Old Saint Nick. Father Christmas. Santa. He’s a figure for whom we’ve all reserved a special place in our hearts. Because, well, anyone who brings us a sock stuffed with gifts is alright by us.
But did we ever stop and think how things might be different if Father Christmas were a woman? Would things even be different at all?
Creative agency, Anomaly London decided to seek an answer to this burning question.
For their Christmas video this year, Anomaly decided to conduct a social experiment, and filmed while they asked children the question “If Santa was a woman, could she do the job?” To determine how conditioned children are by gender stereotypes.
In the resulting 90 second video, the sad answer from most of the children seemed to be that no, no she couldn’t.
The children's reasons for their responses included the following stereotypes:
The ‘women can’t do directions’ stereotype:
“She would get lost in the sky.”
The ‘women have babies and therefore can’t do other things too, stereotype:
“If she had a baby then she’d be like doing the presents, taking care of the baby, giving it milk…”
The ‘women are delicate flowers’ stereotype:
“She would get a headache.”
Although one super boy responded by saying: “Girls aren’t any different than boys” (bravo son, bravo), the video ends with one boy saying what he thought a female Santa would be best at, which he has concluded would be “Cooking.”
The adorable, but sadly exposing video directed by the RSA’s Grey Fay, reveals that if we want to achieve gender equality, we have to begin by educating children.
Anomaly Partner, Alex Holder, and Co-Executive Creative Director, says:
“Even Christmas’s top job is taken by a man. We want to get people thinking about the lack of powerful female role models, and where better to start than the Head of Christmas?”
Stuart Smith, Anomaly Partner and Chief Strategy Officer says:
“What started as a bit of elfish fun about one issue, surfaced another...who and what are shaping our children's gender perceptions?”
Anomaly is hoping that their video will encourage parents to ask their children the same question, and educate them about gender equality.