Random Acts of Feminism

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The other day I was at a local thrift store searching for some vintage kitchen treasures when I strolled past the toy section. I stopped. dead. in. my. tracks. WHAT THE EFF IS THIS? Oh, I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a list of “the best toys for boys” and “the best toys for girls” separating into two toy sections.

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Well, I OBVIOUSLY could not allow this to stand. I mean, I can still barely wrap my brain around how it was even happening. Did I open a door to the past?

Take a look at that image. The “girl’s toys” are Barbies, dresses, and jewellery. On the sign for boys, there are pictures of video games, building toys, a tent, and superheroes. What the actual hell?

So, I went into the “boy” section, grabbed a big car and placed it directly under the girls only sign.

Then, I went into the “girl” section, found the biggest, pinkest toy I could, which happened to be a sweet My Little Pony, and positioned it to peek around the boy toy sign.

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Oh, hello My Little Pony! I hope a nice young boy finds joy in your sweet face and pretty blue hair!

Come on people. Toys don’t have genders. Any child can find joy in playing with any type of toy. It’s 2016 and we still need to waste energy on this BS? I’m so over sexism. I can’t even.

Krista

9 thoughts on “Random Acts of Feminism

      • Totally. Even my own eyes have become more sensitive to it only as an adult. It’s so reassuring to know that kids and young adults can recognize it and know that it’s ridiculous.

  1. It’s not sexism. It’s marketing. Obviously, whoever runs the store thought it would be a good business decision, and noticed boys were buying x toys while girls were buying y toys, and be it right or not, if that person thinks it’ll make them more money, so be it. Boy toys are shorthand for cars and action figures, while girl toys are shorthand for dolls and the like. Just as books are divided in stores by genres for marketing purposes and ease of finding things, so to are toys.

    I’m not saying it’s the smartest decision, but it is certainly understandable.

    • It’s sexist marketing. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      Segregating toys by gender perpetuates stereotypes and instills in young children the idea that there are roles in which they are “supposed to” adhere.

      A building kit can foster a love of engineering in a young girl just as a baby doll can allow a young boy to develop a need to nurture. By directing children towards certain types of toys, rather than giving them the freedom to choose for themselves, we are projecting onto them social constructs of gender that can be ingrained in their development.

      I agree that it’s “understandable” why someone would create these categories – but that doesn’t make it okay. It’s ignorant to perpetuate sexism and the harm, whether intentional or not, can be deep and lasting.

    • The very easy solution is to label toys what they are “cars and action figures” vs. Dolls. Why assign gender to them? Lots of girls play with cars and action figures, and lots of boys play with dolls. Let kids decide what they want to play with, not what they “should” play with.

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