Selling bikes and gender stereotypes

There appears to be no significant difference between the two bicycles in this Fleet Farm ad, spotted by colleague Sara Meyer in a local paper.

The one for a boy is called an “aggressor,” and the one for a girl is called an “angel.”

An “aggressor” bike is generally a sturdy mountain bike. Presumably, an angel bike is less sturdy, less able to take what the world can throw at it.

In other news: have you met Lea Davison yet?

  • boB from WA

    if the “angel” bike is less sturdy, I wonder why, when angels appeared to people in the bible, the angels had to tell them “do not be afraid”?

    • jon

      As I recall angels in the bible were known to, on occasion, have swords…

      As for the difference in the bikes, the black one looks to have a thicker top bar, not able to tell if it’s just foam that is wrapped around the top bar, or if it’s actually a structural difference.

  • bty

    From Dictionary.com:

    ag·gres·sor: a person, group, or nation that attacks first or initiates hostilities; anassailant or invader.
    an·gel: person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, asbeauty, purity, or kindliness.

  • Kassie

    At least the “girls” bike isn’t pink for once…

    • bty

      Agreed!

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    Things must be going pretty well if this is what we get upset about.

    • Kassie

      Gender stereotypes and inequality being taught to young children isn’t something we should get upset about?

  • kennedy

    So a girl on a mountain bike is a great statement of gender equality, unless the girl happens to like pink?

    • Kassie

      What would be nice here would be a bike called “Aggressor” available in two different colors without a child’s sex attached to them.

      • kennedy

        It’s pretty much the same bike, only a different color. Yes, there is stereotyping in linking color and model name with gender. But it’s the same bike. Not a very big deal to me.

        It’s a bigger deal when particular toys are sorted by gender. Go to the Target website, for example, and browse the toy section. There is a convenient option to shop for toys by gender. “Girls” toys include arts & crafts, bikes, dolls, dress up & pretend, games & puzzles, stuffed animals. “Boys” toys include action figures, bikes, building sets, games & puzzles, riding toys, role play, vehicle 7 RC. This is gender bias and it is not unique to Target.

        Someone shopping for a girl is directed to dolls, crafts, and stuffed animals. Someone shopping for a boy is directed to Legos and radio controlled toys. This bothers me.