows in their place. I take satisfaction from quieter activites such as sowing seeds, thinning and planting as I have started to attempt successive harvests of salad leaves and beans, as well as sowing some hardy annuals for the cut flower patch planned for the spring.
“Being a bit of a Marjory” is how Mrs B puts it, something that originates from the time I was pricking out (fnarr, fnarr) in the greenhouse while she was being active and energetic hurling stakes in the veg patch. All very amusing, but could there perhaps be a hint of gender stereotyping in the pejorative use of the name “Marjory”? I think she needs to be picked up on that…
Ha ha! On our patch we have the (intransitive) verb ‘to dimmock’, as in, ‘I’ve spent all afternoon dimmocking, you can get your own tea.’ The socio-linguistics of this verb are fascinating: its subject is always feminine; the speaker is likely to be a baby-boomer.