The Issue Of Gendered Toys

767 Words4 Pages
Since the very first day of our lives, we are labeled. Boy or girl, blue or pink. Although this is widely known and accepted, it was not often questioned until quite recently. Because of the recent discussion of gendered toys, its lead to the bigger discussion of the construction of gender altogether. Stores like Target have begun to de-gender the toy section where the distinction of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ begin. Although progress is being made there are still many places where toys are still separated by gender and as a result perpetuate many stereotypes which can often be detrimental and extremely hurtful to the society as a whole. After my visit to the incredibly well known Walmart Supercenter, I noticed many things about the toy section. Firstly, color was a major part of the differentiation between boys and girls toys. The colors used spoke to the characteristics of both feminine and masculine perspectives because of the commonly understood ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ colors Pink and purple are absolutely the most common colors used in toys aimed for girls, aside from the array of ‘Frozen’ related toys in which Elsa typically wore a light blue dress. The boy’s toys are actually much more diverse in the color ranging from blue, green, yellow, brown and basically every other color except pink and purple. These slight differences emphasize how something as simple as toys stress the bigger differences in the reality of gender in society. As I further investigated the toy section, both boys and girls, I noticed another huge difference in the selection. There was an endless selection of toys related to cooking and houses for girls, although seemingly meaningless this sends a message to the little girls for which the toys are marketed to and that... ... middle of paper ... because it allowed for individuality without an over emphasis on gender roles and expectations. This level of exploration, however, doesn’t last long before the influx of ‘norms’ that come as the intended age increases. I believe in order for individual parents to not only go against gender stereotypes but to also show the lack of value to them, they must teach their children that they have choices to be and play with whatever they want. ‘Boy’ or ‘girl’ toys, feminine or masculine, protective or nurturing, despite whatever biological makeup they may have these children should make that choice themselves and their parents should support that choice. This may not change the world’s constantly sexist ideals but it will heavily affect that individual’s child by creating an environment which supports individuality which in the grand scheme is the most important thing.
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