Thursday, October 26, 2006

Christmas Gift For A Man

I am sick of the marketing of Christmas, and I bet that you are as well by now. Oh, I know, people have talked to death about commercialism and consumerism and such, but these are not the things that anger me the very most. No, not at all. What angers me most is the way that our rigid roles are reinforced by the ways that people market their Christmas gift ideas. This, they will say, is the right Christmas gift for a man, that the right Christmas gift for a woman, and the other, the perfect Christmas gift for a teenager – as if the whole personality of someone could come down simply to their gender and age. Let me say this plainly now, and not be misunderstood: there is no ideal Christmas gift for a male. They may tell you that a Christmas gift for a man is a pocket knife, or a new tie, or a war book, but all of that is hogwash. The only perfect Christmas gift for a man is the gift that that man wants, and men are as different from each other as they are from women or teenagers.
Of course, I know that the companies market Christmas gifts for a man partly as a way to make things easy for the consumer. They want to put things that men usually want all together, so that when someone does go out and look for a Christmas gift for a man, they will see them all in one section. But beyond that, I think that the system of having men's Christmas gifts and women's Christmas gifts has a more sinister function. I think that they do it all to cement their hold over us. If a Christmas gift for a man is a pocket knife or a nice watch, then every year you have to buy all of the men in your life one of these things. And so on.
It is really every bit as sinister as all that, and I am not joking. There are people who spend years thinking about how to best market to a group of people, and this is how they think. They will try to make everyone buy the most expensive Christmas gift for a man that they can, and that way they will make more money. And money is, of course, what the holiday is all about for these companies.