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The Brawny Man Makes Way for the Brawny Woman

In honor of women’s history month, the iconic, red plaid-wearing Brawny Man of Brawny paper towels is stepping aside to make room for the limited-edition spokesperson: the Brawny Woman!

The swap is part of Georgia-Pacific’s #StrengthHasNoGender campaign, which began last year on International Women’s Day (March 8). The company strengthened the message of its campaign by introducing the Brawny Woman to its packaging, and released a series of short films that highlight women in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

“There are women and girls everywhere who exhibit strength and resilience in their lives, and that’s the inspiration behind Brawny’s #StrengthHasNoGender campaign,” said Senior Brand Manager at Georgia-Pacific, Frances Morgan.

The #StrengthHasNoGender campaign celebrates women who have exhibited strength and broken down barriers in traditionally male-dominated professions. Naturally, Brawny is celebrating famous women like Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, and Susan B. Anthony, who are highlighted on Brawny’s website and in commercials. However, lesser-known women are also prominently featured.

Each short film that Brawny has sponsored focuses on a woman working in STEM, and allows these women to share their inspiring stories. Vernice Armour, for example, is the first black female combat pilot in the U.S. Military. In her segment, she explains that people initially were uncomfortable with women entering the armed forces, but that choosing to pursue her passion no matter what others thought is a decision that changed Armour’s life.

“Today, there is no way you could ever think of taking women out of the fabric of the Marine Corps. Why? Because our military is stronger with women in it,” states Armour.

Brittany Wenger, a college senior who invented a program that detects breast cancer, Dr. Patty Lopez, a computer scientist and advocate for minorities in STEM, and Anna Kornbrot, the first woman to graduate from Columbia University, are also featured on Brawny’s website.

“STEM is [one] among many areas in society that are underrepresented by females, and we felt this would be a powerful platform to address this issue,” said Morgan.

Brawny has also made a $75,000 donation to Girls Inc., an advocacy group focused on inspiring young girls to enter STEM fields. This donation will benefit the Girls Inc. Operation SMART Program, which encourages girls to have confidence in their ability to partake in STEM careers. In regards to the partnership, Morgan commented, “Our partnership with Girls Inc. will help promote girls’ interest in these fields and empower them to break gender stereotypes.”

Brawny’s investment in Girls Inc. is an investment in the future of young women. The company’s partnership with the non-profit received a lot of positive feedback, and its donation will bring new opportunities for the women and employees who rely on Girls Inc.

The #StrengthHasNoGender campaign is not about shaming masculinity or men. It is about celebrating the individual strengths that each gender possesses!

Of course, with every campaign there are going to be critics. To some, Brawny’s gesture seems unfulfilled, but many find the efforts of Brawny and Georgia-Pacific to be an important step in the right direction. After all, Brawny is just a paper towel company, but it is using its platform to support women and girls everywhere.

Featured Image by Gui Seiz on Flickr
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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