Deodorant: gender in a bottle
I use two antiperspirants: a “female” one (because of its effectiveness) and a “male” one which just makes me smell nice.
I noticed the “male” deodorant has sperm on the label. I mean, a drawing of three spermatozoids, one of which uses Axe (presumably) and therefore is ahead of the rest.
That, combined with the name of the scent (Conviction), sends a really strong message about masculinity. The way I read it, it says “real men are stronger and better than the rest. they make sure their sperm reaches its target:conviction is all they need, not consent. oh, and they use Axe.”
The middle part -about not waiting for consent- is sort of a free interpretation: that day I was angry about the way masculinity is constructed. But the marketing idea is clearly sexual.
My “lady’s” deodorant, on the other hand, is shaped like a female -it has a waist- and it shows a dove, which stands for peace (passivity? peace isn’t always passive, but that’s the way it’s shown). It also advertises the fact that it contains cream, which protects the skin – women are supposed to be more worried about skincare.
The hugest difference is that my “male” antiperspirant is really explicitly sexual, and everyone’s okay with that, even if they’re shocked by a short-ish skirt. That shocks me.