Two posts about gender roles in a row! WTF? But I thought this thought was worth sharing.
I was at Toys R Us with my mom today, looking for a gift for a 4 year old girl. Naturally, we wanted to pick something that would noodle the brain a little, and opted for Legos or K-nex or something like that. When we got to the Legos section, I wanted to look for something a little bit more girly – or at least something that didn’t look so blatantly…tractor-ish. You know, the “let’s build a tractor!” type of toy. They also had sci-fi stuff like Star Wars, medieval castle/war-type themes going on too. Of course, look at what I’m saying – I’m totally playing into the gender roles too by assuming that girls and tractors don’t mix.
Herein lies the problem though – the general public (for whom “pink” and “makeup” = girls and “construction” and “cars/vehicles/science fiction” = boys) is going to go straight for the pink toys if they are looking to buy something for a girl. And what’s in what I term the “pink” section? Dress-up dolls, housewife, cooking-type toys, putting makeup and accessories on dolls and figurines… in short, nothing that really involves building, creating, putting things together, etc. What message is that sending to young kids?