Clicking through layers of menus on the website of a Museum that shall remain nameless, I try to find gifts to add to my wish list (my family likes to make wish lists for one another - see previous blog about dino-gift-giving). I'm seeking items that involve animals, perhaps detailed pencil sketches and anatomical studies. Maybe something with bones in/on it, or ancient maps. A pinch of dinosaur, a smidgin of the Victorian collector, a generous undertone of science.
Where do I find these things? Gifts: for Him.
What, I am frightened to ask, are gifts for Her? Butterflies, birds and flowers apparently. How delightfully dainty. While he gets ammonites, talons and skeletons, she desires fluttery and furry things, preferably in scarf-format (though a bag will also do).
On the other hand, apparently men are really into fish, so I guess you win some, you loose some.
The ideas for men are very gentleman-natural-historian, while for women it's kitchenalia, smelly things and accessories. Granted, the books have some cross over, but why are we still categorising our gift selections in this inane, outdated way? It happens every Mother's and Father's day, the stores tell us what we want: the adult continuation of childhood gendered gifts.
So, this crimbo, why not say "screw you genderworld!", and make it your personal challenge to buy your dad/brother/uncle something from the for Her section, and your mum/sister/auntie something from the for Him?
Or better still, hope for a time when gifts are no longer arranged chromosomally.