Boys and girls are different. But you know that right. They look different physically – and that is even their brains. So why is it, that people are so adamant that they should be the same and what to ignore these differences? Yes I know that all girls want to play with dolls and all boys want to play with cars, but generally there are certain ways in which the genders can be observed to be different. In fact advertisers know all about these differences and they utilise them. For example even young children have a preference of how fast the camera angle is, and the tempo of the music for example. I am sorry I wanted to back this all up with research but I seem to have mislaid it.
I think people need to stop focusing on whether toys are seen to be for a boy or for a girl but to instead focus on the more important issue – what message is that toy giving them about their gender? If children see that dolls are for girls then surely that is the way the doll is being presented. Is it because they are pink? Rather than the fact that it is in a section labelled “girls toys.” But what about the doll – what is the message behind it? Does the message that the doll gives to the say that females have to stay at home and look after babies? Or does the doll come with a doctor’s set that says that females can go into medicine, and take care of babies?
Girls (generally) like stories. They like details. And I for one am glad to see the LEGO Friends range. Yes not every girl likes pink, and not every girl needs pink to say that LEGO is for them. But you know what some girls DO like pink (and some boys – it’s not even called LEGO girls is it!) I for one love the fact that there is LEGO in such pretty colours. And what about the messages it sends out to girls? Well take a look at Mia’s Roadster – which comes with just one female doll, who knows how to do everything with her car independently. She fixes it with her tools, checks the oil level (although I was disappointed that there’s not actually an engine, which is probably why the bonnet doesn’t lift up), fills it with fuel (although it doesn’t stay flat on the floor to do this) and cleans it. She doesn’t require assistance from anyone else. Maybe I am wrong but traditionally this kind of thing has been seen as a man’s role – so it is good to see things changing. Oh and it’s not that pink either – well more of a darker purplish pink – but still enough to appeal to my girlie side anyway.
What do you think about the messages that toys send out to the different genders?
You may also be interested in Gender Neutral dressing-up play with Fafu and Dolls designed to readdress stereotypes associated with boys.
This is not a sponsored post. I bought my own LEGO and my opinions are the result of a lot of Scientific Research whilst doing my dissertation for my first degree.