But what is all that about. Why should toys not be divided by gender? Sarah Seltzer from FlavorWire says this kind of segretation can cause huge problems. She had a twin brother so she always had access to boy toys as well. This, she says, allowed her to be more easy for her to socially connect and communicate with her friends and participate in the plays of her brother and his friends.
“Think about it: while building blocks or sports can easily become a group project, playing with costumes or building a hospital for dolls are coded “pink,” associated with femininity and therefore shame for boys early on, cutting many of them off from their authentic inclinations to be imaginative or caring or domestic, and helping plant the seeds of toxic masculinity. With more and more attention being paid to the experience of kids whose behavior and identification transcends gender roles, toy segregation is looking more retro by the day”, she writes.
This way ot thinking is getting more and more popular. Why should boys who like dollhouses be forbid to play with them? Why should girls who like toy cars be forbid to play with them? The main role of the toy is to help the development of skills, creativity and imagination in a child, not interests.
Stuffed animals and LEGO are a good example. While there are specific girly stuffed animals and LEGO sets for just girls or boys, most of these toys doesn’t seem to have any such separation. It is considered perfectly fine for a girl to play with LEGO or for a boy to like stuffed animals. So what is the difference if a girl likes toys cars too or a boy likes dollhouses?
Not everyone have the same interests in this world and this is the beautiful thing. We are not the same. We all have our unique combination of interests and trying to mold them into some frame just creates inner frustration.
Think about it. The huge majority of criticism over a toy has never been about a gender issu but about the values that a toy gives. “From the widespread scorn for the “Rose Petal Cottage” and the backlash against the Barbie who said “I hate math” to the countless hyper-sexualized T-shirts, dolls, and high heels for babies that have been shamed off the market or out of popularity, this is an issue that’s being tackled in many different ways”, says Seltzer.
There are plenty of women that love cars but are still all women. There are plenty of men who like interior design (being considered as girly and like a dollhouse for grown-ups) but are still all men.
Sure there are traditionally boy and girl activities. Usually there are much more girls that like dressing up and ballet than boys and there are much more boys that like bugs, playing shooting games and so on than girls. This is not created by the toys they play with. It is natural for the boys and girls to have such interests. But if some of them also like the so-called “boy only” or “girl only” activities, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with a girl who likes to play catch or go go-carting. There is nothing wrong with a boy who likes playing as a parent to his stuffed animals. Actually it is beautiful.