Stop calling “It” “She”

| August 31, 2016 | 0 Comments
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© Kayla Nguyen 2016

I recently made the decision to invest in a new pair of shoes—Nikes to be specific. I have had my reservations about buying Nikes in the past. Are they worth all that money? Are they quality? Will I really use them for running rather than as a fashion statement? But then, I saw one of my friend’s new Nikes and I loved them. I went online to look for a pair, found one I liked, and began by reading the description. And then I hesitated. Not because of the price or the reviews but because of how the shoes were described—using female pronouns.

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© Kayla Nguyen 2016


For anyone who doesn’t know, shoes aren’t women. Neither are cars or boats or any other inanimate object that isn’t a human being. Yet, companies, groups of people, and individuals still decide to refer to objects as “she” rather than “it.” They want to sell their products by amplifying its sex appeal and thus, they describe “it” as “she.” While this may be an effective tactic for securing more buyers, it plays right into the hands of the misogynistic discourse. If we can refer to an object as a woman, what’s to stop us from treating and referring to woman as objects?

This isn’t something that is really being discussed. The discussion around feminism and gender equality usually references the media and the blatant double standard of sexualizing women vs. men, but this is just as much a part of the conversation. If we think about objects as feminine, we demean women to be treated as those objects. Tennis shoes are for exercising and getting dirty. They are used to protect your feet and provide stability and comfort. They can be fashionable, useful, both, or neither. But most importantly, they are not women. While I love those Nikes, I don’t know if I can support a company that so easily adheres to the current status quo of objectifying women.

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Category: Columns, featured, Reflections, Social Activism, The (Sex)es

Kayla Nguyen

About the Author ()

Kayla is a Senior studying Biological Anthropology and Arabic. She is from a small town in Wisconsin--her inspiration for coming to Boston. When she's not writing blog articles, she enjoys cooking, watching movies with giant bowls of popcorn, and considering going to the gym.

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