How Girls Really Feel About Gender Roles and the Rise of Pro-Female Advertising

SheKnows launches Hatch project

What do you get when you talk to a group of teen and tween girls about gender roles and stereotyping? A lot of surprisingly insightful opinions.

This past spring, in the midst of heated public debate surrounding Sheryl Sandberg's "Ban Bossy" campaign, women's lifestyle site SheKnows released a video asking 9-year-old girls what they think bossy means. It was fresh and inspiring, and became the impetus for SheKnows' latest project, called Hatch—a program that empowers kids to use media and technology in positive ways.

SheKnows just released the video below, featuring girls talking about gender roles and the pro-female advertising movement and what all of that means to them.

The video is fun and endearing, but also full of great little insights. They weigh in on everything from the Always #likeagirl campaign to the effects of media on girls to social mores. Among their notable remarks:

• "I think most toys are geared towards girls or towards boys. Girls plays with dolls, and for guys, it's like, building things."
• "Usually girls' dolls look a certain way. I don't think they consider that sometimes girls have short hair."
• "You don't have to have pink toys if you're a girl … That was the olden days. Now it's 2014. Catch up, people."

In an interview with AdFreak, Samantha Skey, chief revenue officer of SheKnows, explained the motive behind creating these kinds of videos. For one, SheKnows has a large readership of moms who are stressed about integrating tech into their kids' lives in a productive way. They want their children to be tech savvy, but they're concerned that the messages they're receiving aren't positive.

"We're focusing on digital storytelling and teaching kids to make a good video," Skey says. "Eight- and 9-year-olds are really contemplative about the topic when posed to them in this context. Kids can talk about social issues sometimes more easily when they're on camera. The girls were really willing to have these conversations, and the filming was a useful device for them to think about their points of view and articulate them clearly."

"Why do they think science is for boys? And why blue? And dragons?" asks a little girl on the video.

Girls are paying attention, their parents are spending the money, and they're willing to support brands that empower their children. "Catch up, people."

Check out some more Hatch videos below.

Roo Powell is freelance contributor to Adweek.