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Toys and Gender Roles

04 Jan

My brother will probably kill me for putting this up here, but when I was younger, I had one of these Barbie styling heads.  After I fell asleep, my parents saw my brother army crawl into my bedroom, grab this thing by the hair, and army crawl it back across the hall to his own bedroom.  In the morning, they found the styling head next to him on the pillow, covered up to her plastic chin with my brother sleeping soundly beside her.

Now, my brother had all the typical boy toys, but once in awhile, he did something like this.  It made him no less manly.  He simply desired an object.  Bro turned out to be quite desired by the lady folk…and I think I know why.  I mean, as a toddler, he bedded BARBIE!

 

But we’re back to gender roles, here.  I’m sure you’ve all seen “Riley on Marketing” by now.  If not, here you go:

So Riley doesn’t understand why all the girls’ stuff is pink and all the boys’ stuff is all the other colors.  I kind of

I once knew a little boy whose sole purpose for becoming potty-trained was so he could pick out his own underwear.  And when his father took him to the store, he went straight for the Disney princesses.  He didn’t care if they were pink or had girls on them.  It was what he liked.understand her.  But Lord, just because something is pink doesn’t mean that girls HAVE to buy it, and that boys can’t.  I mean, when I was a kid, my Barbies played with my brother’s Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines all the time.  And if I wanted my own Batman, I could have had one.  Hell, I had a Vac-Man from Stretch Armstrong.

So I have to say that I’m not sure color completely deters children from wanting what they want.

This article asks:

So who has it right? Should gender be systematically expunged from playthings?

NO!  Toys are toys, damnit.  It’s not like I didn’t know a billion little girls with Legos, K’Nex, Lincoln Logs, toy cars, Nerf guns, and all the other fun boy stuff.  At the same time, I also knew tons of little boys who used Barbie as GI Joe’s girlfriend.  But if you took away my girly toys when I was younger, I would have FLIPPED.

Toys can be gender-specific!  And kids can (and will) play with whatever they want, regardless of color, or shape, or of who it’s marketed to.

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Daily Happenings

 

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