I’m back in the homeland for the holidays and driven by boredom yesterday, a friend and I ventured into a toy shop (it’s not that silly considering we both work with children). While I get that the Barbie section is pink (and boy, do Barbies nowadays look like sluts), and the baby section is a non-descript green or yellow, the section for toy appliances may not be marked by a specific colour, BUT each individual toy is packaged and advertised in quite a sexist manner. Demonstration:
1) The Doctor Set: Ok, this could potentially also be a nurse, and in that case, promoting a male nurse would be quite good, because they still have a bad rep (lazy, couldn’t make med school etc.). But, regardless whether it is a doctor or a nurse, shouldn’t both sexes be shown on the packaging? At least one of the two brands could have shown a girl, or better yet, a boy AND a girl.
2) The Cleaning Set: Oh YESSSS, I totally absolutely want this set which will teach me how to mop and spray counter tops and iron… WTFFFF???? Granted, children should learn how to clean up after themselves, but do we have to teach the girls quite so young that the coolest thing they could do is to mop and clean and iron? That Smoby packaging is even worse, because that little girl just looks so happy to be mopping… Mopping is not fun. EVER. Oh, and why shouldn’t the little boys want to clean, huh?? My Dad just loves to iron, it gives him an excuse to watch TV while doing something that needs doing.
3) The Kitchen Set: Granted, it’s a step up from packagin I used to know as a kid. This little boy can now aspire to become a fully-fledged Masterchef. But, isn’t that also a bit sexist already? Kitchens used to be advertised as girls’ toys, because hey, that was the place of the woman right? The three K’s advertised by old-fashioned Germans, Kinder, Küche, Kirche (Children, Kitchen, Church). But now that celebrity Chefs are all over our TV screens (and most of them are male, especially in France I’m sad to say), it’s become cool for boys to cook.
4) The Supermarket Set: This is the best packaging they have in the whole shop. There’s a boy and a girl playing with the set. You can’t really tell which one is at the till and which one is buying, but it doesn’t matter. Both sexes can enjoy this toy and take away the fact that men and women both can shop for groceries. Just like there are both Mummies and Daddies at the supermarket when you go with your parents.
what do you think? Am I just overreacting? Am I not reacting enough?