Many parents complain about sexism in toys and clothes aimed at little girls. It is also quite common to see parents encouraging their daughter to play with toys traditionally associated with boys (for different reasons: feminism, tired of pink, big brother’s toys …). However, letting a boy play with dolls, or wear pink or girl’s clothes is much less easily accepted in our society.
“BUT I AM NOT A BOY!”
Child’s Gender Identity Development
A short personal story: we are at friends’ place, we thought it would be raining all day and we would stay inside so I let my daughter, 3 year-old at this point, wear her nice ballet shoes. Finally, it stops raining, we let the children go out and play in the garden and I ask my daughter to take her shoes off and wear boots belonging to her friend (a boy)…. And then the crisis starts up: “NOOOO I don’t want these boots!!!” And why? “BUT I AM NOT A BOY!”
Tantrum? Yes, but there’s more than that. Let’s take a tour inside her brain…
Understanding the evil power of implicit associations
Being concerned about stereotyped toys and clothes for our children is not as trifling as it seems. When Elodie and I decided to embark on this blog, I immediately wondered: “Breaking gender norms, pink and unicorns for girls, blue and dinosaurs for boys… OK, but why? Is it only to give more choices to our children?”
I’ve read Cinderella Ate my Daughter by Peggy Orenstein, a book that immerses us into the girly-princesses culture, and reveals the dark side this pink wave which is sweeping on young girls. My first conclusion when I closed this book was: fighting against this girly culture is a lost cause, not worth even trying…
No, you cannot fight against Marketing strategies, against Disney, Mattel and others, against the cult of beauty, against self-promotion and self-staging on social media, against over-sexualized (too) young girls… because you are a parent and that you just cannot win against global entertainment companies targeting children, nor against social media.
I’m not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it’s very simple. It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don’t understand the negative connotation of the word, or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you are a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you’re a feminist.
Beyoncé, ELLE – Apr 4, 2016
Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster.
After the Lego for girls, which we mentioned in a previous blog post, I share with you another podcast about girls’ toys: this one deals with the success of Monster High, these Barbies with a gothic style. I’ve really discovered those dolls recently when my daughter (almost 6 years old) saw one of them at school and asked if she could have one for her birthday.
Lego Friends, Legos for girls, a good idea caught up by cliches.
You probably know Lego Friends, the very girly line of Lego which is now a hit with the girls. Before the launch of Lego Friends, 90% of Lego consumers were boys.
“No, girls aren’t doomed to be dummies when it comes to parking their cars or visualizing molecular structures”
So, yes, successful story… but more importantly good initiative because it is crucial for girls to play with construction toys. They help them develop their spatial skills, that is to say the brain’s ability to move in space, to perceive objects and organize them into a coherent visual scene, to mentally imagine a physically absent object…
“The girls were dressed as princesses, the boys as super heroes!”
One Monday night, I come home from work and my older son, 7 years old, says to me: “Tomorrow it’s “Mardi Gras”, the teacher told us we could come in costume”. Ouch …
I say “ouch” because we don’t have many costumes at home, and I don’t know why: is it because they do not have many that they almost never disguise themselves, or is it because they do not really like this that we do not buy them costumes…
I am writing to you, my dear H&M.
First, well, I have to say that your Astronaut pajamas, are really cool, my daughter loves them (and my son too)! But WHY do I have to go to the boys’ aisle to find them?
You make other super nice pajamas: firefighter, baseball player, super hero … They are so great that I could buy them all, except that…. All of them are sold in the boys’ aisle! And this is annoying… Continue reading Why are Astronaut pajamas sold in the boys’ aisle?