Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hello Kitty for Boys

Did you know that Hello Kitty was not for boys? Yeah, I didn't know that either. But it still becomes news when Sanrio makes Hello Kitty clothing geared towards young men. The logo on the new tees and other merchandise is a little strange, but there is something that bothers me more than bad fashion. The cited article starts with the statement, "Hello Kitty is no sexist." First of all, the blue bow in Hello Kitty's hair is still gendered, and the logo is tweaked to look like the opposite of the original "girly" Hello Kitty logo, further perpetuating the view that males and females are opposites rather than compliments or equals. Secondly, there's no privilege that goes with wearing Hello Kitty clothing. Boys and young men were never at a disadvantage because gender roles (patriarchal gender roles) didn't allow them to wear Hello Kitty apparel, and they won't get any extra benefit now that this new line has been launched. If boys felt uncomfortable wearing something "girly" like Hello Kitty, it's because they didn't want to be called a girl or a homosexual by the patriarchy, not the imagined matriarchy.

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