At the weekend I was shopping with my daughter searching for a sleep trainer for her young niece.
We searched through every toy shop in town. We did eventually find a sleeptrainer but what we found along the way filled me with disappointment.
My daughter is 22 and I don’t spend much time in toy shops anymore so I was shocked to see just how divided they are…
‘Girls’ toys on one side easy to find because of the blaring shades of pink..
‘Boys’ toys on the other indicated by their hard dark blue and red colouration.
Now lets think.. In the last 20 years we’ve seen female prime minister’s and pilots, bus drivers and builders, women have climbed mountains and even become astronaut’s but what was on offer for the little girls ...
A mini dishwasher, a mini hoover ,an ironing board and iron, a cash register and play shopping basket, plus the usual baby dolls and overly endowed teenage dolls which only re-enforce the idea that all women should be skinny, big boobs and brainless..
For the boys it wasn’t any better, various cars, trucks and construction toys gave way to robots that fight, shoot guns and blow each other apart, soldier dolls are the only male doll deemed suitable for our male offspring so setting the role model at fighter/soldier/killer level.
Seroiusly by this time, brainless booby doll was looking more pleasant by the second.
What about a kitchen for boys ? Some of the worlds best chefs are men, is the fame of Gordon Ramsey minus the F word to or Jamie Oliver nothing for boys to look up to ???
There are many people in life more worthy and admirable than killer soldiers or overpaid sports personalities for our boys to impersonate..
Yet when it comes to toys it seems we are still putting our children into the same sexual and social stereotypical moulds that we were 40 or 50 years ago.
Men are tough, don’t cry, don’t show emotion, make great soldiers and women stay at home, look after house and baby and do shopping..
I felt like kicking that stuff off the shelves it was so frustrating, how on earth are children supposed to grow up with any sense of freedom or ambition when they are being shaped and pressed into the conformity mould at such a young age?