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Hey, Tide, What’s Wrong With Girls Wearing Camouflage And Cargo Shorts?

by David Badash on August 9, 2011

in Discrimination,News

Post image for Hey, Tide, What’s Wrong With Girls Wearing Camouflage And Cargo Shorts?

Does Tide really have a problem with gender variance? In this new Tide TV commercial, Tide profiles a mother, dressed in pink, who laments her young daughter wearing a hoodie, camouflage, and cargo shorts.

Really, Tide? What’s wrong with girls wearing camouflage and cargo shorts?

READ: The T In Me: Living The Gender Binary

When FOX News, Dr. Keith Ablow, the Culture And Media Institute, and others attacked J. Crew CEO Jenna Lyons for painting her son’s toenails pink — as he wanted — The New Civil Rights Movement was one of the first to call them out on it. And here we are again, calling out Tide for their poor handling and poor attempt at humor, belittling and bullying all the young children who don’t conform to the stereotypical behavior of being a girl or a boy, and telling their parents, “it’s OK” to be uncomfortable with your kids being who they are.

“Find the Tide that’s right for you,” the commercials says at the end. Really? How about, “let your kids be who they are!” That would have been better.

Oh, Tode could have taken this idea and really made a difference.

I guess they’ve locked in the Values Voters crowd.

Good job, Tide.

So, what do you think?

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{ 6 comments }

Coxhere August 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

Over the years Tide has made money with reinforcing "traditional" gender roles. Women stay home and do that, you know, "easy job" of running a household. Men are out in the dog-eat-dog world of economic cut-throat work. After this much more difficult work outside of the home, men deserve to stop off at the local bars to have a drink "with the boys." Some of these exhausted men even go home with other men….while their wives are doing the family laundry with Tide. It's difficult to change advertizing that has worked for all these years.

stopthehatestopthehurt August 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

As a genderqueer butch boi, I get annoyed w hen I see shit like this. Tongue in cheek or not, history of gay friendliness or not…in the current climate, all anyone will see is the unruly tomboy as “bad” and the desperate mother trying to tame her daughter who refuses to grow up to be some kind of effeminate clone of Miss America. I don’t like it at all, and I applaud Daniel for what he is doing here. Enough for a boycott? Nah. But yes, they need to pull this shit and apologize.

fanofmydesign August 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Okay…to everyone throwing a hissyfit over the mother's "discomfort"…who say this commercial doesn't support gender diversity…I bet you'd all acuse me of being straight if you saw me on the street. And tell me all the reasons gay girls can't wear fashionable dresses or stiletto heels. I make straight people uncomfortable when they find out I'm gay because I fit in with them. Now here I go about how this commercial is GREAT.

You are all looking at it so pessimistically. I am an optimist, and I see: a traditional mom, who has dreamed for at least 15 years about dressing up her little girl someday, sitting behind her tomboy/transgender child. This in and of itself has meaning–take this litterally–the mom is behind her child. That's a support role. Next the mom speaks. She is clearly on unfamiliar territory. Explains a confusing time in her life. My little girl doesn't like pink. This is something any mom in her position can relate to. Think about this–at age 6, a child is not sexually aware. Has not, in theory, been exposed to what makes boys and girls different. So why is my child deviating from what I've exposed her to? How can my child like girls if she isn't old enough to like boys? Fill in anything here, you've clearly only EVER looked at being LGBT from YOUR point of view and never your parents', who I'm sure you think "just don't understand me.". She makes a joke that the crayons didn't destroy the clothes. In this manic little voice. But here's the kicker, those of you who don't think this commercial is pro-queer–the mom used Tide to SAVE the clothes she wishes her daughter didn't like. She could have said Lsorry sweetie, they're ruined, you're stuck with frou-frou dresses." But she protected her child's feelings, individuality, and trust with Tide detergent.

AND FINALLY, if this mom is SO unsupportive of her kid, WHY did she buy the boy's clothes in the first place?! This kid is like 6 years old, it's not like she drove to the mall and racked up her credit card while mom was out of town. Mom bought the clothes, mom saved the clothes. And you're all pissy that the mom is still trying to figure things out in her head while she backs up her kid? Shame on you. You GO, Tide!! An accurate depiction of a mom learning to have a queer child if I ever saw one!

EMooreDesign October 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Wow, very insightful post. Despite my own personal distaste for this commercial, I must say you make several great points. I can see why the marketers might have thought this commercial was okay. My only issue, then, is the unlikeliness of the majority of their target market processing the commercial to the depth that you have here, and the likeliness that ANY anti-gay or anti-other person saw this commercial as a media-sponsored affirmation of their own discriminatory beliefs.

fanofmydesign August 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Oh, and let's not forget how mom rallies at the end. "Another car garage, Honey? …It's beautiful."

satterfi November 8, 2011 at 6:55 am

I agree with fanofmydesign. The mother is dressed in pink. Surrounded by pink and a even flowers in the windows. Traditionally "girly" designs. Yet, she is not discouraging her child from dressing her own way. Compliments her on her garage design. Being uncomfortable in "new territory" is natural, and it seems the mom is trying hard to let her daughter know that she is proud of her work. Many of us are encouraging our society (thank goodness!) to accept those that do not follow the path we so often call normal. There is more than one way to encourage, and this mom seems to be finding her way to doing just that!

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