One-Third Of People Think That Santa Claus Should Be Reinvented As Female
Every single culture that exists in the world comes with a range of different traditions and customs. Whether these customs are related to a particular society's national dress or an annual celebration, there is always some defining aspect of a culture. Many of these traditions have been passed down or celebrated for hundreds and hundreds of years, which is why they hold a special place in many people's hearts.
In the last few years, however, many of us have started rejecting certain traditions because they longer fit in with society's moral compass. There's no denying that many traditions that originate from centuries ago are now completely outdated.
But who'd have thought that something as seemingly harmless as a widely-recognized and legendary figure delivering presents to all the well-behaved children of the world would be such a source of contention?
I mean, after all, Santa Claus is the man we all associate with the most important internationally-celebrated holiday of the year: Christmas. He is one of the most nostalgic figures of our childhood and a huge source of joy for children in many countries around the world.
However, it now seems that a large number of us feel we should begin thinking of Santa Claus in an entirely different way. According to a recent survey made up of both British and American participants, it appears that over 27 percent of people believe Santa Claus should be rebranded as either a woman or gender neutral.
According to CBS Pittsburgh, Graphic Springs - a free logo design company - talked to hundreds of people to find out how they would reinvent Santa Claus, and what they would do to give him an image that better reflected modern society.
Approximately 400 people took part in the survey from the United States and the United Kingdom, after which, nearly 4,000 people then voted on the best version of the Santa designed from the results of the survey.
The new, more up-to-date Santa has tattoos, a trimmed beard, a pair of skinny jeans, sneakers and a hoverboard. Plus he is also supposed to be tech-savvy - surely, this would mean no more need for "hurrying down the chimney" as he was famously known to do.
Anyway, the participants in the survey were asked: "If you could ‘rebrand’ Santa for modern society, what gender would he be?"
Just over ten percent of the participants said that Santa should be branded as female, while nearly 18 percent said he should be gender neutral. But the majority of people - 72 percent to be exact - said that Santa should remain exactly the same: a male with a majestic white beard who delivers presents to children all over the world.
But are these 72 percent of participants answering from a place of privilege as opposed to what's fair and tolerant? Well, Claudia Carvell from the LGBT foundation, told UNILAD last year that we need more gender non-conforming figures in the media:
"Gender fluidity is an important issue for everyone, regardless of their gender identity.
We have a restrictive idea of what a man or woman is and it assumes women have to be feminine and men masculine – and there’s no room for people who feel they’re both or neither.
Everyone experiences these gender pressures, whether they’re LGBT or not, so gender fluidity is something we all need to be discussing as part of our everyday lives – whether it’s rejecting a damaging stereotype, using ‘they’ pronouns as well as ‘he’ and ‘she’, or simply not assuming someone’s gender identity based on their appearance.
The conversation just starts with gender-neutral clothing lines or gender-fluid imagery – we need to be hearing more of the voices and experiences of gender-fluid and non-binary people and genuinely start moving away from binary gender representations and fixed gender roles."
What do you think about the issue? Do you also believe Santa is in need of a rebrand or do you think, for nostalgic reasons, he should be left as he is?
Personally, I definitely think there's an argument to be had that we should refrain from using pronouns such as "him" and "his" when referring to humanity as a whole and instead use more gender-neutral pronouns like "they" and "them". However, I do think Santa Claus remaining the same figure we've always known him to be is ultimately pretty harmless.