Its just days till Christmas and why would any one be surprised that that a Pinko feminist at the Age would drag out the hoary old chestnut of the difference between the toys made for boys and girls:
In the run-up to Christmas, toy shops and toy departments of large stores are bursting with stock. There is a frightening segregation between what is meant for girls and what is meant for boys.
In the (pink) girls’ section, there are toy vacuum cleaners, toy ironing boards, entire toy kitchens and life-sized busts on which to apply make-up and brush hair. You can even buy a toy baby’s change table complete with baby wipes and nappies. These toys speak of motherhood, domestic chores and a preoccupation with physical appearance.
In the (blue/khaki) boys’ section, there are ugly looking super heroes, trucks, mechanical robots and all manner of fighting equipment. What are these, if not toys that reflect aggression, power and domination?
The vast majority of toys are gender-specific. Even gender-neutral toys such as jigsaw puzzles are presented with either pictures of fairies and princesses or fighting scenes and vehicles. Children instantly know which toy section they are meant to be in.
Harried parents are frustrated by the ever sharper gender divide forced upon them. But for the considerable majority the sheer tsunami of pinkness is overwhelming.
Having submitted to the power of pink, they throw up their hands in resignation offering a variety of justifications: “But there’s always been a strong gender divide in toys”, “What’s the harm? They’ll grow out of it”, “It was like this when I was young”, “The pink gene is getting stronger”.
Acquiescing to pink culture is to become part of the pink junta that has seized power. Already there is a nascent movement against the pink onslaught, with social enterprises such as Pinkstinks. Its campaign aims to influence marketeers and the media to promote positive gender roles to girls.
Boys and girls are different in the things that they want to play with.and as much as I agree that there is a great deal of useless tat marketed as playthings for our children I just don’t rate the sort of argument put by feminists like Sushi Das that the marketing for “girlie” toys to girls is some sort of patriarchal conspiracy to subordinate women. To some extend we have a chicken or egg situation here and the toys would not be made if there was not a demand for them and of course the same goes for the boy focused lines on the shops shelves as well. gender roles are not, as many feminist would argue, entirely “constructed” there is a very big part of them that are entirely innate in the individual children. So I’m going to suggest that the reason that girls toys are often all about Fairies and Princesses and boys toys are about machines and guns is that there is part of the female psyche that wants to be a magical fairy princess and there is a part of the male psyche that wants to be a warrior or a mechanic and naturally the toys offered reflects this. However this does not mean that we have to give our children the message that such roles are all that they have to or can be. We are constantly told that to succeed in the modern world we all have to be versatile and intellectually flexible so surely it follows that our children can enjoy the toys that their nature drives them to desire
On the planet of feminists its all a conspiracy but in the real world our upcoming cohorts of girls and boys can be multifaceted individuals who enjoy the playthings that they innately desire and as long as we as parents allow and acknowledge that our children can do anything with their lives and that the girl who plays with dolls may well grow into a young woman who wins a Nobel prize for science and the boy who plays with toy soldiers may spend part of his life raising and nurturing his children . Its just not an either or situation anymore.