Today in unnecessarily gendered products: coloring books for men. Yes, you might have thought Lost Ocean and Splendid Cities appealed to members of both sexes, but you were wrong. Oh, so wrong. See, because the whole coloring-books-for-adults trend has largely focused on women's wine-sipping parties, men have felt left out. And since none of those coloring books specifically say they're for men — no, not even the Game of Thrones one — manly bros can't take the risk of sacrificing their masculinity for some artsy-fartsy fun.
Some of this rash of coloring books for men actually look pretty interesting, like The Amazing Colouring Book for Men , which has pages and pages of tiny sports balls and power tools that you could totally turn into stickers if you had a men's sticker maker. Then there's Adult Coloring Book For Men: Realistic Coloring Book of Sexy Women and Hot Girls for Men . It's for men. You can tell it's for men because it says so on the cover — TWICE! — and also because it has pictures of sexy ladies.
Now, we shouldn't proceed without mentioning HOT DUDES COLORING BOOK and Color Me Swooooon , which — as you can probably guess — contain line drawings of attractive celebrities, men-in-uniform, and the odd construction worker. Now, these two aren't marketed to any gender in particular, because coding coloring books for men makes about as much sense as hand sanitizer for men or sunscreen for men or ... Oh.
What's really sort of ridiculous is that some of these manly coloring books don't have any male-coded content at all. Take Men Coloring Book , for example. Its pages have nothing but patterns for you to color in, just like the earliest adult coloring books. There's nothing explicitly masculine about it, except for the title. It's almost as if the title were some sort of unnecessary ploy designed to pander to fragile masculinities. Hmm...
Look, it's not that enjoying a product marketed to men is a bad thing. If you want to color in hammers, wrestlers, or even sexy women — go ahead. I'm not the coloring police. But let's not act like men should only color in books that are marketed directly to them, or that women should avoid the emergent "men's corner" of the coloring-books-for-adults industry, because that's just silly.
The point is that there shouldn't be a men's corner in the first place. Coloring books are for everyone, folks. They're relaxing, fun, and good for your mental health. There's no reason to gender the product, and there are plenty of books out there that aren't gendered, but have the exact same content. So let's just pretend this never happened, mmkay?
Image: Deedle-Dee Productions