It starts with toys and baby clothes, and continues for the rest of our lives: items that seem identical have different prices according to which gender they’re marketed to. We take this for granted, mostly because these items are on separate shelves in the store, making it harder to compare prices directly. How far does the problem reach, and why does it happen in the first place? [More]
Two years ago, a LEGO Friends salon playset took one of the top dishonors in the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s annual “worst products” list. The organization called the set “so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush.” That spirit lives on in a LEGO Friends magazine spread that made parents angry and–if we’re to believe company representatives–is making LEGO rethink their marketing of the Friends sets. Sort of. [More]
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.
As a child, did you ever have one of those magnetic fishing games where plastic fishes’ mouths snap open and shut and you try to snag them with a magnet? I had one, and I enjoyed that toy very much as a little girl. Let me emphasize the “as a little girl” part. One would think that this is a toy that doesn’t need any girling up, but apparently you and I don’t think like a toy company. That’s why the Tinkerbell fishing game exists. It’s the same thing as the primary-colored, gender-neutral fishing game. Except it’s purple and Disney Fairies-branded. Because it’s for girls!