Saturday, 8 December 2012

Sexist M&S - #everydaysexism

An email of complaint I just sent to Marks & Spencer Customer Service:
When shopping today in your Guildford store I was very disturbed to see that in your Christmas Gifts section next to the food court that you had a 'For Her' section of gifts which were almost entirely cooking and baking utensils. Quite apart from the ridiculous level of sexist gender stereotyping that indicated, I also imagine that if I were to give a baking tray to any female acquaintance of mine as a present then they would be likely to brain me with it. 
I find it completely unacceptable that in the 21st century that a chain of your prominence still apparently holds the view at a management level that a woman's primary role is in the kitchen and that the best presents for a woman are cooking utensils. 
As a result I will no longer be making any purchases at any of your stores while you continue to present such a stereotyping of women and I will also be advising all my acquaintances of my reasons for doing so and recommend that they do the same. 
Yours sincerely,
George Potter


  1. I saw a similar display in the Reading M&S! I bought my wife a superb baking tray with tiny compartments for preparing the likes of hors d'oeuvres and mini mincemeat pies. She was delighted. It was not a Chistmas present. She's getting a frog for that.

    She does the baking and I do the rest. I was similarly delighted to find that she'd found a fine-tined whisk in the Women's Institute market which I can use for preparation of properly emulsified dressings and sauces. I've been looking for one for years.

    I take it you don't do much cooking, George.

    1. As it happens I do cook and I enjoy cooking. And, amongst other things, I'd quite like it if I didn't have to go to the For Her section to look for nifty baking utensils.

  2. Thanks for the heads up. I wish more stores would label their gift sections so carefully. My partner wants a new knife set for her Christmas so I'll pop in to M&S on Monday and see what they have.

  3. Thanks George. My dad has got used to looking in the ladies' sections for stuff to help him out with being a chef, but I wish he didn't have to.

  4. Dear George,
    M&S is not on its own in the attitude that it has towards women and girls. Sexism is everywhere and heavily encourages the wrong stereotypical attitudes to girls. How can we expect to tackle sexism when it is present wherever we go? I face sexism and I am shocked, as are you, that such a recognised, big corporation can encourage gender stereotypes.

    Here is a link to a campaign called 'Pink Stinks'. This campaign wants stores and media to realize that girls should not just be in pink fairy dresses and skipping around baking fairy cakes.


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