The Gender Roles Vs. Toys Issue

Or

My Issues With Gender Roles & Toys

Or

Why The [expletive here] Is This Still Happening?

I know I’m preaching to the choir here.  I know we have discussed this many times before.

But!

I went to Mrs. Tiggy Winkles today, looking for a Christmas gift for my nephew.

I want something like a Jr. Scientist kit or something along those lines and that place is really good for it.  In fact, I looked for the gift at the Air & Space and the Natural History museums when I was in DC.  They did have some great ones but the problem was all the instructions were in English.  You see, my nephew lives in Colombia and doesn’t speak any English.  I thought it was weird that in a city were most signs are both in English and Spanish, I couldn’t find a geeky gift set with Spanish instructions.

The good news, Mrs. Tiggy Winkles has a ton of those “little Scientist” kits made in Europe.  All of them come with instructions in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Danish.  Score!

I think I’m gonna get him these two.  He’s a very curious kid and he likes to learn how things work and he’s very environmentally conscious so I think he will be happy with them.

But that’s not why I got annoyed.

I got annoyed because of the genderizing of the packaging.

I saw this really nice indoor garden kit.  Very cool.  It includes a very neat container, seeds and everything that is needed to grow the garden.  They call it a Fairy garden which I also think it’s cool.  I like fairies.  This kit is so cool, I’m actually considering buying it for myself.

But why oh why do they have to make it all purple and pink and put pictures of girls only?  Who says boys are not allowed to like fairies? Or grow gardens?  Or that if a boy likes to grow a garden, he must like pink and purple as well?

Why is it that the minute a toy is deemed as “for girls” they make the package all glittery and pinky and purply.   Gaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Why do toy makers feel they need to genderize (yeah, that word probably doesn’t even exist) their toys?  What does it matter?

Of course, I am not saying this is Mrs. Tiggy Winkles’ fault.  They are merely selling the toys, not packaging them.

I am not saying boys can’t like pink and purple, either.  Of course they do.  Some of them, anyway.  And that’s good.  But at the same time, not all girls like pink and purple.  Some girls like blue and green and black.

I like all colours.  So I couldn’t care less which colours they use in the packaging (I’ll be more attracted to orange, teal and turquoise packagin but that’s irrelevant).  But I do have a problem with assigning colours to either gender.

It is SO annoying.  Why do we force our girls and women to identify with some colours?  Pathetic, really, as Meizac underlined.

Oh, and of course, all the Science and Tech toys have pictures of boys only, if they have any pictures of humans at all.  And I can hear my mother’s voice, “No, you can’t have that.  That’s for boys”.  Grrrrrrrrrr

Now, my mother was a great mother.  She was a great woman too.  But she was the product of her space-time continuum.  She was brought up to believe that little girls played with dolls and little boys played with cars and that’s how it was for her.

But now, 4 decades later, why is it that we still allow this to happen?  Is it because we pick and choose our battles and deem that one not as important as others?  Clearly that ‘s not the case for every one.  All those witty responses to the Bic pen fiasco confirm it.

Why then?  What does it still happen? And do you think toy stores should refuse to sell products from companies that assign gender roles to their products? 

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “The Gender Roles Vs. Toys Issue

  1. No Blog Intended says:

    Mostly, the pictures and colours will appeal to the people they shoudl appeal to. I think the greatest part of the girls like pink fairies and gardens. And as always, we’re not supposed to think of the minority that is different, right? Minorities can get the f*ck of, can’t they? *sigh*

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      Yes, the greatest part of the girls do like pink fairies. But boys like them too. And they may or may not like pink. My point is that everybody no matter their gender like fairies. Therefore, a fairy garden should not be labelled are “girly”.

      And yes, I’m with you. *sigh*

  2. Ruby Tuesday says:

    In one of my very favorite pictures of my Babygirl, she is decked out in the pink tutu with the sequins and the ruffles that she wore over everything for a while when she was about two, playing with some toy racecars that someone had given my dad. I love it, because now, almost 11 years later, she is still so fun and frilly, but she is definitely a potential scientist in the making. Gives me some hope that maybe we’re getting some things right with this generation, even if the toy companies are not.

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      Nice! I wish I had been allowed to do that. Of course, I never (at least not that I’m aware of) imposed any of that in my kids and yet my daughter always preferred to play with dolls and other traditionally “girly” toys. It was her choice, though. My son was never interested in cars or trucks. All he was interested in was books and computers. As for tv, they didn’t watch much but the shows they did watch were never girl-oriented or boy-oriented but gender neutral. Again, their choice with parental approval, of course. They were mostly Discovery kids, or Animal Planet shows.

  3. Angel Fractured says:

    When I was a kid, I *hated* that all the so-called girl toys had pink packaging. I hated pink.

    Growing up, sometimes I played with my brother’s action figures. He played with my Barbies. We would switch between the two. All we were doing was making them act out stories, though. You can do that with either of those types of toys. My brother, though, probably wouldn’t like it that much if he knew I was going around mentioning that.

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      hahahaha

      I hate pink when I was a kid too. You could not make me wear pink even if my life depended on it. And I hated girl-toys too.

      Growing up, both my kids (boy and girl) would play with each other toys, which included Barbies and Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac. Sometimes the Knights would come to frolic on Barbie’s pool

    • PAZ says:

      My bro played with my doll maker oven–where you actually cook-up/make dolls. lol. But shhh don’t tell him I said that. He loved making disfigured dolls come out of the oven. Weird toy to begin with…

  4. PAZ says:

    I’m with Angel on this one. I used to LOVE to snatch up my brother’s Ninja Turtles set and play with it. I’d throw the Ninja Turtles in my pink Barbie Corvette (and I HATED that there were only pink and white Corvettes).

    Clearly though, if a boy likes to garden he’s sure to grow up to be a “fairy”. *sarcasm*

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s