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Posted on Sep 4, 2013

End Senseless Gender Divide For Good

End Senseless Gender Divide For Good

Long time, no blogging. The Sons have been at home on their Summer holidays so my blogging opportunities have been limited.

I was thrilled when I got back from the school run to find an email in my inbox from Let Toys Be Toys campaign, announcing Toys R Us would be ending their boys / girls labelling.

It is crazy that in 2013 when boys and girls can grow up to be whatever profession they wish, without any regard for their gender, they are being told at such a young age which toys they should be playing with.

Whilst a pink label, or ‘boys’ sign doesn’t prohibit a child from playing with a toy, it sends a powerful message to children about who that toy is intended for. Something which I found out for myself last Christmas.

Why did Toys R Us think these stables were for girls?

Why did Toys R Us think these Schleich stables were for girls?

Son#2 was 5 years old, and had recently started riding.

For Christmas he wanted anything related to ponies.

Most soft toys, and interactive toys were explicitly aimed at girls with pink packaging, and even pink materials used on the toy.

Whilst flicking through the Toys R Us Christmas catalogue Son#2 found a beautiful wooden stables and horse set, but was upset to see that this too was meant only for girls.

Despite the product and its packaging having no gender bias at all, Toys R Us had placed it on a pink page, with only girls playing with it.

In our family we have no regard for whether a toy, game or indeed dressing up outfit is intended for a boy or girl, so Father Christmas delivered the toy stables, and now liberate from the pink catalogue page, it is used by a pony-loving boy.

Placing a gender emphasis on children’s toys limits their choices by sending a clear message that the toy is intended for a different audience, and in my experience can provide a real dent to a child’s self-esteem when they realise that they have made a social faux pas by wanting the wrong toy.

It’s time to end the madness and Let Toys Be Toys.

A final thought. The stables set in question was made by Schleich. They, like many quality toy manufacturers, do not gender-bias their toys. Perhaps they would be interested in joining the campaign as surely by promoting their toys to one gender, the retailers are limiting the potential sales for the prouct.

My son's stables 'for girls'

My son’s stables ‘for girls’

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