Family Life / Mummy Talk

Say No to Gender Specific Toys

Over the Christmas period and present buying frenzy season especially recently with #JasperBean’s 4th birthday. I came across quite a few articles regarding gender specific toys and how these actually make more money for the makers. I have always detested the idea of blue is for boys and pink is for girls. How can colour be gender specific and my dislike for this is noticeable from a very young age as well. When everyone in my ballet class wore pink, I wore a baby blue tutu and leotard! Fact!

After having #JasperBean, the idea of him only playing with cars and building blocks confused me. I don’t understand why it is frowned upon if my boy likes soft cuddly toys or cooking. His most played with toy to date is his kitchen set. And I am proud of the fact that he enjoys it and loves to help me out in the kitchen. He also has 15+ cuddly toys in bed! Shouldn’t we be purchasing toys for children based on their interest, and not their gender? Yes, he is a boy, so he has alot of toy cars, guns, swords and construction. Toys that are stereotypically associated with boys. He loves playing with them, so I haven’t given it too much thought, as these are his interests.



We are normalising Gender Stereotyping

However, since the end of last year, he has developed a slight obsession with mermaids. Specifically the Little Mermaid from Disney after we visited Disneyland Hong Kong. I thought this was rather cute, but have received a few raised eyebrows from friends and relatives. I couldn’t shake off the feeling of “Why is this a problem?”. Just because he’s a boy, does it mean “girl toys” are off limits? It was kind of okay for boys to like Elsa from Frozen because it was such a phenomenon. Everyone knew and liked her, so it was okay. So when it came to other Disney princesses, I can’t help but feel people are thinking. “That’s a girl toy, you can’t play with that, you’re a boy!” and “He’s going to be gay”. What is so wrong about that? Even when people don’t say those words, their reaction is already enough to stir a reaction from me. I don’t understand and I don’t like it. It’s unfair and almost bullying.

Say no to gender specific toys

We really need to change our perspective and I’m happy to find and promote the fact that there are waves of global campaigns to back this movement. One of these are UK campaigners “Let Toys Be Toys” who want makers and retailers to stop categorising toys based on gender.

Time to change

Toy preferences should be based on the child’s interest, not gender. Toys should bring the child joy, regardless of what they are. I have previously written a few other posts regarding child’s play. “Play is not just ‘Child’s Play’“, and “Educational Toys should be Fun, not just Educational” – I wholeheartedly believe that play develops our children and stopping them from playing with a specific type of toy hinders their growth and development. And why would we do such a thing to our children? Why have we let the money making marketing machine influence us into how we should bring up our kids and what we buy for them? I understand that there are lot of things that are currently unavoidable in society, but isn’t it time that we parents come together and make this change?



Closing Message

Differences increase friction, making it easier to be picked on and bullied. We can change this. Let our kids choose what they want to play with without prejudice.

“In the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.” 1 Corinthians 11:11–12


Comments

20 March 2019 at 3:10 pm

I know this is very popular and politically correct these days but I have to lovingly disagree with you. We teach our children lots of important things like eating right and brushing their teeth. But the most important thing we can teach them is to understand who God created them to be. That doesn’t mean boys shouldn’t love to cook or girls can’t play sports, etc. etc.



    20 March 2019 at 3:13 pm

    I agree, that’s why toys shouldn’t be marketed so that boys should be stereotyped one way and girls the other. They can both love doing and playing with a variety of toys/things that interest them, not what society tells them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!



Cara
20 March 2019 at 4:09 pm

Unbelievable hogwash! God made them male and female form the beginning- there IS a difference. We don’t need a gender-fluid society…my sons will be SONS, and my daughter, a DAUGHTER! My boys played with army men by CHOICE, and my baby girl loved dolls! Both loved the toy kitchen, but I will not raise effeminate men, nor manly women. Sorry, no.



    20 March 2019 at 4:15 pm

    I think you have mistaken my post Cara. I am not saying we should raise gender fluid children. I’m merely pointing the fact that boys and girls should be allowed to choose toys based on their interest and shouldn’t be pressurised into choosing a toy because of how we think boys and girls should behave. My boy loves guns and dinosaurs, but if he wants to play with dolls, then that should be ok too.



21 March 2019 at 8:58 pm

As someone who majored in Sociology, this is a topic that is highly sought! It is so difficult to reinforce gender-fluid toys and games in such a media-driven, marketed world. Great post.



21 March 2019 at 9:28 pm

Such an interesting read thanks for sharing this!! I think kids should play with whatever toys they want to play with!



22 March 2019 at 2:53 am

Totally agree with this, I want my future children to be able to play with whatever makes them happy.



22 March 2019 at 3:02 am

So true, growing up my favorite toys were cars and lincoln logs



22 March 2019 at 2:45 pm

I don’t have kids and have never thought about toys this way. Interesting insight!



Rosie Doal
24 March 2019 at 9:01 pm

I’m glad that growing up I had all sorts of toys – which were none gender-specific. I’ve encouraged that in my own children too so we had a nice mix in the house which both kids played with. #TwinklyTuesday



Rosie Doal
24 March 2019 at 9:12 pm

Popping back over from #DreamTeam



25 March 2019 at 9:30 pm

Toys are toys! I’m a mum to three boys and the name of my blog gives an insight into life here! We have all the vehicles under the sun but my boys love them and are genuinely interested in how they work etc. We’ve just come back from a weekend away and took in two transport museums!! However, when we visit my niece they will happily sit and play with all her toys, favourites being my little pony. #TwinklyTuesday



26 March 2019 at 12:32 am

I think the gender based play is odd. Think about how many chefs in the major restaurants are men – obviously it isn’t ‘just for girls’ like toy makers seem to think. I agree that toys should be used by any and every child who wants to use them! #DreamTeam



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