I am a college student currently taking a Women and Gender Studies course. My classmates and I have to pick a topic and go out into the community and let this problem be known. I have chosen the topic of gender stereotyping in toys. The following post is a letter I wrote about gender stereotyping and how this will affect children in the future. It would help me out a lot if I could get some comments from you all about your opinions on this topic. Thanks!
Gender Stereotyping in Toys
Just a couple of months ago during February I saw the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper on my kitchen table. I looked through the newspaper and I stumbled upon an article written by Erin Andersen. The article described the new toy Lego Friends. This new toy is targeted to girls. Lego Friends consists of more complex Lego people, pink houses with a kitchen and garden, and a place to take care of your animals. Now I don’t know about you but I loved playing with Legos as a child. I can remember going to my aunt’s house and playing Legos with my sister and two girl cousins. I didn’t need my Lego people to look more like Polly Pockets. I didn’t need a Lego house to play with. I would build my own house out of Legos. As I read the controversy behind the new toy I couldn’t help but think that there is so much gender stereotyping in toys
Many people who have heard of this controversy may say “Who cares. The new line is great because it encourages girls to be creative too.” My answer to them is “Are you serious?” The new line does not let girls be creative. Instead of building a house out of Legos the house is already built furnished with everything a house needs. And the commercials are no better. The Lego Friends commercials have upbeat music and tell the audience (young girls) to relax and take care of the home and the animals. The commercials for Legos have action packed music and tell the audience (young boys) to save the day and defeat the bad guy or build your own star fleet to defeat Darth Vader. It is clear that this new line of Legos is only reinforcing gender stereotypes.
The Legos controversy will fade but gender stereotyping will still be a problem. Children will grow up seeing and hearing that girls should be like this and play with this and boys should act like this and play with this. And these teachings will stick with the children as they grow up. Boys will be expected to behave masculine and girls will be expected to behave feminine. This way of thinking will affect children in the future. Women may not go after a certain job because they were taught at an early age that that job is more masculine and should be given to a man. Men may not take women’s ideas seriously because they were taught that boys should do the hard work while girls should just sit and relax.
I am not yet a parent but I still buy toys for my younger cousins during birthdays and Christmases. I go down one aisle and get my girl cousin a doll that comes with an extra outfit, a comb, and a pair of hot pink high heels. I go down another aisle and get my boy cousin an action figure superhero. This toy comes with a car or a motorcycle and the tag line reads “Save the Day”. The message is clear. Girls should worry about clothes and relaxing while boys should worry about saving the world and defeating the bad guy.
I have made a promise to myself and I hope you will too. When the next birthday roles around or it is time for the holidays I won’t give my cousins the obvious gift. I will try to find toys that both can play with. And I will work to keep this promise when I have children of my own.
hmmmmm. I have quite opposite thoughts. I thing girls should look and act like girls and the same case for boys. pigeon are made to look like pigeon, if expect or train pigeon to speak like parrot then it will look too much awkward. So according your so called toys stereotype is natural because it depicts two genders.