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Thing is, for our kids, it's not just about selling toys. There are longer term impacts. Toys are part of the entire package of messages about what a child could and should aspire to be - if science, mess, war are designated for one gender and nurture, beauty and passivity for the other, you have to be a strong willed child to cross those lines particularly as your peers and adults reinforce them. The exclusionary marketing tells our kids THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. When products are produced to address this, they tend to be linked to the stereotype- girl science with pink, glitter and making make up, blue clothes on the baby doll for boys. We are unlikely ever to get to see the market segmentation financial data that would show whether pink-girl-princess-beauty etc. is really more profitable than gender neutral. And gender neutral is not all wooden blocks and wholesome. Recognising that girls (and boys) aspiring to be Rey and wanting the action figure of the film's lead character, and that housework and childcare do not have to be in the girls section would be a start!
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Feb 27, 2016