Challenging Stereotypes, the Self Fulfilling Prophecy, and Ice Cream
Happy International Women’s Day! What is International Women’s Day, you ask? We’ll let the IWD website explain…. “International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality.” So, in honor of #IWD2019, we wanted to get involved by challenging some of the stereotypes that have been relevant to us as a company.
Arctic Buzz is a modern company with the belief the world should be a more gender balanced place. #balanceforbetter And where did that ideal originate for us? Right at the very beginning…
Arctic Buzz was founded by a woman.
Yep, you heard right. This delicious, boozy dessert brand is founded and owned by someone with two X chromosomes (gasp!). A key player and driving force of the company, this remarkable woman has pushed us to greater heights and new levels of ice cream excellence.
Does this seem like a rare feat? Maybe it soon won’t. Maybe it shouldn’t now. According to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), four of every 10 businesses in the US are women-owned. That number has increased by 58% since 2007. In fact, according to the SCORE report, women today are slightly more likely to start a new business than men.
One more stat for you: Women-owned businesses employ 9.2 million people in the US and generate $1.8 trillion in yearly revenue. This is both monumental and still not enough. That impressive 9.2 million number is just 8% of the total private sector workforce. And $1.8 trillion? That’s only $4.3% of the total private sector revenue.
Women are getting more and more involved in the American economy, and we are honored to be a company that is part of this remarkable trend. However, there is still so much work left to do before we reach a true equality. And we should never stop striving for that goal, because a more gender balanced world is a better world for all.
Grocery Shopping and the “Self Fulfilling Prophecy”
Ever since the first supermarket opened in 1916 (shouts to the Piggly Wiggly), it seems that women and grocery shopping have been unfailingly linked in this country’s culture. Honestly, when was the last time you saw the male lead in a TV Show or movie shopping the vegetable aisle? The answer is probably never. Because of this, many food manufacturers market primarily to women. The next time you watch a commercial about peanut butter or cereal, ask yourself who that ad is targeting.
The assumption that women do the cooking and the grocery shopping at home continues in our culture. This is due in part to the “Self Fulfilling Prophecy”. Definition: An event that occurs because of actions that are taken under the assumption that it will come to pass. For example, the “inevitability of war” phenomenon, meaning if we believe a conflict will end in war, our actions will likely be more aggressive, feeding into that belief and making the possibility of war much more likely. Now, we’re not saying grocery shopping is like going to war… but because society believes the woman in the relationship typically does the grocery shopping, that inevitably becomes the norm. Which leads to a string of commercials like this, and this… oh, and this, too.
So what are we saying? Send your boyfriend/husband to the grocery store next time while you stay home and mow the lawn? …well, yeah, maybe. But mainly, everyone should be aware of what gender assumptions are being made in any relationship. Men, why not try your hand at making something more daring than boxed mac n’ cheese tonight? (followed by a few scoops of Arctic Buzz, obviously). Ladies, maybe try your hand at trimming the hedges; grab those clippers and give it a shot. Don’t be afraid to challenge these assumptions! If we all do, maybe we’ll start to see more ads like this instead.
Filling an Emotional Void with Ice Cream
Ever seen the trope of a woman crying over a man and eating a pint of ice cream? Yeah, you have. If Sheldon has, you have, too. The emotional female eater is a classic stereotype. How else should women deal with emotional stress than eating copious amounts of ice cream? Women have been fed the message that the object of her affection and love can be either another person or a food item. Both are equally acceptable. This implication drives the idea that a woman’s desires are not something dynamic or fulfilling, but something that simply will never desert her–like that refillable bowl of ice cream. It’s a damaging idea that portrays women as frivolous and shallow.
We’ve seen enough of this trope already, so ladies, let’s rebel against it by eating your next bowl of Arctic Buzz while watching a movie about female empowerment, not crying, and not worrying about marital status or emotional fulfillment. And the next ad that tells you to drown your emotions in a pint will feel the sharp end of Bad Grandma’s cane!
Honestly, there are so many more topics we are passionate about, but we’ll leave you with these last words: Have a wonderful International Women’s Day. We hope you do your part to challenge the gender stereotypes in our lives in the pursuit of a more gender balanced world. Working together, we can all make a real difference towards a sweeter world.