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The Problem with Gender-Specific Toys

May 11, 2014

I read an article recently about engineering kits for girls, called GoldieBlox. Girl-oriented packaging and a storybook are included to attract girls to the product. While I love the idea of getting girls involved in building and engineering, I wonder if this product helps or hurts the cause. If a little girl wants to build, can’t she just pick up a set up legos? GoldieBlox goes off of the assumption that little girls like lighter colors (pink) and are more likely to engage in activities that involve stories and fantasy play. Aren’t these ideas that we must fight to create a world that offers boys and girls the same opportunities? I want my students to think all toys are open to them and they won’t be criticized for liking “pink” toys or vice versa. However, this idea that little girls must play with pink toys and little boys must play with blue or green is so entrenched in my world at school. It seems to be an unspoken rule for some little girls that building is not as acceptable an activity as others. So this has me thinking… If GoldieBlox makes building seem like a more attractive idea for little girls, then is it really a bad thing?


Lego Friends (Another problematic toy targeted at young girls)

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