Equality - men's point in question
Whether the fashion responses to the trends or creates them, man get soft lines and more colour in clothes. At the same time, woman fashion brings strict trousers, tailored suits and neckties. Will genders switch the places or there will be no sex distinguishes in the future?
Nordic countries happen to be the benchmark for the human rights equality. The countries where not only women get equal rights, but also men gains a wider range of choices. Indeed, the community is built on the free choice regardless the gender. It is not the rare thing to see a well-dressed father walking with the pushchair and children in Sweden. The responsibilities for the homecare givers are being shared in the family. As well as more than half the decision-making positions are occupied by women. Click here to read more about women executives in our previous article "New era of women executives driving the world".
The firm belief driving the change in society is sharing the power and influencing equality. Catching the trend that not women are not the only one fighting for even rights, the United Nations launched global HeForShe campaign in Sweden. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven says that more men need to take a stand for gender equality and that he will personally take the lead and implement a broad agenda for greater gender equality in Sweden. Facing the fact that men are prescribed by social roles and gender stereotypes, HeForShe engages them to fight for free choices. The action plan contains cooperation with governments, corporations, and universities. First steps attempted by Sweden is increasing the awareness incorporating the equality principles already in the elementary schools. Moreover, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson took an active part in organisation delivering the speech that the equality is a men issue.
David Gilmore raised the same topic in his post on the blog of the Institute for Family Studies. He emphasised that old-fashioned masculinity has to stay in the past as it is only slowing the natural evolutional development of society. His exhaustive cross-cultural research showed that "manhood" around the world has three common features: protectiveness towards dependents, productivity, and extension of the humankind. However, women successfully cope with these characteristics. Of course, for the third we need both genders working together.
When society puts gender stereotypes aside, as it happened in Scandinavia, the major switch in B2C target audience arrives. It is time for companies think not only of hiring women but also consider men as a target audience for products that used to be addressed only to females. According to the research conducted by Pew Research Center, the numbers of stay-at-home fathers is rising. In 2012, there were up to 2 million househusbands in The US. Therefore, it is essential to creating products responding to the needs of men taking care of children and house.
Euromonitor International reports 3% growth in men's grooming in 2014 in the US, 2% in men's shaving, and men's toiletries successful 4%. Moreover, the share of toiletries gained 54% indicating that men started to care more about their grooming rituals than before. As the result, the shaving process and cosmetics become just one step in the everyday routine. In 2013, men spent more money on male-specific toiletries than on shaving products. Similar growth trends are present in the fashion industry. The budget men spend on the clothes rises year by year.
Dove has successfully defined and implemented the trend to their strategy. The company has conducted research, which brought unexpected results. "Three-quarters of dads say they are responsible for their child’s emotional well-being,” said Rob Candelino, marketing VP and general manager, Unilever’s skin care. “But only 20 percent see that in media.” Today, Dove spends as much on digital campaigns for men as for women. Latest reels devoted to men, characterise men as a gentle fathers and responsible caregivers. Maybe in the future there will be no sense in the gender swap comedies. What to laugh about if society will be unisex: the roles of man and woman will be the same.
The perception that man become more feminine might be wrong. The actual trend is the society with no gender distinguish at all. Men are ready to take a role of family caregivers. However, the question that will raise in the future is whether women ready to give up the stereotype of the skilled householders?