Writer Jennifer Wright only had to walk through a magazine aisle to find this perfect example of how we treat boys and girls differently. She tweeted a side-by-side comparison of a magazine meant for girls and one for boys on Thursday:
The girls' magazine's headlines like "Wake Up Pretty" and "Your Dream Hair" seem much more ridiculous when paired against Boys' Life's "Explore Your Future." Yes, Boys' Life was created for Boy Scouts, while Girls' Life is just a lifestyle magazine (there is no magazine for Girl Scouts), but the messages are still clear: girls should learn how to be pretty, boys should learn how to be successful. In the day that Wright's tweet has been up, it has been shared over 5k times, but not all of the response has been positive.
Explainers and trolls were quick to point out that the masthead of Girls' Life is stocked with women, but failed to acknowledge that those women are just businesspeople following up on a society that promotes girls' usage of makeup and fashion at an early age. Damn them for making me think the phrase "tools of the patriarchy" at the beginning of a holiday weekend.
Pretty much everyone else understood immediately the implications of these magazine covers.
Ironically, some found the Boy's Life cover to be sexist as well, stating that a boy's only value was placed on their career instead of their being. It kind of feels like an argument for argument's sake, but let's take that note. Instead of separating girls and boys before they've even made it to middle school, how about making one magazine that appeals to both and naming it Kids' Life?