Avon Women’s Empowerment Bracelet

Avon recently launched the Women’s Empowerment bracelet, shown here with Reese Witherspoon, the honorary chair of the Avon Foundation. According to the website, “Bracelet proceeds will be used to create a new Avon Empowerment Fund. The first $500,000 from bracelet sales will be matched by the Avon Foundation for a total donation of $1 million to UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, for projects that will empower women around the world.”

Even though I don’t even really like to wear bracelets, I bought one (they’re $3).

I do have a gripe, though. Avon heralds itself as “the company for women”, yet I found this on their website:

I was disappointed to see the sexist term “chairman”. Isn’t Reese a woman? Why insist on using masculine terms when referring to any position of authority or power? Why not a gender-neutral word like “chair” or “chairperson”? The company contradicts itself with this. To some people it seems like a minor issue, or a non-issue altogether, but when you hear the word “chairman”, do you automatically picture a: man? woman? Studies have been conducted that using the so-called “neutral” terms like mankind, or man, or in this case chairman, actually conjure up, naturally enough, images of men, not women. So why use it, in particular if the chairperson is female?

Of course I will be zapping an email their way!


2 thoughts on “Avon Women’s Empowerment Bracelet

  1. I dunno maybe I’m just not being very “with it” but I am not bothered by the term Chairman. Sure, “chairperson” is more PC but this just isnt a “letter writer” for me. But then again, I’ve written scathing nastygrams for far less LOL Guess I’m just feeling mellow today : )

  2. I’m not concerned with being “pc”. It’s about showing equal respect to women. We use phrases like “cleaning lady”, but phrases like “chairman”, regardless of gender of these roles. It implies that women are never in roles of decision-making or power. It perpetuates stereotypes through language.Plus…what the hell? She’s not a man! Why call her one?

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