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What do you think of gender desegregation of toys in stores?

Posted by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:08 AM
  • 22 Replies

Toy Store Doing Away With Gender Marketing Could Do More Harm Than Good

by Jenny Erikson

Last Friday, Toys ‘R’ Us announced that they will be doing away with gender labels for toys in their U.K. stores. Toys will no longer be classified as boy toys and girl toys, but simply toys, as encouraged by the group “Let Toys Be Toys.” One of the major changes, thanks to the campaign, is to replace signs to show pictures of both genders playing with the same toys.

Funny, I never knew that people couldn’t buy a baby doll for a boy or a racecar for a girl. I always thought the purpose of buying a child a toy was to make them happy, so I’ve always gotten what they’ve wanted, not what the sign said I should get them. To each their own, I guess.

In all seriousness, how much of a politically correct world do we live in when we have to deny that the majority of girls like tea parties and baby dolls and princesses, and boys like super heroes and vehicles and pretend weapons? Also one in which we can’t trust parents to do what’s best for their own kids, regardless of what ‘normal’ looks like? What is normal, anyway?

One of my girly-girl daughter’s good friends turned 10 a few months ago, and my sparkly girl announced that we had to shop for her present from the boy aisle, because the birthday girl doesn’t like girly things. My daughter, decked in pink and glitter, poured over the boy toys to find the perfect thing for her friend, and ended up choosing a play light saber.

“She’s going to LOVE this!” she declared, and then promptly asked, “How are we going to wrap this? Can we get a bow? A blue bow, Mommy.”

Another good friend of mine has a 10-year-old son that loves camping, fishing, wrecking his sister’s dollhouse, and My Little Pony. No joke -- little man knows the theme song by heart, and even has a My Little Pony game app of some sort on his iPod touch.

Both of these families consider themselves to be ultra-conservative and Christian. I only mention that because there seems to be some sort of misconception that those kind of “up-tight” families are the ones that society needs “protecting” from their linear ideas about gender roles.

When it comes down to it, parents shouldn’t need a permission slip from a store or an advertisement to buy their kids the things that they want. Everyone is unique and quirky and eclectic, and good parents help their kids explore their interests, even if they’re outside of what’s typical for their gender.

Besides, what’s going to happen now, when the majority of boys are told they have to play with girl toys, and vice versa, otherwise they’re not as open-minded as other people? Are we going to get reverse gender shaming?

Let the kids play with what they want. Reprimand the bullies that make fun of them for playing with what they want. And please, can we keep the gender-specific aisles at the toy store? We never would have found that light saber amidst the Barbies.

What do you think of gender desegregation of toy stores?

by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:08 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:59 AM
I think it is stupid. Keep things the same. Some parents today that are for this crap are idiots. Do this in your home, not in stores.
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by Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:02 AM
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Nothing much will change.  There still will be a Barbie aisle and still be a lego aisle.  Toys will be grouped together by type.  

by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM
1 mom liked this

This should have been done years ago.

by Bronze Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM
1 mom liked this
It is much easier to shop if they are separated by toy type. Once they mix everything together, it will take forever to find anything.
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:38 AM

My daughters favorite color is pink... she loves carrying around her purse and rocking her baby to sleep...on the other hand she loves playing with her trains and toy cars..... i dont think it matters as long as the parents arent forcing them to only play with one thing... also my 4 month old son plays with pink toys just because they belonged to my daughter first....doesnt mean he will be feminine... and if he love him just as much.

by Carin on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:41 AM

As long as they still give every option to kids, it doesn't bother me. I don't want to only see gender neutral toys. There's still plenty of girls out there who like girly stuff and boys who like boy stuff. I have a 2 1/2 year old grand-niece who is as girly as can be. She likes things that sparkle and shine, she loves pink. If you were to put a regular set of Legos in front of her and a pink set, she's gonna pick pink every single time. I DO want to see more choices for girls out there, knowing that not everything has to have pink roses and such (the new female scientist Lego is a good start), I just don't think it has to replace anything.

by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Without the seperation in the toys, we wouldn't be able to find the toys in the store (not as quickly).

by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm fine with it.  Gender concepts are all socially made up norms in different cultures and time periods.  It was not that long ago that many considered red to be a boy's color and blue a girl's color.  We come to think of the norms as if they are innate, but color and toy choices are mainly learned from a very young age.

by Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 1:35 PM
2 moms liked this
I like it. Unfortunately most of society
goes by gender based stereotypes. When my son had asked for a la la loopsy for Christmas his cousins looked in disgust and screamed, "That's a GIRL toy!" situations like that are taught by parents who buy into it. It's really sad when I see kids in toy sections and some parents flip out if their son touches a doll or wants something pink.
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by on Sep. 12, 2013 at 1:32 AM
3 moms liked this

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