Sunday, 16 December 2012

Boys and Girls Toys

I have three loud, excitable and incredibly wonderful nieces and nephews to buy gifts for. So recently I've stumbled into the unfamiliar territory of the toy section armed with a vague idea of what the parents have bought and what they like. The first thing noticed is how divided a lot of it is divided according to gender and traditional ideas of gender roles. For girls it's all pink and other pastel colours, and for boys its so many shades of blue. Sometimes it is a case of same toy, different colour, other times it actively promotes gender stereotypes. Try finding a toy vacuum that isn't bright pink.

A Swedish toy retailer gained attention for publishing a "gender-neutral" catalogue, including a boy in a Spiderman costume pushing a toy buggy. Thinking to my own childhood I eschewed the many attempts to play with Action Man-type boys toys in favour of my sisters toys which I borrowed in the same way I "borrowed" their dresses. Children don't know about the gender rules or what they should or should not play with until it gets socialised into them later they will take what they enjoy playing with use imagination and be loud, excitable and incredibly wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. Here's to kids just having fun. If that means with dolls, Lego, toy cars or role-playing with a kitchen made out of an old cardboard box; so be it.

    I think the main things are, that they have fun and play safely. What toy they like to play with is hardly here nor there, IMO.

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