September 18, 2013

GAMES: Toy company abandons gendered marketing

Toy company abandons gendered marketing

In a positive move to promote gender equality from a young age, the toy retailer Toys R Us has pledged to no longer target certain toys specifically to boys or girls. The move follows lobbying by the consumer group Let Toys Be Toys to get the retailer to stop using gendered marketing, arguing that it can confuse the natural development of children. “Even in 2013, boys and girls are still growing up being told that certain toys are ‘for’ them, while others are not…,” said Megan Perryman, a campaigner for Let Toys Be Toys. “This is not only confusing but extremely limiting, as it strongly shapes their ideas about who they are and who they can go on to become.” Full story.

Meanwhile LEGO, which in the past has been criticised for playing into gender stereotypes and releasing mainly male-gendered figures, appears to have recognised that not just boys can be scientists by launching its first-ever female scientist toy. More on the story.  

Included in this progressive trend concerning gender is a “gender-bending” children's book that was launched in Latvia last year with the aim of promoting gender equality among children from a young age. The book aims to break gender stereotypes by having the main girl and boy characters switch bodies, with the aim of getting children to look at issues such as whether it is “appropriate for girls to play football, whether boys playing with dolls should feel ashamed, and whether all girls prefer pink clothes and boys go for dark outfits.” Latvia's ombudsman, Juris Jansons, expressed his support of the book saying it “defends a child's right to individuality and promotes a child's opportunity to develop his/her abilities regardless of gender.” The book is expected to be introduced into kindergartens in the near future. Full story

Source: CRINmail 1345

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