Early on, kids don’t care very much about what they’re supposed to enjoy playing with. Sometimes boys play with trucks, and girls play with sparkly magic wands. It bothers some people when toys are sorted into “Boys” and “Girls” sections, even if they aren’t explicitly labeled as such. But customers of UK pharmacy chain Boots got very upset when they noticed that toy sections had clear pink and blue labels, and a line of scientific exploration toys were only in the “boys” section. The message, detractors said: science isn’t for girls. Perhaps that caring for babies ins’t for boys, either.
Longtime readers may remember this post from 2009, which featured a pink toy microscope that’s pretty and all, but not as powerful as the more masculine-looking one in the same line. Boots bypassed that controversy by just sticking all of the science toys in the “boys” section and calling it a day. Close enough!
“It was never our intention to stereotype certain toys,” the chain explained in a statement. “It’s clear we have got this signage wrong, and we’re taking immediate steps to remove it from store.”
The line of toys happened to carry the name of the Science Museum in London, and one parent says that the director of that museum was horrified when she alerted him.
Boots removes gender signs for toys [The Guardian]