December 2, 2012

A "concerned sister" gets press petitioning Hasbro to put boys in commercials for Easy-Bake ovens.

"The toy has long been marketed to girls and made in gender specific colors like pink and purple. The calls for Easy-Bake to take on a more gender-neutral stance has been made numerous times in the past."

Funny that it's still okay to call some colors "gender specific." But progress comes incrementally. The day will come when we get our viral video pleading for the end of stereotyping pink and purple as girl colors.

Meanwhile, in Sweden:
Sweden's top advertising watchdog—known as Reklamombudsmannen, or RO—has taken [Toys "R" Us] to task in recent years for catalogs and ads that showcase girls playing with dolls, scrapbooks, and kitchen and beauty toys and boys with guns, cars, trains and tech gadgets....

The Swedish government has been on the front line of efforts to engineer equality between men and women....

"I think it's amazing that they've actually listened to the consumers," [said a female shopper]. "I didn't used to shop here as much before they changed, because I didn't like the way they separated between girls and boys, pink and blue."
Here's what you get with government pressure (and maybe with You-Tube and Change.org):



Somehow, I don't see that photo bringing in any boys that wouldn't have felt drawn to the activity anyway, but perhaps it's intended to make parents feel and act better when their son tells them that's what he wants.

As for the 13-year-old girl's video:



Was that little boy scripted? Leave him alone, and don't put him on YouTube. It seems to me he's already saying he likes to cook and wants a toy oven and the lack of boys in the ads wasn't perceived as a problem. Hold off on the indoctrination and let him discover his own happiness.

126 comments:

Jeff with one 'f' said...

These are the same people who complain that chefs are primarily male.

d-day said...

Where is the petition to make the new Easy Bake oven not a giant pile of crap that takes forever and isn't any fun?

ironrailsironweights said...

If the other kids in school find out that a boy has an Easy Bake oven, he will get several thorough beatings each day.

Peter

Shouting Thomas said...

What Godawful shit!

A worldwide depression that wiped out the excess cash that gives reign to the commissars might be a good thing.

Too much excess cash is the reason why the University of Wisconsin is paying morons millions to prosecute their idiot Diversity agenda too.

Poverty might be better than this shit.

Mary Beth said...

According to Wikipedia, "In 2002, a version for boys was introduced, the "Queasy Bake Cookerator""

How well do they work now that they have a heating element instead of a light bulb?

MayBee said...

What is the real world problem with boys not being draw to the easy bake oven and the blow dryer toys?

Last I looked, men excel in the world of chefs and hairdressers.
In watching TopChef, I always get the feeling they are trying really hard to get women to win. But they don't!
Men (gay and straight) have cut and colored my hair for the past decades. They make a lot of money, own salons, have a huge impact on the fashion world.

So what problem is being solved by demanding boys play with cooking and hairdressing toys?

kcom said...

"Hold off on the indoctrination..."

Sacrilege! How dare you!

ndspinelli said...

What the fuck is wrong w/ boys cooking. I started cooking w/ my old man[he was the primary cook] when I was 7. All my friends knew that, some would join in.

YoungHegelian said...

Where are the pink toy guns so that little girls can learn at an early age the importance of their sacred 2nd amendment right to carry?

What will America become if the wimminfolk all think that their right "to bear arms" consists in wearing sleeveless gowns?

Ann Althouse said...

"So what problem is being solved by demanding boys play with cooking and hairdressing toys?"

Little boys are being used in political theater, directed by females (both adult and adolescent). Leave him alone. Let him figure out what he likes.

Children should not be exploited politically like this. I know the filmmaker is herself a child, but listen to her indoctrinated-style presentation.

Let children be children.

kimsch said...

The problem I have with this type of thing is not with trying to include boys in traditionally girly things or girls in traditionally boy things, but with the fact that somehow they seem to be saying that girls shouldn't do girly things and boys shouldn't do boy things.

Girls can be princesses. They can want to be princesses. They can want to be - and deserve to be - treated as princesses. There is nothing wrong with a girl wanting to do things that are considered traditional and gender-normative. It's not forcing a child into a role, it's in our bones. She can also want to be a princess and a rocket scientist. And she can be both.

I've seen six-month-old baby boys sitting on the floor with a block. I've seen them take the block and push it over the floor making raspberry noises - as if it were a car. I have a feeling baby boys have been doing something like this long before cars were ever thought of...

There's nothing wrong with girls doing "girl" things and boys doing "boy" things. There's also nothing wrong with the opposite. But please stop implying that boys doing boy things and girls doing girl things are somehow unacceptable or wrong...

pm317 said...

Most of the well known chefs in the world are men. Yeah, we give the girls easy bake oven but there is no easy path to becoming well known executive chefs, running big restaurants. The top chef competitions on Bravo or elsewhere still see less than 30% women participation. I think what has to change in the society is the perception that men ought to be the bread winners all the time. We need house husbands and women to marry them. I don't quite have a house husband but he does get dinner ready for me every evening as I walk in the door -- I am very proud of him (and grateful) for doing that. But he makes way more money than I do, so we will keep his job.

Shouting Thomas said...

Raise your kids the way you want to raise them.

Ignore the eggheads. Ignore the politicos.

If you had a good upbringing, look at what your parents did and try to emulate it. If you didn't, find a good church and form relationships that will give you guidance.

Intellectuals have a knack for twisting themselves in laughable stupidity. Ignore them.

pm317 said...

If I were a parent, I would not buy any of these gender-based toys for my kids.

bagoh20 said...

Thank you government. How would Hasbro know how to sell toys without your help? Why is there even a Hasbro anyway? This should be a product produced and sold by the Swedish government.

We really need to figure out how to get men barefoot and pregnant. That would be equality. I've already got my boobs developing.

BaltoHvar said...

I have two Brothers that played with dolls as boys. They's dress them up, create scenes for them, and script and act out whole stories with them. Birthdays and Christmas brought many accessories, and more dolls. That was just 35 years ago.

Recently one of those Brothers inherited the house in which we grew up, and we started a backyard renovation. Deep in some of the areas of denser foliage we found parts of the dolls, and could still make out the ketchup stains on the severed limbs.

G.I. JOE

MayBee said...

You are right, Althouse. The problem being solved is making political adults feel like they've solved a problem

Coketown said...

My mom let us use the real oven. That's how good parents nurture their children's desire to bake cookies without turning them into genderless pussies. Or let them use the oven but don't let them use oven mitts.

But her dad let her help work on motorcycles because she didn't like dolls. Let kids do what they want. But obviously she was an anomaly, and any company marketing tool-kits to 5 year old girls would lose a lot of money.

But anyway. This petition wasn't started by a 13 year old girl. It was started by her parents--more specifically her mom. Kids don't project their gender biases onto toys; they're too young to have gender biases. They just do what comes naturally. Give a doll to a boy and another to a girl and see what they do. The girl will play house while the boy will melt her with lighter fluid. Or place her in a shrub as though she's been taken captive, and it's up to G.I. Joe and his male friends to rescue her--because there was no Daring Escape Ninja Barbie. Come to think, was there ever a Feminist Coot Barbie? Is that where these people got their ideas? Like, if you blow Feminist Coot Barbie up to real-life proportions, she's slightly overweight and has a faint mustache. Should Mattel release one just to be funny? Should I start a petition?

Coketown said...

I feel bad for how Boomers, like ann and glenn were raised. Luckily, the world has changed and what they think of as innate differences are simply not accepted anymore.

Hahaha. You should get out more. I'm part of Gen Y and we still believe these differences are innate. You'll probably notice those female G.I. Joes are always the last ones on the shelf. Just because toy companies were pressured into producing them by stuffy old coots doesn't mean society has changed!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hold off on the indoctrination and let him discover his own happiness.

Seriously!. Just let your children discover what interests them and let them play with what they enjoy no matter WHAT the supposed assigned gender of the toys are.

I am ever thankful that my parents did not try to coerce me into playing with or not playing with certain toys. They always encouraged me to pursue the things that interested me.

As a young girl, my favorite toys were: erector set with motorized capability [so much fun!], a chemistry set, microscope, art supplies, cameras and developing equipment, cooking [which is kind of like chemistry and has elements of art if you think about it] after I graduated from the Easy Bake oven.... and of course music, guitar. I really really wanted a train set, but we didn't have the room. I don't recall ever playing with dolls. I probably did, just don't remember it.

I also enjoyed playing army men with my brother. Strategy games like Stratego, Risk, Clue and chess. And of course army and war games in the fields behind our house. It was great fun to build forts in the high oat grass and try to bomb each other with wads of dirt and grass.

My parents never made me feel weird for not wanting to do girly things or because I was more interested in "boy" type games.

Leave the kids alone!! Let them discover their own path.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And. Without the gender color coded boxes. Pink has to be the most puke inducing color ever.

Just let them be toys. Not boy or girl toys.

ironrailsironweights said...

Has any man penetrated your pussy and dumped a load yet?

Implying as it does furriness, "pussy" is a tragically obsolete word.

God damn it.

Peter

heyboom said...

So raising boys as boys and girls as girls make parents "the real monsters"? Got it.

n.n said...

Engineering is an artificial process. What they admit to doing is manipulating perception in order to realize their preferred outcome. Now the question is why do they want to blur the biological distinction and imperatives naturally attributed to each gender?

I agree. Parents should guide and not direct their children's development. The government should certainly not be involved. Those people's rights are subordinate to the parent's.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"And. Without the gender color coded boxes. Pink has to be the most puke inducing color ever.

Just let them be toys. Not boy or girl toys. "

Spot on -- are you a boomer?

Yep. Gonna be 63 in January. And it annoys the hell out of me to be classified with those boomers who have done irreparable damage to society. They have a lot to answer for. Not everyone in that age group generation is the same.

Joe said...

Hasbro is not doing well as a business. Projections are major losses going forward. Their concentration on board games is a big culprit, but is the rest because they aren't marketing to boys, or because they are run by idiots that actually believe this is effective? I pick the latter. Sell your stock!

Big Mike said...

Wife and I (Boomers both of us) got our sons a Little Tikes kitchen to play with when they were young because they enjoyed playing with one at nursery school. The boys grew up strong and masculine and hetero. WTP? They can also cook pretty well, which is an asset these days.

Erika said...

If I were a parent, I would not buy any of these gender-based toys for my kids.

Yeah, before I had kids my ideology was more important than allowing my kids to be themselves too. Since then, I've acquired four kids and some sense and I encourage them to play with whatever catches their interest, the end. Keep political and social agendas out of playtime. Lots of girls like pink, lots of boys like trucks, and it's OK for them to do so. It's also OK for them not to.

Laura said...

Try being barefoot and pregnant in a field full of sand burs, then we'll talk.

And IIRC Victorians had the colors for boys and girls reversed, but I don't remember where I read it.

ndspinelli said...

Our president does.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

BaltoHvar,

Saki's The Toys of Peace is the definitive word on this subject.

Dante said...

It's pretty well understood men and women have differences in their visual processing centers. Who knows, perhaps these colors tend to be better appreciated by girls than boys.

Perhaps even, the manufacturers of these toys have slowly, in an interactive way, adapted gender specific toys due to some of the subtle differences in boys and girls, not knowing exactly why.

Even, perhaps, differences in gender roles have developed over millenia and have become embedded in the culture. Things like "marriage," which popped up all over the world, may be an adaption to the unique requirements and needs of men, women, children, and society.

Who is to say? Well, I think we ought to tear it all down, because it isn't fair, as anyone with half a brain can see. No proof is required, because, as we all know, it's better that everyone be miserable than only a handful be miseable.

Hagar said...

If these things have elements in them now, a boy had ought to be able to figure out a way to rewire them to get some real heat out of them.

Joe Schmoe said...

Maybe the boy wants an easy-bake oven because he thinks he can grill a steak or bratwurst on it.

Sam L. said...

No, I'm sorry, he/you/we must be beaten until morale improves, and we say "Yes, master" with the proper intonation. And subservient body language.

Synova said...

The McDonald's food toy sets are already not pink and a boy could be happy making Happy Meals.

jr565 said...

Funny that it's still okay to call some colors "gender specific." But progress comes incrementally. The day will come when we get our viral video pleading for the end of stereotyping pink and purple as girl colors.

That was my exact thought when I read the story. Somehow, it's sexist to not have boys in the commercials for easy bake ovens. Yet, she still wants them to change the colors to have easy bake ovens be not so girly.
i.e. have more masculine colors for boys. She's not really getting the point if she's going to still say htere are girl colors and boy colors. If the boy can buck stereotypes and accept an easy bake oven, why must it be a blue one and not a pink one.
Maybe guys will like pink. Maybe pink being a girl "color" is sexist. Maybe they should get boy easy bake ovens that are pink specifically to fight the stereotype of gender specific colors.
I can't stand this political correctness in the guise of social engineering.

For the record, purple is perfectly acceptable as a color for boys and if Hasbro does put out a boy friendly easy bake oven and noone buys it (because boys find easy bake ovens to be gay or girly) this girl should pay for the unsold copies.

By the way, when I was a little boy I wanted an easy back oven for about five minutes because a girl i liked played with it and I wanted to play with her. I also wanted toy guns.

Synova said...

The "girl" and "boy" toys are mostly about everyone having super small families and too much money.

No one expects to hand down a bike from and older boy to a younger sister or an older sister to a younger brother so even something as gender neutral as a bicycle is either red and green skulls and fire or else pink sparklie ponies.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's pretty well understood men and women have differences in their visual processing centers. Who knows, perhaps these colors tend to be better appreciated by girls than boys."

My mother was color blind. How does that work into this theory?

Synova said...

"And IIRC Victorians had the colors for boys and girls reversed, but I don't remember where I read it."

I'd heard that too.

Synova said...

"Where is the petition to make the new Easy Bake oven not a giant pile of crap that takes forever and isn't any fun?"

My kids all used the big people stove and oven.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The "girl" and "boy" toys are mostly about everyone having super small families and too much money.

There is truth in this.

As to colors, why do all [it seems] small children's toys and room decorations have to be in primary colors. BRIGHT red, blue, green, yellow. It is incredible to me....and blinding.

Do they think that children don't see or have the ability to enjoy, sea foam green, greyed shades of blues, greens, reds. Burgundy, ochre, shades of teal, soft camel tones and so on.

Nope. RED< BLUE< GREEN< YELLOW< clown colors. Don't get me started on the creepiness of clowns :-P

edutcher said...

There are boys who enjoy cooking - The blonde's youngest brother, f'rinstance, who is a far better cook than his wife and shoots his own venison.

But this is more about the wussification of boys than anything else.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I THaNK men who hold open the door at convenience stores, or let me pass first. If someone's old, or its better timing, often I'll pull it open for them or let them pass first.

Ditto. If I'm the first one at the door, I open it for my husband and vice versa. He doesn't care. Why play a stupid waiting game on who opens the door. I'm perfectly capable of opening a door and never thought about that it should be the man who does it.

However, if he or anyone else makes the effort to open the door, open the car door, the proper thing to do is say "thanks". If it makes my husband happy to be the 'door man' then it makes me happy.

Broomhandle said...

As the twentysomething guys I work with say, it takes a real man to wear pink.
Balto,
Girls play with dolls, boys play with action figures.

BaltoHvar said...

@Broomhandle - I know that if you ask Ken, he'll disagree - Barbie IS an Action Figure.

Elle said...

@Young H - I stumbled upon a pink crossbow as well as a pink Daisy bb rifle the other day at my local Academy.

I am in Texas though.

It actually quite annoyed me as there was no blue option for the boys, just classic black. If they're going to push the stereotype, I say take it all the way.

chuckR said...

'"It's pretty well understood men and women have differences in their visual processing centers. Who knows, perhaps these colors tend to be better appreciated by girls than boys."

My mother was color blind. How does that work into this theory?'

There is a theory about that a few % of women do see colors with greater discrimination than their sisters and all men. Kinda like having a couple of extra color planes in the ol' graphics processor. There is a designation for these women - interior decorators.

"I want an Easy bake Oven and a dinosaur' See, I want to melt the dinosaur, that would be cool."

"Here's what's cooler - get a box of strike anywhere matches. Cut off all the match heads and tightly wrap in aluminum foil. Hurl onto a paved road. Enjoy the explosion and flames. Or so I'm told....."

chuck said...

In first grade I used to knit and crochet on the school bus, I was fascinated by the mechanics of those crafts. If the Easy-Bake came in parts with assembly instructions it might attract more boys. Better yet, if it could be made into a death ray or small bomb it would sell to boys like crazy.

Bob Boyd said...

If that kid wants an Easy Bake Oven its so he can put a frog in it.

Joe said...

No "girls toys" and "boys toys". Just toys for kids.

In a choice of non-pink boxes please.


Do you understand your hypocrisy? The notion that you shouldn't force A or B, but it's okay to force C has inflicted social engineers from the beginning of time.

(This drove me crazy in my church from the time I was little--they preached it was evil to let others usurp your free agency, well except for the church itself, of course.)

rhhardin said...

If it weren't for little girls, who would take care of dolls when they get ill.

Michael said...

So when we get to the point that we don't produce any "gender-specific" men any more, where will we get them when we need them? And don't think we won't ever need them.

Michael said...

So when we get to the point that we don't produce any "gender-specific" men any more, where will we get them when we need them? And don't think we won't ever need them.

carrie said...

There are lots and lots of cooking toys out there that boys are drawn to. I had two boys and we had the fisher price gas grill with all of toy utensils and toy food, we had a toy camping set that came with a toy camp fire and cooking equipment, we had the toy MacDonalds french fry makers and smoothie makers, etc. The easy bake oven is only one cooking toy out of many. And really adventurous boys and girls (if they are boy scout and girl scouts anyway) will make their own solar ovens which are a lot of fun to make and use and more educational than just a pink easy bake oven. Can't one cooking toy be pink when there is a whole range of cooking toys out there that are other colors? If pink didn't sell,then the market place would take care of that.

carrie said...

There are lots and lots of cooking toys out there that boys are drawn to. I had two boys and we had the fisher price gas grill with all of toy utensils and toy food, we had a toy camping set that came with a toy camp fire and cooking equipment, we had the toy MacDonalds french fry makers and smoothie makers, etc. The easy bake oven is only one cooking toy out of many. And really adventurous boys and girls (if they are boy scout and girl scouts anyway) will make their own solar ovens which are a lot of fun to make and use and more educational than just a pink easy bake oven. Can't one cooking toy be pink when there is a whole range of cooking toys out there that are other colors? If pink didn't sell,then the market place would take care of that.

Dante said...

My mother was color blind. How does that work into this theory?

Many genes that control visual perception are on the "X" chromosome. Guys get one copy of the little strand of "X", and gals get two. To the extent the colorblind variants are recessive, women will get colorblindness less often.

There are even some women who have four receptors for color. I don't know whether men have four or not. It's one of those differences that doesn't exist between the sexes.

Sorry, folks, they exist, it's obvious, and it's real. But, what do I know. I'm a sexist, because I prefer sex with women to men. In the new world perhaps that will be constituted as a disease, because it isn't fair.

R. Chatt said...

Everyone knows that men can be great cooks if they decide that's what they want to do. IMO the great resistance to gender equality in the kitchen has more to do with men who don't want to have to learn to cook -- either because of laziness or some emotional need. Either way it's easier to say that cooking is something that women do, not men. It's something they want done for them because their mother cooked for them and food connotes love and comfort. I think that's kind of nice but also a little bit infantile. Better if everyone learns to be self sufficient and be capable of feeding themselves.

Dante said...

Is someone forcing you to have sex with men? Wow. You poor man. Let us know if you need help in defending yourself.

Isn't that the logical conclusion to all this fairness stuff? Either agree with that, or agree there are differences, and you can't be fair.

Dante said...

Honestly. Real men don't feel threatened by the idea that boys play with "girls toys" or girls play with "boys toys".

Aren't "Real men" the same as "Real women?" So why should "Real men" have sexual preferences for women?

Note, there is nothing wrong with being a Tom boy. My older sister used to beat me up, and I don't feel much less of a man for it.

Dante said...

But they don't get to generalize their sterotypes to fit all men or all women. That's good.

Who is going to enforce that? Obama?

Dante said...

If you are asking that question honestly, you might want to see a counselor. You sound insecure in your sexuality if you're not sure what your preference is...

You aren't addressing the point. There are fundamental differences between men and women. This is one of them. Or perhaps you think sexual preference is a 50/50 thing?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Is someone forcing you to have sex with men? Wow. You poor man. Let us know if you need help in defending yourself."

Isn't that the logical conclusion to all this fairness stuff? Either agree with that, or agree there are differences, and you can't be fair.

Not at all. There ARE differences but they are not necessarily gender based. The differences are individual, personality preferences.

I like math, science, hands on assembly types of toys, strategy games, mechanical stuff, rebuilding car engines, as well as cooking and some crafting. None of those preferences has anything to do with sex.

The issue is that many people want to categorize some of the above as 'boy' interests and the others as 'girl' interests. Marketing firms color code those toys and items to make it crystal clear which is a 'boy' toy and which is a 'girl' toy.

If the products were just packaged without being pink for girls or blue for boys, perhaps children AND their parents wouldn't be so rigid in selecting the appropriate gender toy and would just allow the children to pursue what interests them. There would be no stigma attached to a boy wanting an Easy Bake Oven or a girl playing with model car or airplane kits.

Inga said...

My three daughters, when children had a wooden chest full of old clothes in which to play "dress up". My son, the youngest wanted to get in on the action and always picked a pink gingham skirt, he was about three years old at the time. He grew up to be a 6'4 " very masculine guy who taught himself how to rebuild old cars, works as a Millwright.

I used to worry, and thought that I should discourage the wearing of that skirt for dress up play with his sisters, but I'm glad I didn't, he naturally grew bored with the skirt and moved on to Tonka trucks. Now he chases women in skirts.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Granted....most boys will rather play with the model car kit or rebuild the engine. And most girls will want to play with the dolls and pretend to be princesses. This is just the odds and it is natural just as it is natural that I wanted to have a train set and liked my chemistry set even though those are not necessarily considered girley pursuits.

There is nothing wrong with any of those choices, as long as they are chosen freely and without coercion from parents and crammed down their throats (indoctrinated) by marketing firms.

And I (and my husband) can assure you that my interest in science and math has nothing to do with my sexuality :-)

Roux said...

This is just dumb....

I live in South Louisiana and all men cook. Many of us cook much better than our wives.

Cooking is great but an easy bake oven is for girls.

leslyn said...

I tired of my Easy Bake oven pretty quickly. In fact, I'm still tired of it.

I'd let my brother have it but he prefers his barbecue.

Dante said...

I like math, science, hands on assembly types of toys, strategy games, mechanical stuff, rebuilding car engines, as well as cooking and some crafting. None of those preferences has anything to do with sex.

I really don't want to be offensive about this. I'm trying to stick within the realm of facts and not opinion.

I admit I'm biased. My mother attempted to force me to do all the girly things growing up. I can sew, crochet, knit, cook, clean toilets, etc. There weren't many guy activities she had the girls do, mind you. I mowed the lawns, and did the yard work. Even the books around the house were of the girly kind, Little House on the Prairie, all the many OZ books, but no "Hardy Boys."

The smartest person I know is a woman. However, in my experience she thinks differently than the guys. She has made enormous contributions to the field. And I admire her greatly for it.

The argument that there are no inherent difference between the sexes to me seems less than obvious, to the point it is extremely unlikely.

The most primary function of animals is to reproduce. If we didn't, we would be irrelevant, as our lives are finite. There are some exceptions to this, great men (and women) making differences to history, society, culture, leave a lasting imprint on people around them. But I would not change my mediocre life for the dead lives of any of those people.

Men and women have completely different biological roles. To then say there has been zero other adaptation in men and women to me seems incredibly unlikely. What those differences are, who knows. I point out some studies showing some fundamental points, and they were deleted from this blog post. I'm waiting to hear back from Meade why they were deleted, since Scientific Theory backed by real studies should help us to understand our society, our relationships, and of course, our universe.

Regarding the manufacturers, it almost sounds like you think they WANTED to make the differences. Hey, what about this, they want to make $. They don't care where the $ come from. So the simple answer to your point, is that if you really think there aren't differences, get out there and make a company that creates gender neutral stuff. If you are right, you will become a billionaire.

Joe said...

If the products were just packaged without being pink for girls or blue for boys, perhaps children AND their parents wouldn't be so rigid in selecting the appropriate gender toy and would just allow the children to pursue what interests them. There would be no stigma attached to a boy wanting an Easy Bake Oven or a girl playing with model car or airplane kits.

You'd think someone would have tested this. Oh wait, they have! Turns out that boys tend to like playing with cars and girls with dolls. More importantly, when the "traditional" toy doesn't exist, the boys and girls reinvent the toys they have.

leslyn said...

@Dante:

Cleaning toilets is a "girly thing??". You put that in there just to be provocative. Didn't you?

In any case, I lost interest after that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The argument that there are no inherent difference between the sexes to me seems less than obvious, to the point it is extremely unlikely.

I'm not making that argument.

We are talking about children's toys and whether some toys are meant for girls or for boys.

Obviously, as I have already stated, most boys will tend to play with certain toys and play in certain ways and most girls will tend to play with other types of toys and in ways that are appealing to girls. This is just natural and is the odds. I'm discussing those children who don't fit into the nice little slot of boy toy/girl toy interests.

The issue is that society tends to force or look askance on those children who want to chose to NOT play with the designated boy or designated girl toys.

The social disapproval or stigma is further reinforced by the packaging and color coding, so that even IF parents want to allow their child to play with the pink gingham skirt or the pink Easy Bake Oven, they feel uncomfortable doing so.

I just think that children should be allowed to chose their own interests and not have to worry if it is a girl or boy interest and what freaking color the toy is.

Dante said...

Cleaning toilets is a "girly thing??". You put that in there just to be provocative. Didn't you?

I'm describing my mother's orientation towards me as a child, in an attempt to describe my own bias on this topic, to illustrate this is an exercise in truth seeking.

I'm aware of no boys that were required by their mother to clean the toilets, you know with ajax and a rag. It's not meant to be provocative.

Dante said...

The social disapproval or stigma is further reinforced by the packaging and color coding, so that even IF parents want to allow their child to play with the pink gingham skirt or the pink Easy Bake Oven, they feel uncomfortable doing so.

Then there is a market for gender neutral Easy Bake Ovens. Not to be snarky, but go make a bundle!

I can think of no business reason to intentionally color ovens to exclude extra sales. I can, however, see how they might do it to increase sales.

Hagar said...

The Army taught me to clean toilets. Lots of them.

And don't use Ajax. Use Softscrub and a pumice pad.

Palladian said...

I thought pink was for breast cancer?

Joe Schmoe said...

I'm kind of freaked out by the homogeneity of the Aryan kids in the ad. How about an Indian kid with a turban?

Aridog said...

Hagar said...

The Army taught me to clean toilets. Lots of them.

You too? You betcha...my introduction to toilet cleaning came in 1968 in basic at the height of the Hong Kong Flu epidemic...all 200 of us had it and only 28 toilets to go around. The "line" just rotated front to back over and over. LOTS of cleaning.

Then we all got pneumonia.

jr565 said...

And I suppose next they will demand that Barbie dolls be advertised with Boys as well as my little Princess Dolls and Tea Sets and doll sets. Because boys just really love sitting down and pretending to drink tea.

I actually had a doll house when I was a kid and I would use it as my haunted house for my Gi Joe's where I would put them through torturous scenarios. You couldn't get me though to play with actual girly dolls (unless I was doing boy stuff like breaking them).

This reminds me of that old Who Song I'm A Boy with the following lyrics:
My name is Bill and I'm a headcase
They practice making up on my face
Yeah, I feel lucky if I get trousers to wear
Spend ages taking hairpins from my hair

I wanna play cricket on the green
Ride my bike across the street
Cut myself and see my blood
I wanna come home all covered in mud

I'm a boy, I'm a boy
But my ma won't admit it
I'm a boy, I'm a boy
But if I say I am I get it.

The song was about a dystopia where the women try to make their boys look like girls. And the boy just wanted to be a boy.

This strikes me like that. Stop trying to make girls behave like boys and boys behave like girls. It's really annoying

Dante said...

The fact that in this day and age you say that cleaning toilets is women's work shows how small your mind works, at this late date. That's on you, don't blame your mother.

You know, I'm going to yield on this point. While I was aware of no boys being required to do this, I was also unaware of any girls being required to do this except my sisters. There, does that fix it for you?

Thank goodness for the new detergents. Now it doesn't matter who pours it into the bowl. OK?

jr565 said...

Joe Schmoe wrote:
I'm kind of freaked out by the homogeneity of the Aryan kids in the ad. How about an Indian kid with a turban?

but that's playing to cultural stereotypes. Why can't the aryan kid have the turbans and the Indian kids dress like school boys. And the girls should dress in suits and the boys in dresses. Anything where a boy or a girl behaves in any way stereotypically according to their gender or racial roles must be abolished.

Big Mike said...

Ya know, thinking about it further I don't think it's a good idea to have the boy play hairdresser with his sister. That could be quite a disaster if the kit included scissors.

jr565 said...

The fact that in this day and age you say that cleaning toilets is women's work shows how small your mind works, at this late date. That's on you, don't blame your mother.

ARe there a lot of toys where you get to play cleaning the toilet?

Aridog said...

Actually, I fibbed at 5:07, but inadvertently. I learned to really toilets in the military all right, but that's not when I was first expected to do and did it.

The first go round was actually at 13 in a private co-ed boarding school where we all had to clean our quarters daily.

I was gone from the family home at 13 except for a month a year until none a year came along. No "Mommy" was teaching me diddley in those days.

jr565 said...

I just think that children should be allowed to chose their own interests and not have to worry if it is a girl or boy interest and what freaking color the toy is.

Here's a solution. All toys should be gray. Therefore you won't be able to have any controversy about boys playing with pink toys nor have girls be saddled with pink toys.
And all toys should be gender neutral. No cowboys or cowgirls Legos.Just cow person Legos.
No Princesses and Knights, jut armored persons and royal persons.

Mom said...

"Hold off on the indoctrination, and let him discover his own happiness."

This ought to be embroidered on samplers and given to every new parent. I don't CARE whether a boy wants to use an EZ Bake Oven or not. Just don't use the poor kid as political propaganda for whatever viewpoint is most popular this week. Let him PLAY.

Kids don't just play for fun. They play because they need to, and they need the kind of play they need. You find out what kind of play they need by watching them find it for themselves and then getting out of their way so they can do what they need to do to grow into the people they are trying to become. As an idealistic young mother - a long long time ago - I tried to keep toy guns away from my children and succeeded fairly well with son #1 and daughter #1. Then along came son #2. It didn't take long to realize that he didn't just WANT a toy gun, he NEEDED a toy gun -- he was begging constantly and making them out of everything he touched. I went out and bought him one and guess what, he did not grow up to be a psychopath. Both he and his elder gun-free sibs are healthy thriving young adults doing just fine in the world.

Mary, I am curious whether you have any children. Many people who don't have children are absolutely convinced that gender differences are not innate. Many fewer people who do have children remain anywhere near so absolutely convinced that there isn't a great big piece of innateness in the different ways the two genders respond to the world - even though all kids fall at their own points along the gender continuum.

In point of fact, there's nothing like having a few kids to make a person realize that almost everything she thought she knew about childrearing -- and life for that matter -- could use a little rethinking.

jr565 said...

but that's playing to cultural stereotypes. Why can't the aryan kid have the turbans and the Indian kids dress like school boys. And the girls should dress in suits and the boys in dresses. Anything where a boy or a girl behaves in any way stereotypically according to their gender or racial roles must be abolished


But then of course, when Victoria Secrets has one of its caucasian models wear an American Indian Headrdress, some American Indian gets all offended that Victorias Secret is spitting on her culture by using the head dress. You can't win. I would think though that causcasians dressed like indians and Indians dressed like causcasians was the entire point.
Now we have to go back to cultural stereotypes?

Dante said...

It is good you are learning to debunk your stereotypes and myths of what "all" children do or do not do. That shows growth.

And it's good too to see you picking up that Paternalism and condescension. That too shows growth.

I don't think I said "all," and I suspect even not 1/1000 boys were taught to knit, crochet, etc. And still aren't. Anyway, it's not about my mother, or what she did or did not do. I'm not even making a value judgement about it. Just pointing out areas of my own bias.

But when it comes to the research I posted, that someone deleted, that's Scientific Theory backed up by actual studies. Do you really think your opinion trumps those studies?

Dante said...

You spent the whole thread preaching your views as the only correct ones

that's not correct. I posted links to real studies that demonstrates differences in men and women. Starting with differences in the visual processing neurons, and leading up to Testosterone as an anti-depressant.

You don't like the world, so you say things like "Only a dinosaur would think that." In fact, I think it was you who started the condescension, if I recall correctly. I posted an observation based on scientific theory supported by studies, and you claimed I came from the age of dinosaurs. Or was a dino, or something.

But then again, as that quotation goes in "As Good as it Gets:"

Ditzy Secretary: "How do you write women so well"?

Melvin: "I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."

The accountability thing seems to apply quite nicely to you. I wrote something based in scientific truth, you didn't like it, so you attacked me in an ad-hominem way.

Revenant said...

The Easy Bake Oven my sister had as a kid was... yellow, I think?

Anyway, I used to use it too. It never struck me as a "girl" thing. It was a "wow, this makes actual CAKE" thing.

Rustling Leaves said...

When my daughter plays with my son's Thomas trains she talks to them and cradles them in her hands like they are her little babies. My son plays with them like they are trains "zooming fast fast fast" around the tracks.

I mean, what I meant to say is that there is no difference between girls and boys.

Cooking is an activity they both enjoy. I never got the EZ bake oven that I wanted as a kid. I will probably get one at some point for my kids so I can live out my unfullfilled childhood wish.

Ooh, and has anyone seen the girly LEGO sets. I can't wait to get them for my daughter. When I was a kid, I would have loved a pink LEGO house with a doggie and a little LEGO family. I could have cared less about building LEGO airplanes and buildings. My son on the other hand, he'd probably LOVE a LEGO airplane or something like that.

kimsch said...

Feminists seem to be the most misogynistic of all. They just don't want any girl to be a girl. She must be a man.

Mary kept copying out part of my comment and reposting it:

There's nothing wrong with girls doing "girl" things and boys doing "boy" things. There's also nothing wrong with the opposite. But please stop implying that boys doing boy things and girls doing girl things are somehow unacceptable or wrong...


The last part of that paragraph has my point. "But please stop implying that boys doing boy things and girls doing girl things is somehow unacceptable or wrong."

I've always allowed my children to play with what they wanted to play with. My daughter has always been a girly girl. She's special needs. 22 years old and she still loves to take care of her dolls. She also loves to put puzzles together. Her favorite color is purple.

The Little Guy had a little stuffed animal that he loved. It was the Princess Frog. But he's a Nerf Guns and Lego bricks guy. He makes guns out of Legos. Today at Walmart he had a Lego Minifig gun in his pocket.

The big assumption is that boys and girls are somehow pushed towards certain toys by toy companies, parents, etc. That if only certain toys were not marketed towards certain genders that those children wouldn't choose those toys. If dolls weren't in pink boxes and marketed toward girls then perhaps girls wouldn't choose them and boys would.

Perhaps dolls are marketed toward girls because girls like dolls. Maybe the Hot Wheels cars are marketed towards boys because boys like cars.

When I was a kid my little sister was the girlier girl. She loved her Barbies and other dolls. I read a lot. I helped dad. I learned how to use power tools, take things apart and put them back together, mow the lawn, and when my car needed new brake pads I bought the pads and a book to tell me how to do it and did it myself. Dad was the main cook at home too. I have followed in his footsteps as well.

I also sew, knit, crochet, embroider, and bead. And program. And help my sons with their algebra. I'm the griller at home too.

We never pushed my daughter or sons to any particular toys. They liked what they liked. The toys they liked happen to be toys that are considered traditional or gender normative toys. That's perfectly fine. No problem. There's nothing unacceptable or wrong about it all.

About the chefs: For a long time only men were considered chefs. Women cooked. Men were chefs.

Women can do pretty much anything a man can do. A woman can be anything she wants to be. But please don't denigrate a woman who wants to be a stay at home mom, or have a career that's traditionally been a "woman's" career. That's her choice.

leslyn said...

also DBQ at 4:47!

wyo sis said...

Since the breast cancer wear pink thing and the pink t-shirts with the message "real men wear pink" most of the little boys in the schools I work with are not afraid to like or wear pink or choose it as their favorite color.

leslyn said...

Kimsch,

You were great AFTER "Feminists seem to be the most misogynistic of all. They just don't want any girl to be a girl.She must be a man."

Just throw that part out. It's not "feminism" or wanting a girl to be a boy, or vice versa. It's just caring parents that don't want to see their children locked into roles that don't suit them.

When I was three I got a riding fire truck for Christmas. It was the best gift EVER.

When I was five I got the bride doll I'd asked Santa for. It was the best gift EVER.

See?

Dante said...

All women are not nuturers, just as all men are not competitive.

I agree with that. But I don't find it a very compelling observation, either.

leslyn said...

Well, Dante, I'm not surprised that you didn't know about other boys cleaning toilets. I don't recall it as a topic of conversation among my friends either.

Who would? Can you imagine spending class breaks talking about the merits of Comet v. Lysol?

Hagar said...

The kids are "Aryan" because this is a Swedish ad, and that's what Swedes look like. At least until the last 30-40 years or so.

Cooking and cleaning house is traditionally "women'swork" because the men would be out in the fields all day, plowing, shoveling manure, etc., and doing other such "manly" things.

rhhardin said...

Christmas 1922.

Rustling Leaves said...

Bwahahaha. Oh yes. I am most definately indoctrinating my children. It couldn't possibly be that this is just how they choose to play with their toys. All of the toys are mixed together and they are free to play with any of them. My daughter is free to play with trucks and my son to play with sparkly things, it's just that most often they really do choose the toys that are stereotypical to their gender. One day we had a playdate and my daughter put her princess dress on and we said "are you going to the ball", as she spun around in her dress the little boy said "yeah, to the
ballgame!" If my third child ( a boy) ends up loving pink sparkly things, princess dresses, and dollies then I will love just the same, but I think the probability is low. He is already expressing boyish tendencies. I don't care if you believe me, I know what I am observing in my children.

leslyn said...

"Christmas 1922." Fabulous, rhhardin.

Sorun said...

They should make a variant of the Easy Bake Oven that's black and shaped like a Weber grill.

leslyn said...

@Rustling Leaves,

When my sister and I played dressup, she always wanted to wear an old rug tied around her waist. None of us could figure that out.

Broomhandle said...

Balto,
Your reply is a thread winner for certain. And, when all the toys, material things, parenting theories, ideological posturing, and other trappings of a fat civilization are stripped away, it speaks to the very real difference between men and women.

Ralph L said...

This seems to be another municipal dust-bin -- no, it is a model of a school of art and public library.
Saki really was ahead of his time.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The big assumption is that boys and girls are somehow pushed towards certain toys by toy companies, parents, etc. That if only certain toys were not marketed towards certain genders that those children wouldn't choose those toys

I don't know if you viewed the video, but the overt statement by the little boy who wants/wanted an Easy Bake Oven is that only girls played with that toy, because that is what is shown on the commercials and on the packages. He sounded sad about the concept. Nevertheless, he still wants to play with one. Good for him.

How many other boys who might be interested in that particular toy, have been turned off because the implication in advertising is that "boys don't play with that" so therefore if you [a boy] want to play with it, it is somehow wrong, different, icky, whatever.

Same thing when they only show boys playing with certain toys. A girl might just not want to play with it because it would make her 'weird'. Although, it does seem that girls get more latitude in the gender atypical behaviour than boys do.

I'm not saying that there are not gender differences in toys, games and pursuits. There are. Obviously. Naturally. I'm just saying that there ought to be some allowance for those boys and girls who are not typical and some depiction that "yes. boys like to cook" and "yes. girls like to play with trains and chemistry sets"

Rustling Leaves said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aaron said...

Why are toys in bright primary colors?

Why is pink for girls toys?

Because companies who want to make money know this is what attracts children.

There are companies that do nothing but research colors.

The world's most hated color s a yellow-green puke color.

Note that no toys or packaging come in that color.

Also, boys don't like pink, except for neon pink, which they do like.

But I am sure we can pass a law demanding grey colored and puke-green colored toys if enough busybodies want to.

God forbid they start their own toy company and compete in the marketplace.

(Note some toys are actually marketed to parents not children...those will be different indeed.)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

To no one in particular: Whatever happened to "this post has been removed by a blog administrator"? On this thread, stuff just vanishes, without trace.

Ann Althouse said...

"We delete comments that discuss deletions. Any questions about deletions should be resolved by emailing us."

Trashhauler said...

There is the old one about some woman who insisted on buying Barbies for her two boys, only to be mortified when she found the kids out in the backyard using the Barbies with the arms and legs twisted into vague pistol shapes, aiming them at each other and making gunfire sounds.

I remember laughing about it.

Trashhauler said...

How can gender be 100% nurture and sexuality be 100% nature? Only someone totally (or perhaps willfully) ignorant about genetics can make either claim.

Ann Althouse said...

"Some good faith comments get deleted because they respond to comments that we have to delete."

Ann Althouse said...

If you've run afoul of that policy and gotten deleted, you can rewrite your comment to avoid referring to the commenter that is being deleted and you won't be deleted. Otherwise, it's a lost cause. This isn't viewpoint deletion. Email if you don't understand.

Aridog said...

Otherwise, it's a lost cause. This isn't viewpoint deletion...
Yes, it is a lost cause and this entire post subject and thread are pathetic. I am embarrassed I even bothered to read it at all, let alone comment and respond to racist assholes on it.

Lesson learned.

Scott M said...

Where's the little girl posing in the catalog with a full camo outfit and a couple of hipfire assault rifles?

SGT Ted said...

The sexism lies in the idea that certain toys are unattractive to kids unless theres a a picture of a kid of the same sex shown enjoying it.

This reflects more on idiotic PC notions and obsessing about childrens genitalia held by the alleged adults than on the kids themselves.

Aridog said...

Let me add that my comment at 10:34 also applies to the post about Obama in a Rosa Parks pose, in particular the racist bullshit spewed there on.

No need I repeat myself.

Peter said...

I thought toy companies tried selling gender-neutral toys and, having been stung badly in the marketplace, went back to gender-specific stuff.

In any case, if the Easy-Bake could be used to cook rocket fuel, or firecrackers, or even something that could be used as a propellent in a potato cannon then plenty of boys would be interested in it.

Surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Men can cook and do a good job with- measurements and with timing the various dishes.

Men can also clean up after the meal is cooked, put away left overs and shop for groceries.

Our only fault is breaking a dish or two because we go too fast.

Ergo: men can nurture a family.



Dante said...

"We delete comments that discuss deletions. Any questions about deletions should be resolved by emailing us."

I suppose this is an attempt to be consistent, by discussing something, without discussing it. I take it that statements of fact are not discussion.

Methadras said...

Leftists are fucking insane, moronic, and stupid all at once. It doesn't matter where they come from.

wildswan said...

The best toy is a really large brown cardboard box that a toy came in. Appreciation and color is gender neutral. The next best is running water from a faucet into a series of cups and pans in the sink. The next best is an ipad. See, gender neutrality can be fun. But the neutralists are always a bore

Mary said...

You missed one at 5:18.
"Mary, I am curious whether you have any children."

and then again at 6:05.
"Mary kept copying out part of my comment and reposting it:

Listen, you can selectively edit so the posts calling me a mysognist (ha!) or racist are left up, while my verbal defense is deleted and my opinions skewed, but that is intellectually dishonest, as well as inconsistent in your stated deletion policies.

I'm not going to email you about it, but if you feel the need to smear your ... "former student", you ought to at least explain to the class why.

(And for the record, your selective deletions make it seem like you're fighting like a girl; you want to hit someone while pinning her hands behind her back. Be more honest, Ann.)

Either delete all the references to me, or admit you need to selectively skew the thread because you're afraid of my strong ...opinions and words.

Mary said...


Once more for the record:

I'm not a racist,
I'm not a mysognist.

Anyone who read yesterday's thread in full, and agreed/conversed with me here, can see there was nothing at all racist about the reasons my comments were deleted.

It's a shame you have to play the game this way, Ann. Smear the queer? Lol.

John said...

I wanted an EZ-Bake oven when I was a kid, but my dad said, "Why would we spend $50 to slowly heat a pan of tasteless cake-goo with a lightbulb? If you want to make a cake, make a real one. I'll even show you how to use the real oven."