Thursday, October 29, 2015

About time I say!

According to the Business section of the Times:
Sweeping Away Gender-Specific Toys and Labels
“The gender barriers are breaking down, and both manufacturers and retailers are not labeling toys like they used to,” said Jim Silver, the editor in chief of TTPM, a toy review website. “The industry’s learned that you shouldn’t be labeling for a specific gender. There are so many girls who want to be Iron Man and Captain America, and boys who want to play with Easy-Bake.”

The shift is part of a wider movement in retail to blur gender lines, as society moves beyond stereotypes, and celebrities as varied as Caitlyn Jenner and Jaden Smith put a spotlight on an array of gender identities. ...

... the most significant shifts in gender categorizing — and certainly the most debated — have been in children’s merchandise. ... Parents have taken to social media to protest retailers’ overly girly offerings, or to show off their children defying gender norms. Last year, Land’s End introduced a line of science-themed shirts for girls after a New Jersey mother, Lisa Ryder, posted an open letter on the brand’s Facebook page calling out its boy-only science collection. More recently, a Virginia father, Paul Henson, garnered widespread kudos online for his Facebook post about his 3-year-old son, who intends to dress as Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” movie this Halloween.
Toy peddlers who have reduced gender specificity have encountered both support (and healthy sales) and opposition. The article is worth reading in full.
Some of us were ahead of this curve:
Blogger with a cousin dressed for Halloween about 1955.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

The irony of this is it never mattered whether stores had toys labeled boys or girls. Kids figured out what they wanted and went for it. I had a frontier set with cowboys and Indians and never liked baby dolls (I was born before Barbie was an option but I created what amounted to Barbies by making my own paper dolls). My kids played with GI Joes and Barbies mixed with squirrels and owls. Unless parents limit them, kids can figure this all out for themselves and will find what they want. I remember when I played Barbies with my daughter and my doll was a truck driver. It infuriated my daughter at the time but later it was a life lesson. She could be what she wanted and when she did archaeological digs, some even dangerous, she proved the truth of that. I did the same with my son. We don't have to limit our children by stereotypes but parents have more to do with that then the stores.

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