Jarsto's Writing Blog

July 17, 2006

Straying From The Subject AKA Shower Gel Rant

The edit prep continues, with all the difficulties of trying to design starships when you can barely draw a straight line with a ruler. But now for something completely different.

I was taking a shower tonight, because it's hot here and I wanted to get rid of the sweat residue on my skin, when I got to thinking about shower gel. More to the point why is it that I've seen a number of generic "store brand" shower gels come in the following types: Lavender, Apple, Cedarwood and "For Men".

The actual list is of course longer but you get the idea. Why is "For Men" a distinct type and does that mean all the other types are not for men. Do the other types not work on men? Judging by my armpit, fresh out of the shower, the lavender works just fine on men. Why then does "For Men" have to be a separate type? Are the stores afraid that men don't wash if they don't have shower gel clearly marked "For Men"?

Perhaps the "For Men" shower gel doesn't work on women. I can't check this theory but it seems unlikely. The main function of any cleansing product is after all to break the surface tension of the water and allow the water to absorb non-water-soluble types of dirt. Clearly the pure cleaning effect wouldn't be different for women. Though perhaps the slight scent it leaves is judged to masculine, but why not let women judge it themselves.

Maybe it's just meant to spare confused men worry. Rather than wondering What the difference between Lavender (calming) and Cedarwood (sensual) is supposed to be, they can just grab a clearly labelled bottle of "For Men" and head for the checkout line.

But aren't there any confused women out there? Shouldn't there be a bottle labelled "For Women" to spare them the effort of reading the various description, and pondering whether or not to take the type with natural sea minerals? Or has feminism not yet forced recognition of women who don't know their Lavender from their Cedarwood?