14 thoughts on “More pointlessly gendered products

  1. I was hoping it would have manly things like bits of gravel and maybe broken glass in it, but no, just pumpkin seeds and flax. I don’t even like pumpkin seeds. We need better “manly” products!

  2. Excellent news – just in time for my trip to Minneapolis, where there’s a great French Meadow restaurant! It’s good to know that I’ll be able to find the right bread for me.

  3. …..what’s next? ……’his’ and ‘hers’ railroad cars and buses?……then, ‘big brother’ will be watching us……oops!…we have that one already!!

  4. Add to the list…protein bars whose labeling states “Made with more protein and other nutrients to meet a man’s nutritional needs”. I eat a few of thrse throughout the day as a midmeal snack!

  5. I’m not certain this particular product is “pointlessly” gendered.

    Men have a higher daily requirement for zinc than women do which, if not met, leads to prostate problems and may contribute to prostate cancer. in North America, most men don’t get enough zinc in their diets. Pumpkin seeds are a good dietary source of zinc. The bread for men is most notable for including pumpkin seeds.

    In the worlds of medicine, health and nutrition, some products are branded by gender because they are being marketed to a specific gender because the product targets specific needs of that gender.

    This bread could have been sold as “pumpkin seed bread”, but would the average male consumer know that’s the one he needs for prostate health? Probably not. It could have been sold as “zinc bread!” or “happy prostate bread!” but… er… don’t see that happening.

    In this case of French Meadow Bakery Men’s Bread, the packaging isn’t gendered aside from using the word “Men”: it’s not a different (gendered) color scheme or a different graphic design. I don’t see how the product or it’s packaging promotes damaging stereotypes about men or masculinity. It’s really just catering to a particular nutritional need of men.

    I agree with the general sentiment that genuinely pointlessly gendered products are annoying because they often promote limiting ideas of femininity and masculinity, but I don’t see how this is the case here. Unless I’m missing something?

  6. That’s too bad to learn, Shaula, as I still don’t like pumpkin seeds. Maybe, though, they could be left in the shell in the bread. That would make them more manly, and also provide more fiber.

  7. Thanks for a laugh I needed today, Matt. Maybe they could make a custom loaf for you with some brillo pads baked inside?

    But seriously, if pumpkin seeds aren’t your thing, do make sure you’ve got a good zinc source in your diet. There are other manly foods that are good sources. (Like oysters and a lot of other foods historically considered aphrodisiacs, coincidentally.)

  8. I’d like to add to this discussion that when using the term “men”, especially when discussing the dietary needs of cismen, that I think it’s important to specify “cismen”, instead of just “men”, so as to be trans* affirming, inclusive, and mindful of the role of language in structuring our discussions of gender, power, and the range of bodies—pumpkin seed eating or not!

  9. Or ‘male-bodied people’, as some of the health aspects may apply to some transwomen. I’ve had ‘women’s bread’ before, it had soy in to help with hormonal stuff and a few other apparently useful things. Can’t remember it making much difference.

  10. Shaula…I was about to start rage posting and then I read your post. I subsequently calmed down :) And Lis a lot of this stuff is just marketing anyway; I don’t think the FDA allows food and nutritional supplements to make definitive claims about products aiding health (i.e. the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act).

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