February 23, 2010

Blog 5- Gender and Toys

Toys have always been gender specific. I don't think that having certain toys for girls and certain toys for boys is part of a master plan. I think it started out as something very simple: kids need things to play with, and kids usually want to have a choice of what they play with. Dolls have been around for hundreds of years. This would show that there has been a need for a baby like toy, and girls have been known to pick the doll to play with. I imagine boys played more active games.
This doll head is from the 1800 China

Things are a little bit different now. Toys are specifically marketed for certain genders. When toys are marketed so specifically it greatly limits the choices of the child for the rest
of their life. Unconsciously or not the child will pull towards certain items forever. I'll use myself as an example. I was given toys like this when I was younger...

This is probably from the 1960s and I wish I got something this cool. Instead mine was made of plastic and broke after 5 minutes.

After receiving make-up toys, I honestly feel that it has led to my love of make-up. As soon as I allowed to I started wearing and buying make-up. Toy companies are exploiting the wants and needs of children. I don't feel that the toys should be so gender specific. Children in Sweden feel the same way, and sued Toy'R'Us for their catalog.
Apparently, as one boy was quoted,
“guys want to be princesses sometimes" and “Small girls in princess stuff…and here are boys dressed as super heroes. It’s obvious that you get affected by this." (David Landes)

No comments: