8/06/2014

Gender specific toys? No thanks!


The minute you become pregnant you are thrown into the world of pink and blue. Blue for boys and pink for girls and from the get go there is no escape. If you are having a boy then blue, cars and aeroplanes are all shoved down your throat and it's hard to find anything else. Don't get me wrong I love dressing Noah in blue but that's not because that it's the colour baby boys are "supposed to wear" he just suits it with his blonde hair and blue eyes. Which is a good job because if you go into your local shoe shop for example you have a choice of three colours; blue, brown or green. I must admit certain stores are getting better with their range of colours and options when it comes to both genders but I still feel it could be better and it's something that just gets more and more frustrating as my son gets older. 

Anyway lets forget about that. It's one thing clothes being gender specific in colour but I didn't realise how far across the board this stereotype stretched. The clothes are just the tip of the iceberg for me, what pushed me over the edge was gender specific toys. And not just that but BLUE toys for boys and PINK toys for girls. Come on. Why?! 


I came across the Leapfrog picnic basket toy this weekend. The basket had a cute smiley face, had different foods/shapes to put inside the basket and take out, it was interactive. It ticked all the boxes for me but guess what? It was in pink! And to add insult to injury it displayed two little girls playing with it on the box. This irked me but I thought maybe this shop only has them in pink but I checked online when I got home and was shocked to discover this toy only comes in pink! I have no issue going back and buying my son a pink toy but am I missing something here? I wasn't aware that picnics were just for girls, that boys don't have them, or even like food? This actually enraged me and I know that can be seen as a huge over reaction but that is how I feel. Why is this toy deemed "just for girls?" Sending the message out there that boys can't have picnics and it's girl thing? I'm sorry but that's not the message I want to send to my son. 

Why in this day and age are toys being categorised in such a way? Who is to say that toys are only for a certain gender? Toys are toys and babies, toddlers and children should be able to play with whatever toy they like without any stigma attached. Kids should be able to play with whatever they find fun and not because it is pink or blue and what they "should be playing with". I would be more than happy to buy Noah a doll and pram if he ever wanted one but the sad thing is people would still be think "why is that boy playing with a doll". 

Now don't get this misconstrue my issue is when toys are only in certain colours with no other option. I am unhappy about these toy companies telling parents what to buy their child and telling the child what they should like and be playing with. These companies need to get with the times and realise they aren't just limiting our children when it comes to play but they are being small minded, sexist and stereotypical too!  

11 comments:

  1. Just to throw a spanner in... Why can't Noah have a pink picnic basket? Yes, it's pink and yes it has girls on the box but I'm sure Noah would love to play with it and he doesn't care that it's pink. Just a thought x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't buy it then and there as I went home to check if it came in primary colours cause I admit I would prefer it gender neutral. I was then angered it only came in pink. I wouldn't have a problem going back and buying it but it almost defeats the object of this post if you think about it. I don't mind Noah playing with pink tour, barbies or dolls whatever makes him happy. It just annoys me that these companies dictate what are for boys and what are for girls. That's where my issue lies.

      Delete
  2. Aren't you doing the same thing as you say these big companies are doing by not letting Noah have a pink picnic basket? You're saying that big companies are stereotyping but you're doing the same thing by saying Noah can't have it because it's pink?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I'm not. I don't have an issue buying him a pink toy. I didn't buy there and then cause I admit I went home to check it came in primary colour. I was shocked that it didn't. I would go back and buy him a pink toy. I don't care about that what annoys me are these companies making toys in pink or blue. Telling us what our kids can and cannot play with. They need to get with the times

      Delete
  3. I think her point is that there is no need for toys to be aimed at one gender when both could enjoy. The company making this is trying to make it a "girls" toy by making it pink with girls on the box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm sure they understood some of the points I was trying to make but got he wrong end of the stick too with now I worded a sentence, that's what happens when I have 45 mins to write a post when my baby is napping! Ha ha.

      Delete
  4. I agree with the other comments, that just because it is pink doesn't mean you can't buy it for Noah. However I also think hand on heart, if it was me I would be put off buying it for a boy due to it being so very feminine. Although I would hate to go down the line of 'nothing can be blue or pink' so as not to stereotype I don't see why something as universal as a basket couldn't have been made in a nice brown so as not to exclude anyone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again it's my mistake for phrasing something the way I did. I don't have a problem buying something pink for Noah but it's rather annoying when said toy shouldn't JUST be in pink and JUST for girls. Daft

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I totally get what you mean, and I agree. I DO also agree with the other commenters....we had this same issue with the same toy, Tyne loves playing with plastic food and putting things in and out of boxes so this was ideal but it was only available in pink with long fluttering eyelashes and girls playing with it on the box....It didn't bother me enough to stop me from buying it for him, I still did because I do think that to avoid it just because its pink is buying in to the problem....pink is just a colour at the end of the day and a boy might like it just as much as a girl.

    But it is very obvious from the packaging and design that the toy is intended for a girl....which I think is where the problem lies. Why design a toy with any specific child in mind? Why not just make the toy, put it out there with gender neutral marketing (By all means, make it pink! But maybe reign in the girls only on the box, etc) and let whichever child likes it buy it.

    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comments. I have edited the post because the way I worded one sentence totally gave of the wrong impression and took away the point I was trying to get across.

      I didn't buy the pink toy then and there because I went home to check if it came in primary colours as I would of preferred to buy that. I have no issue going back to that shop and buying it for Noah.

      My issue and the point of this post is to say why do these companies think certain toys are for boys or for girls. Why does that picnic basket ONLY come in pink. I think it's absurd.

      Thanks for the comments.

      Delete