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Parents struggle to find gender-neutral toys

Do you/Would you take gender neutrality into account when buying toys?    30 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you/Would you take gender neutrality into account when buying toys?

    • Yes
      6
    • No
      23
    • I (would) only give girls all sorts of toys, but no dolls for boys for example
      1
    • I (would) only give boys all sorts of toys, but no toyguns or science sets for girls for example
      0

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41 posts in this topic

(AP)—A 13-year-old girl's campaign to get Hasbro to make an Easy-Bake Oven that isn't purple or pink so it would appeal to her little brother is a fresh sign of movement in an old debate. Parents who hope to expose their children to different kinds of play—science sets for girls and dolls for boys, for example—can find themselves stymied by a toy industry that can seem stuck in the past when it comes to gender roles.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news...l-toys.html#jCp

Girls with (toy) guns: Swedish retailer causes stir with gender-neutral catalogue

http://www.thestar.c...utral-catalogue

So who takes gender neutrality into account ? Whether it be to deliberately buy "feminine toys" for girls and "masculine toys" for boys or vice versa.

Edited by Render
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should I have a daughter someday, she's getting Transformers, but i some hypothetical son wants a doll he can/have it.

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should I have a daughter someday, she's getting Transformers, but i some hypothetical son wants a doll he can/have it.

I edited the poll on this note

Because i think many would choose to give girls feminine and masculine toys

but they wouldn't consider giving boys feminine toys (or what they conceive to be feminine toys)

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I voted No in the Poll, because I buy my grand-neices and nephews the toys they want... not what someone else thinks they should play with...

As a kid I usually played more with the big boxes my dad brought home than I did with my 'real' toys... A large cardboard box is probably the best toy for a kid with imagination than many that are out there... There is a lot of "Calvin" (from "Calvin and Hobbes") in me...

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As long as the toy doesn't make noise. GAWD I hate noisy toys...

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Read more at: http://phys.org/news...l-toys.html#jCp

Girls with (toy) guns: Swedish retailer causes stir with gender-neutral catalogue

http://www.thestar.c...utral-catalogue

So who takes gender neutrality into account ? Whether it be to deliberately buy "feminine toys" for girls and "masculine toys" for boys or vice versa.

The black and silver Easy-Bake Oven is a good idea, saw it on HuffPost already. When it comes to toys these are some other good ideas, choose wooden over plastic, mechanical over electronic. and learning value versus purely entertaining.

When it comes to clothes choose fashionable, something appropriate that would look good on an adult if a bigger size, so no tacky colors, cheap logos, or dumb cartoonish prints. Think classic boots and peacoats for outerwear.

Now the hard part is receiving gifts, they will be the total opposite. It is also not very appropriate to force others to get certain gifts, just be grateful and allow your child to wear it once or twice, or play with the toy given as a gift.

Ms. Pope did a good thing with her petition but it should not stop there. This is a step forward but we need more. Colors themselves should be neutral so there should be no need to have male or female colors, pink should be acceptable on a male, as blue on a female, and grey on both. Ms. Pope's brother should be able to play with a pink Easy-Bake or wear a pink shirt, so this is a mixed-blessing in that while they succeeded in getting a new color for the Easy-Bake they still upheld the color code of gender conformity.

I approve of the catalog where boys and girls are playing with the same toys. Win!

Telling children that boys act this way and girls act this way should be de-emphasized because it can turn into gendered harrasment if a child is being forced or pressured by their peers or an adult.

Gendered harassment is a term used to describe any unwanted behavior that acts to assert and police the boundaries of traditional gender norms: heterosexual masculinity and femininity. It is related to, but different from bullying. (Meyer, 2006)
Forms of gendered harassment include: (hetero)sexual harassment, homophobic harassment, and harassment for gender non-conformity (or transphobic harassment). I link these three forms of harassment because they are linked to the norm-setting and policing of narrowly defined traditional heterosexual gender roles (Larkin, 1994; Renold, 2002; Smith & Smith, 1998; Stein, 1995)
As I investigated this problem further, I learned that although BGLQT youth are commonly targeted for harassment, they are not the only ones suffering due to the homophobic and heteronormative climate of the school. Any student whose behavior is perceived to be different in some way can be isolated and harassed using anti-gay insults, and any student who wishes to establish his/her place in the social pecking order of the school must engage in heterosexualized discussions and behaviors which often include various forms of gendered harassment.

http://www.psycholog...ke-school-safer

And for those wishing to claim gendered harrassment does not exist, well look at the sources, I am going to trust academia first and consider common opinion as unsophisticated; definitely uninformed.

For those who do not understand that even the many people who do not harrass others, but still maintain and project on others rigid social gender roles, they allow the climate for the harassers to operate in.

Edited by I believe you

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Like Taun said, I buy my kids toys they'd want to play with. They're not pawns in some agenda. They're kids who want to play with stuff. For Christmas, they just got a new video camera. It's hot pink, because for some reason, the hot pink one was $40 less than the red and black ones. They don't care. They want to make movies. My autistic son got a new cabbage patch doll "buddy" 'cause he likes to play with them.

I think it's a good idea for manufacturers to make different colored toys, but mostly because I don't like pink and "girl's toys" are invariably bright pink. lol

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If I had kids I would get them what they wanted to play with, Hasina you can always take the batteries out of noisy toys.

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Pfft, compromise with my children? What am I? A politician?

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when my kids were little, I never gave hoot one way or another. I just paid attention to what they liked and asked for and usually got what we could afford.

I remember once we went to deseret industries (mormon thrift store), and my kids both ran for the toy section, they both wanted this huge doll house, made of wood.. so big they both could almost fit into it. SOOOOOOO we got it, along with furniture for it and they chose dolls and such for it.

Course the dolls they chose were not the ones that was for the doll house, Jessa wanted my pony ponies, and my son wanted those ninja turtle action figures and both went for transformer figures. SO it was a weird doll family.. go figure.

My daughter also found some of those what were they? care bears? dark heart figures with it.

No one ever cared what was considered girl or boy toys.

Now to be blunt, the most favorite toys of all? We had this trash can with lid on it, it wasnt huge, bout two feet tall, and it was filled with odd and ends of connect blocks, lego's.. and anything else that could connect together and build things. All the neighborhood kids would gather at our place and my kids would drag out that full trash bin of blocks/legos and such and they all would play for hours, they drug out the house and dolls too, boys and girls playing with both.

Kept my house clean.. the walkway in front of our apartment was always cluttered with neighbor kids and such, but no one seemed to mind.

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A friend of mine has an only child, a little girl, who will be two next month and she is already gravitating towards boy toys. I was never into girly stuff like dolls and took over my older brothers science or building kits. I always wanted to take things apart to see how it worked and try to put it back together again. I loved the Easy Bake Ovens but moved passed them to the real oven by the age of about eight. Like Tuan said, I had a blast with big boxes because you could make so many things out of them.

Give them what they want and not what you want them to have. That's just a waste of money.

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after reading michelles post, i thought of something.. ever think that kids are sort of like cats/kittens?

I remember when we got some appliances (kitchen got remodeled) and us kids grabbed all the empty boxes.. we put blankies and pillows in them and made our own 'seats' to snuggle into when we watched sat morn cartoons.. and when they got to 'weak' to use as something to sit inside and lean on sides to watch tv, we would tear the side corners and flatten it out, put all our boxes together and with blankets and chairs we made forts.. with 'real walls' (well come on, to a kid, the cardboard was a real wall'..

oooh and i remember the wallpaper stuff came in these 'rolls' with the cardboard round in middle, boy were they long, and we would use those as swords..

hrmm.. i guess in reality, the best toys a kid can get, has nothing to do with gender.. more to do with imagination and letting our own minds build our own 'toys' with just thoughts of fun fun fun..

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My very favorite 'cardboard box toy' came in the very early 60's when the Mercury Project was starting up... "The Weekly Reader" - a grade school 'newspaper' had a 'centerfold' section of a photo of the Mercury Capsules instrument panel...

I took that picture and put it in a large cardboard box on one inside wall, then laid the box on its side so that the picture was on the 'ceiling'... then I put pillows and such in there so I could lay down and look up at the panel - just like the Astronaughts did... That was my space ship and I travelled all over the universe with that darn box... I actually kept it for about two years and got very jealous if one of my sisters got inside it to play...

I loved that box... Wish I still had it

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after reading michelles post, i thought of something.. ever think that kids are sort of like cats/kittens?

I remember when we got some appliances (kitchen got remodeled) and us kids grabbed all the empty boxes.. we put blankies and pillows in them and made our own 'seats' to snuggle into when we watched sat morn cartoons.. and when they got to 'weak' to use as something to sit inside and lean on sides to watch tv, we would tear the side corners and flatten it out, put all our boxes together and with blankets and chairs we made forts.. with 'real walls' (well come on, to a kid, the cardboard was a real wall'..

oooh and i remember the wallpaper stuff came in these 'rolls' with the cardboard round in middle, boy were they long, and we would use those as swords..

hrmm.. i guess in reality, the best toys a kid can get, has nothing to do with gender.. more to do with imagination and letting our own minds build our own 'toys' with just thoughts of fun fun fun..

Oh yeah!!! When we couldn't camp outdoors we could make forts with tunnels in between chairs and the main room was under the dining room table. I loved that!

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Give the kid the kind of toys they like. Boys play with dolls too they are just called action figures.

When I was a kid I had more fun with my imagination and pets than I did with my toys.

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Give the people what they want.... works with kids too. Just avoid things like lawn darts or the vibrating Harry Potter broom stick and you should be ok. Hell as a kid my toys were pretty much anything I could think of. I could have fun with dirt and mud alone because of my imagination. God wrapping paper tubes and sticks as swords, anything with a handle a shield... fun times.

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What a coincidence. My grandparents bought me an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas one year. It p***ed my dad off, but he got over it.

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Gender neutral toys...really? Seriously? Who does that? Let the kids be kids, let them pick out what they want and roll with that.

That said...damn, I wish I still had all my Star Wars and Transformers...I could ebay it all and make a forturne on vintage stuff. Ah well.

Edited by WoIverine
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I voted No in the Poll, because I buy my grand-neices and nephews the toys they want... not what someone else thinks they should play with...

Give the kid the kind of toys they like. Boys play with dolls too they are just called action figures.

Gender neutral toys...really? Seriously? Who does that? Let the kids be kids, let them pick out what they want and roll with that.

People who can make informed decisions and take a comprehensive approach do this. You might not know anyone like this...

When some say let the child pick what they want, if they mean to simply go into the toy section or store and allow the child to pick, well then you are allowing others to pick for you: the corporations who choose what to market including television adverts, the person at the store who decides what inventory to order, and most likely whatever is shiny and junky.

If others want to be lazy and not use discretion that is fine but one should not be fooled into thinking they are truly allowing their child to choose because they are simply deferring their decision to others who are more interested in profit than the well being of the child you are selecting a toy for.

Do the research and if you wish allow your child to choose from a range of toys you have already preselected or from a catalog or shop (learning express) that you trust. As is you are already trusting others. A child might want a certain toy, to watch television all day, or to wear neon to a funeral, a parent has discretion in all these domains, surrenduring that discretion to others might not be the best choice.

Edited by I believe you

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People who can make informed decisions and take a comprehensive approach do this. You might not know anyone like this...

When some say let the child pick what they want, if they mean to simply go into the toy section or store and allow the child to pick, well then you are allowing others to pick for you: the corporations who choose what to market including television adverts, the person at the store who decides what inventory to order, and most likely whatever is shiny and junky.

If others want to be lazy and not use discretion that is fine but one should not be fooled into thinking they are truly allowing their child to choose because they are simply deferring their decision to others who are more interested in profit than the well being of the child you are selecting a toy for.

Do the research and if you wish allow your child to choose from a range of toys you have already preselected or from a catalog or shop (learning express) that you trust. As is you are already trusting others. A child might want a certain toy, to watch television all day, or to wear neon to a funeral, a parent has discretion in all these domains, surrenduring that discretion to others might not be the best choice.

Or, it just could be that I KNOW what type toys the kids I buy for will actually play with and those are the ones they want... The important thing about a 'toy' is not that it 'educates', not that it reinforces stereotypes or some socio-political engineering of a childs mind... but that it allows the kid to have fun, not get hurt and exercise their imagination... The only research I need to do to select a toy is "does the child like it?" and "is it safe?"....

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I have a daugher and a son. They both just play with exactly what they want to as they have access to all sorts of toys. They definately play differently though and do genuinely seemed 'wired' differently. My daughter will make up long winded stories and plays, whereas my son will be very physical ie. which toy can bounce off the ceiling the farthest.

They both want to be scientists when they grow up, but they come it from very different directions. My daughter is curious about how and why, studying tiny creatures and rocks very patiently, whereas my son loves making things 'happen' and magic etc. Isn't that great? LIfe would truly be boring if we were all the same. I think it's great that gender differences are noticed and celebrated to an extent, because we ARE different (thankfully) and that is a good thing.

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I have five daughters (all now grown up), and they've had their share of dolls and 'girly stuff', but with all of them, the main theme has been horses, so I suppose that could be termed 'gender neutral'.

Personally, I've no time at all for 'trendy' parenting and firmly believe in allowing a child of whatever gender to develop in a way that equips them for the long journey through life they're embarking on, and not lumbering them with a load of PC nonsense that'll probably be a subject for derision in 5 or 10 year's time!

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Kids should get what they want to play with regardless of gender. I don't have kids of my own but my nieces were a mixed bag, Star Wars figurines, dinosaur anything, barbie dolls and horses/unicorn toys, make up and and jewellery making kits, leggo, play doh on and on, it wasn't a case of "gender specific" it was all about eclectic interests - although neither of them went for tonka trucks and GI Joes don't know why. Interestingly my nephew's toys were actually gender specific - girls can show interests in just about any area without being "pegged" as this or that it seems but get a boy a barbie and all hell breaks loose - yet when boys and girls play together, the dolls and make up kits come out and get shared around no probs, hmmm.

Edited by libstaK
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How about an educational toy?

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Looking back on it I actually did play with Barbie dolls when I was a kid...

(explanaition)

I had several GI Joe "Action Figures" - the old 11 inch tall ones and I decided that my Joes needed USO girls to bolster their morale... So my Joes went on a "Recruitment Raid" and took several of my sisters unused Barbies (also 11 inches tall) as USO girls... I was probably 6 at this point... Of course they were no longer "Barbie Dolls" at that point - they were "Barbie Action Figures"...

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