Monday, November 20, 2017

Gender Issues?

Please help me out.

In anticipation of the coming season, and to prompt smiles from little grandchildren, I pulled out this placemat. (No signature on the actual art, but the back says this placemat was made in the USA, and it's copyrighted by Greenbrier/Scentex .)



At first glance, I saw both boy and girl snowmen in the picture. But then I had to ask myself how I came to that conclusion? I try not to grab onto stereotypes, but I guess we all do now and then.

So I'm asking you all. I assumed the snowman on the front of the sled was a guy. To his right and back on that hill, that one seemed to be a younger snowperson, but again a male. The one behind him, higher on the hill, that's a girl. And back to the couple on the sled – the one in the back must be the girl. And no, I did not come to this conclusion because I have any ridiculous notion that women should always follow the men.

Anyway, I had to study the picture to figure out why my assumptions were so gender specific. I hoped that I didn't assume the couple on the sled were female on the left and male on the right (front) just because the front snowman is bigger. A walk through town would prove to anyone that size doesn't matter. So I looked closer.

The snowgal on the back of the sled definitely looks more girly in the face than the one on the front. After letting my gaze ping-pong between the two snow people, I realized that the eyes are closer together on the one I assumed to be a female, and that smile is narrower. The whole head is smaller, so the face has to be smaller. But in this situation, it gives this snowperson a dainty look, whereas the wider face, and the arrogance in the upturned nose, of the front snowy being makes it look more masculine.

The same differences can't account for the snow people on the back hill, because these are far enough apart in space and placement (on this placemat--hee!) that the one I assumed to be the girl would have to be smaller just to be correct perspective-wise. So size truly doesn't make a difference or tell me an answer here.

Yet I still think the back one on the hill looks more feminine and the front one more masculine.
Before I drive myself crazy analyzing this matter, can anyone tell me why, or whether I'm right or wrong in my assumptions, and how you justify your answer?

I'm sorry, but weird little things like this tend to bother me until I come to at least an understanding, if not a solid answer.

Hope to hear from you soon!

19 comments:

  1. My first thought was it was a snow family, with mom and dad on the sled to test it, and the kids running and playing and waiting for their turn. We are conditioned, i think, to see a family of four as having one boy and one girl to be balanced. (The doll’s house at the mother’s day out has four people, mom, dad, girl, boy.)

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    1. True, so I guess I'll blame my assumptions on conditioning. :-)

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  2. saw it the same way - I thought it might be, for some unclear reason, the colours: red predominant for the females & green for the males - Who knows?!

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  3. Hmm...Because the one in front is larger, I assume he's a guy. They could be on a sled date. Cute! Or maybe they are two sisters or friends. Be sure to ask your grandkids too.

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    1. Yes, I do plan to ask them. It'll be interesting to hear their views.

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  4. I agree with your opinions as to which are male and which are female. As to why I feel that way... I dunno. Maybe the hats on the two females look more "girly," in a stereotypical way?

    Kinda reminds me of the slight differences between the male and female elves on the cover of The Elves and the Shoemaker book shown in my recent post!

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    1. Yes, I thought so too, and I loved that post of yours!

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  5. I agree with what you see, and I agree that it's conditioning to see a snow family. I don't know what else to tell you.

    Love,
    Janie

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  6. I kind of asumed a mixed sex family group too.

    It's weird isn't it? We know snowmen don't really have a gender and know that a group of people (even if all part of the same family, even a 'traditional' family) could all be the same sex, but somehow that's not what we see.

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  7. Aww...of course they are on a date!

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  8. I see them as a boy and girl too.

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  9. My first instinct was that they were all female, so I guess I'm just strange? LOL. Hadn't noticed the subtle differences in their faces till you pointed them out. Can definitely see how that could affect a person's perception for things like gender!

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  10. I see a mom and dad with the kids! I can understand what you mean!

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