These Cards Sparked Outrage With Their Outdated Suggestions For Women And Men

September 11, 2019

Ever wonder why they never make flower bouquets for men? It’s not that men don’t like flowers, because the internet has proven that isn’t true.

Countless threads have emerged on Reddit, from women asking men how they’d feel accepting flowers (with most saying it’d be an acceptable gift) to the pointed question of, “Guys of Reddit, What’s Your Favorite Flower?” In reading the answers, it’s made clear that many men do pay attention to these details. What’s not to like about flowers? They add color to any room, and they smell nice.

But, gender roles still exist. Even though we’re all individuals with individual interests, many people assume that it’s only appropriate for women to be gifted flowers. And in response, women will make men a sandwich in the kitchen to express gratitude.

These stereotypes may have been true decades ago, but these days, it’s important for us to recognize the fact that men do (and should) cook and that women are capable of, and fantastic at, holding jobs with important titles. Women are about more than meal planning and house cleaning. But based on these cards that a Twitter user found in the store, we may not be getting that message out.

Natasha Hodgson found a set of cards at a nearby store that will make your stomach turn.

She might not have realized at the time that the cards would go viral.

One card, with a pink envelope, stated: “You’re the kind of girl I’d buy flowers for.” The card with the blue envelope says, “You’re the kind of boy I’d make a sandwich for.” You may think they’re cute and simple, but they can also be a little problematic. And here’s why.

It implies that women “belong in the kitchen.”

The theory is not only incredibly sexist, but plenty of men in this world still believe it.

According to Know Your Meme, the phrase itself was derived from a 1995 Saturday Night Live skit, featuring Tim Meadows as a confrontational and inappropriate weatherman. It may have been funny on television since it was meant to be ridiculous, but it spawned into something completely different.

Twitter was outraged that cards like this exist today.

For one, men are capable of making their own food.

Two, they downplay how much women have evolved. Still, there are plenty of improvements that need to be made. Not only are women struggling to keep their rights, but they also don’t get paid the same as men. There are a lot of changes that need to be made, so this card isn’t funny.

Did the writer of the card mean well?

Well, maybe.

You could argue that the card meant to be cute. Someone is willing to go the extra mile for their partner since they like them a lot — they want to do something that makes them happy. But the fact that these are very much labeled for boys and girls makes it more awkward. Can a man send this to another man? They should be able to, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the intent.

It reminded plenty of people of the magazine comparison made on the internet years back.

Remember this image?

Women are being told to focus on fashion, hairstyles, and looks. The cover features an article on how to “wake up pretty,” insinuating that a woman’s worth is all about how she looks. Meanwhile, boys of the same age are encouraged to think about their futures. Will they be an astronaut? Or, a firefighter?

These magazines are still being made.

It may be fun to focus on hair and makeup, but there’s a point being made here.

Women would also love to read about their true potential. But instead, they’re encouraged to focus on what they wear. Ever wonder why women can be really self-conscious? It’s because magazines have drilled the idea in our heads that we’re just not good enough the way we are.

Companies even try to assign genders to baby products.

In reality, it’s okay for your baby girl to wear blue.

So many products try to differentiate boys and girls. Even bottles can be color-coded. If you’ve just had a baby, it might be a good way to identify sex if you’re going out and know that people will ask — but, it’s unnecessary. And these things serve as proof that separating “boy” and “girl” by color and interest starts early.

So, if you see a girl’s shirt with trucks on it or a boy’s shirt with a princess? You should celebrate.

Because some girls like trucks and some boys like princesses.

Colors also shouldn’t be off-limits. So if you have a boy who loves the color pink, you shouldn’t be ashamed of buying him pink merchandise. It’s just a color — and a pretty great color at that — and buying it without the fear that your son won’t be seen as “masculine” is a great step forward. Let your children help pave the way if they want.

You should also teach both boys and girls the importance of cleaning and cooking.

Both are important skills for everyone to know, regardless of sex.

Nobody necessarily likes cleaning — but, by instilling these values in kids — no matter how they identify — and showing why they’re important, we’ll be raising stronger people who aren’t afraid to work hard for a better life. I mean, is anyone going to complain about a younger boy who knows how to cook?

Some people do think that the outrage is a little ridiculous.

Yes, it’s only a card.

But, one card can have a big impact. If a woman is in her first relationship, she might assume that these things are just expected of her. She’s not making a sandwich since she has the time and feels the need to gift a nice lunch — she’s doing it because it’s expected of her, and she feels like it’s part of the title.

It might be small, but it isn’t helping matters.

There are bigger things to be offended by, for sure.

But in an age where we can find great cards to send to each other (Target, for one, is stepping it up in terms of their comedic cards), it just seems wrong to depend on old, tired jokes and stereotypes. By gifting this card, you’re more or less saying that you’re fine with the “women belong in the kitchen” joke.

Others have made it clear that flowers aren’t just for women.

And sandwiches aren’t just for men.

Those are the types of responses that people need to hear. Yes, it’s healthy and normal to get guys to open up about “girly” things — like flowers, and romantic comedies, they’ll be more acceptable for everyone to openly like. So if you have your own judgments about items being masculine or feminine, you’re part of the problem as well — even if you don’t mean to be.

The blogger who wrote about making sandwiches suffered from similar criticism.

Remember this story? She was big on the talk show circuit for about a year.

Stephanie Smith was on a quest to make 300 sandwiches for her future husband to get an engagement ring. The recipes were inspiring for lunch fans, but the message was pretty awful. Especially since in her blog, she mentioned that her boyfriend once told her, “You’ve been up for 15 minutes and you haven’t made me a sandwich?”

He finally proposed after 257 sandwiches.

It may have been to help save his image, since he was dragged in the media quite a bit.

The whole thing could have been misconstrued, sure. And Smith seemed happy to take on the mission. But, to the world, it looked like she was trying to prove she was “wife material,” and did so by making sandwiches. It wasn’t her personality or the fact that she always knew how to make him laugh, or that they were best friends. Those are the things that actually matter.

If you bought these cards, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

Maybe it’s a private joke with you and your significant other. Or maybe, you generally love making sandwiches.

It’s just important to view the situation altogether. Maybe if there were a bigger variety of cards — and not just the two — it would have been less of an issue. But instead, the creator just lumped women into one category, and men into another. By including a few more, or not including them at all, they could have avoided the situation altogether.