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My Daughters Don't Need 'Boy Toys' to Become Powerful Women

Posted by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM
  • 30 Replies

My Daughters Don't Need 'Boy Toys' to Become Powerful Women

by Jenny Erikson

The other day I saw a headline that took me aback: "Gender Stereotypes Confuse Parents Buying Toys at Christmas." I thought, if you’re a parent, and you’re confused about what your kids want, try having them write a list to Santa. Or you know, asking them or, even better, paying attention to their activities and likes and dislikes.

This isn’t hard, people. Kids like what they like, and this whole notion that I should be buying my daughters less pink stuff because somehow pink is oppressive and they’ll be victims of the patriarchy for-evah is ridiculous. Equally ridiculous is the idea that I need to get them boy toys in order for them to “break the mold.”

I’m imagining someone trying to explain to my girly-girl daughters that they may never get the chance to go to outer space, or be a doctor, or run a company if they play with dolls now. Dolls with pink ballerina tutus that drink pretend tea out of little flowered saucers. I’m imagining my daughters not being fazed and responding, “Of course I can be anything I want when I grow up, didn’t you know?”

Oh my gosh, wait until some of these people find out that my daughters like to play house sometimes, and they even like to pretend to be mommies! The shock! The horror! Because as we all know, little girls that pretend to be mommies might grow up someday to (gasp) become mothers themselves, and we all know that life ends once you push a baby out of your body and into the world.

I better get on top of this toy situation and get them some boy toys before I lead them to believe they’re not worthy of pursuing whatever career they want. What should I get? Should I trade their Lego Friends for the ‘boy’ versions? Do they need blue bikes instead of pink? Actually, my youngest daughter’s bike is blue, but since it’s Cinderella-themed, I’m going to guess that doesn’t count.

If my daughters wanted boy toys, I wouldn’t insist they stick to pink and sparkles. I’d let them have the things that they wanted -- and I sure as heck hope I wouldn’t obsess over them not being girly enough. I hope that I wouldn’t worry that they felt like they had to pick blue to prove that they can keep up with the boys.

I hope that if my daughters wanted dinosaurs instead of dolls, I wouldn’t worry that they felt like they had to make that choice to be seen as non-girly and therefore not weak. They’re awesome girls and will be strong women someday, not because of the toys they played with as kids, but because every day they’re being taught to go and do and build and imagine and create, regardless of what kinds of toys they do it with.

Toys are toys -- can we please just let the kids play?

Do you worry that girls might be playing with 'boy toys' because they feel like they have to?

Do you talk to your children about following their dreams, whatever those dreams may be?

by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM
My girls have asked for cars and play trains, my son plays pretty princess and dolls.

Who cares what other people think when it comes to gender roles and toys?

If my kids truly want it and I can afford it they get it for Christmas.
by Platinum Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM
3 moms liked this

Toys are toys - good gawd!

Yes, I encourage my kids to do whatever they want to in life regardless of gender.

by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM
I love this article. It's true!

My dd bleeds glitter. She's in dance, likes to wear dresses, and got a load of Barbies (one is an astronaut Barbie), a pink (gasp!) Razor scooter, and an American Girl doll for Christmas, because it's what she wanted.

You know what she wanted for her birthday? Tickets to a sci-fi convention (and she got them too…we go next week!). Geek culture is very predominantly nale (though that is changing too), but she doesn't care, because she loves it. 10 to 1 she wears her gold glittery boots and a puffy boutique hairbow with her sci-fi tshirt too. And I am totally ok with it, because she's gonna rock it. :)

Her favorite school subject? MATH. She kills it too. She's in 1st grade and slready beginning to figure out simple multiplication and adding double-digit numbers (stuff they haven't touched yet in class). She's a straight-A student and we are watching for the Gifted/Talented program. Don't tell this girl she can't be what she wants to be when she grows up! :D
by Emerald Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

So what does is say about my boys that they had one of those huge plastic kitchens, grocery cart, play food, play kitchen wear, doll sized high chair, etc that they absolutely loved playing with when they were younger?

They also had the typical dinosaurs, cars, trucks, trains, guns, etc.

by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 2:45 PM
Bump because I really like this article. :) I read it to my dh and he did too.
by Gwen on Dec. 30, 2013 at 2:46 PM

I agree! Give your kids access to different types of toys and then let them play w what they want.

I also disagree the notion that being "just" a mommy is in any way less than pursuing any career path. There are few careers we can follow that will have more of an impact on the future of our world than being a mother (or father) will have.

by Maria on Dec. 30, 2013 at 6:31 PM
My girls mainly mp lay with girls toys. Although I've seen them play with "boy toys" at times.
by Mikki on Dec. 30, 2013 at 9:34 PM

My daughter has played cars and army with her brothers.  She's the only girl and sometimes she wants to play with her brothers.  Her brothers has also played dolls and tea time.

family in the van   Mom of four

by Bronze Member on Dec. 31, 2013 at 12:27 AM
1 mom liked this

My daughter can play with what she likes, but I do pay attention to her reasons for wanting certain toys, especially the pink, sparkly stuff. I am really surprised a kid's reasons are not of concern and weren't touched upon in this article.

by Queen25Princes on Dec. 31, 2013 at 12:33 AM
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