Gender Toys Essay

940 Words4 Pages
Many people view gender as a mostly solid, rigid, unchangeable thing, but they are only seeing it through their viewpoint as many cultures and individuals have their own way of viewing gender identity and gender roles. One way gender comes into play is with children’s toys which are divided into boys’ and girls’ toys in a very consistent manner. Elizabeth Sweet from The New York Times, discusses the gender-based marketing of toys and whether gender-neutral toys would help or hurt children and their gender development, stating herself that “making toys gender-inclusive doesn’t prevent a girl from selecting a pink doll or a boy from picking a blue truck- it just stops such a selection from being obligatory” (Sweet, 2014) . Michael Kimmel and…show more content…
323). Gender is assigned to individuals at birth based on their genitalia, which then categorizes their sex, and the process of gender works from there as the treatment of individuals becomes based upon their sex, “through naming, dress, and the use of other gender markers” (Lorber, 2013, p. 324). To put it simply, people are not born a gender, it is not an innate, biological thing. Instead, people become a gender because of the way they are treated by family, friends, peers, society, etc. The use of toys helps socialize children to become the gender society says they should be based on their sex. Girls play with dolls, kitchen sets, princess toys, pink things, etc., or anything that shows a domestic or caring role, while boys play with action figures, fake weapons, building sets, etc., or anything that involves action. From a young age children are trained for their gender roles and it is reinforced with toys because there is almost no overlap between the types of toys and genders. With this in mind, Lorber would recommend more gender neutral toys to break away from strict ideas of what is masculine and feminine. With more gender neutral toys, the strict ideas of what is masculine and feminine becomes blurry with toys that were once feminine are…show more content…
I have read several studies comparing the male and female brain and showing that there is no difference between male and female brains. I think the mere existence of transgender people show that sex and gender are not to be equated with one another. Transgender people were assigned their gender at birth based on sex and socialized a certain way but grow up to be another gender. If gender were rooted in biology this likely would not happen. I do agree with Kimmel’s idea that masculinity is rooted in fear. There is very little discussion of how sexism hurts men, but I feel his ideas could possibly use more discussion of women as you cannot talk about how men are hurt by gender roles and sexism without talking about
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