We love our Fit is a Feminist Issue readers and Facebook followers– they are always letting us know about interesting, vexing, puzzling or useful stories. One of the latest involves the Womentowomen site for Blizzard skis. It purports to provide women with needed information so they will feel less intimidated when going to purchase skis. Here’s their blurb on Facebook:
The responses from women skiers ranged from eye-rolling and sighing to comments that showed that no, they don’t need any terminology breakdowns; they got this. The main thrust was that Blizzard offers no terminology tutorial in its men-specific or general information sites; why target women particularly when it sells to all levels of skiers of all genders?
I looked a little more at their marketing, and the soft-soap/hand holding approach for women seems popular in their marketing department. Let’s take a quick look at the copy for two sets of skis, both designed for expert skiers. First, the men’s skis:
Yeah, alright! Let’s do some shredding, dude.
Now to the women’s ski, also designed for expert skiers:
Argh. Really? The expert women skiers are supposed to respond to “confidence-building”, “fun and forgiving”, and buy a ski because they don’t want to work hard?
I don’t think this woman is looking not to work hard; do you?
This woman doesn’t need any forgiveness from her skis– she is telling them exactly what to do and is in charge.
Of course not all ski marketing treats expert women skiers as in need of confidence-building. Here’s an ad I would definitely respond to (if I were a downhill skier):
Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about. I want to see women skiing down scary steeps, taking air, navigating drops, and pushing their limits. We want adrenaline rushes (at least in aspirational marketing material) as much as the men do. Or at least we want it as an option.
So enough already with the namby-pamby “this is easy” and “let us explain this to you” business. Give us thrills and chills and hard-driving rock soundtracks. And less pastel-colored gear, while you’re at it.