Did you see it? That viral video of the cute little three-year old Riley cutting to the chase regarding the way toy manufacturers steer girls down one street and boys another?
If you didn’t or, just want to catch it again, here it is :
She doesn’t get it. Why does all of the girl stuff have to be pink?
For as long as I can remember girls have had the ‘pink stuff’ and the boys have had the ‘other colored stuff’ to play with. Why? Well..because! It’s always been that way!
This debate is really starting to heat up too- combine this with the recent Lego Friends controversy – and get ready to buckle in. My thoughts are that this gender debate isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Adding to this debate is the question of whether or not gender stripping of toys is even a good idea.
Traditionally, toys were intended to communicate parental values and expectations, to train children for their future adult roles. Today’s boys and girls will eventually be one another’s professional peers, employers, employees, romantic partners, co-parents. How can they develop skills for such collaborations from toys that increasingly emphasize, reinforce, or even create, gender differences? What do girls learn about who they should be from Lego kits with beauty parlors or the flood of “girl friendly” science kits that run the gamut from “beauty spa lab” to “perfume factory”?
Word is that kids are environmentally influenced to play with these toys- and in essence are being exploited to play with the gender role definitions that are given to them.
What are your thoughts? Do you ever think about gender with regard to the toys you buy your children?
Image courtesy of lownote