Are Snowmen Too Patriarchal?

Art historian and radical feminist Tricia Cusack is concerned about the patriarchal bent that Christmas is taking. Specifically, there are just too many snowmen appearing on Christmas cards these days, according to Cusack, who is a professor at Great Britain’s Birmingham University.

In a press release put out by Birmingham University, Cusack writes,

In both the UK and US, Christmas has been gendered as women’s realm in its emphasis on children and family…

The snowman’s location in the semi-public space of garden or field reinforces a spatial-social system marking women’s spheres as the domestic-private and the men’s as the commercial public.

In other words, the prevalence of snowmen is evidence that Western culture is regressing into a far more conservative, patriarchal form more akin to the Medieval period.

Who knows how much worse the diagnosis will be should she turn her brilliant mind to the hidden meaning behind Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.


Snowmen ‘reinforce gender stereotypes’, says doctor. Ananova, December 20, 2000.

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